Last week I managed to get most all of the sweet potatoes dug before the rains came. I am so glad I made the effort, because the garden is a soggy mess right about now. It looks like we’ll have plenty of sweet potatoes to eat for the coming year, with 56 pounds of them now safely inside curing. The best producer this year was Norma’s Purple. You can see a few of the biggest ones in the below photo, with a dollar bill to give it some scale. I really look forward to trying them once they have cured.
The peppers are still ripening even as the weather cools down to more seasonal temperatures. It has been a great year for the peppers here, both the hot and sweet types. That’s a mix of Early Sunsation, Flavorburst, and Red Knight in the below photo. Most of them got dehydrated.
It hasn’t been a great year for eggplant here, so imagine my surprise when I brought in two beauties last week! That’s the hybrid Nadia in the below photo, along with a few of the heirloom red Tolli’s Sweet Italian peppers.
I also harvested some of the Holy Mole and Ancho 211 peppers for dehydrating. I use these to make chile powder and to put in bean dishes and soups. The Anchos are usually somewhat shy producers for me but Holy Mole (a 2007 AAS winner) always does well here.
I got a large number of the ripe Aji Angelo peppers, most of which came from a container grown plant I overwintered inside, then planted outside in the ground once the soil warmed up this spring. These thin walled peppers have a mild fruity flavor and a moderate heat, at least the ones grown here do. There’s about 24 ounces of them in the below photo. I wanted to try oven roasting some of them like Michelle does.
Wearing gloves, I removed the stems, cut the peppers in half, then scooped out the seeds. Then it was off to a 200°F oven for a pan of them. I roasted them for about three hours to get them crispy dry, stirring them around occasionally.
The rest went on a dehydrator tray for drying. I wanted to compare the oven roasted ones with the dehydrated ones, and knowing me I will probably like both ways! I saved seeds from some of the nicest looking peppers as I was prepping them, and I plan on sharing seeds of this lovely C. baccatum variety later this year.
You can see the results in the bottom photo. The oven roasted ones are on the left, and the dehydrated ones are on the right. The oven roasting definitely adds another layer of flavor to the peppers, and I will store them in a glass jar and crush them up as needed for pepper flakes.
The broccoli plants are continuing to head up here. I’ve cut several heads of the Packman variety, and some of them are already developing side shoots, before the others have even produced the main head. The first of the ‘broccolini’ type Apollo was ready last week. It made for a nice side dish, lightly steamed and dressed with a bit of olive oil plus salt. Apollo doesn’t make a real big main head, but has numerous side shoots with long, tender stems.
Summer planted Slobolt lettuce continues to be a star while I wait for the fall planted lettuce to size up. I also pulled one of the Purple Haze carrots to see how they were sizing up. I think it and the rest of the fall carrots need another couple of weeks before I start harvesting any more of them. I used the carrot, a little arugula and the lettuce to make a lunch salad one day last week.
After not baking any bread for a few weeks (other than zucchini bread), I made up for it Saturday. It was a cool, rainy and dreary day and that was a great excuse to put on a pot of soup and bake some crusty sourdough bread to go with it. I baked a loaf of what I call my 1-2-3 Sourdough Bread. I’m still working out the details on that one before I share the recipe here, but it has become one of my favorite sourdough recipes. This loaf had some issues though, as the dough stuck to the pizza paddle and in my haste to fix that problem I didn’t slash the dough deeply enough and it had a ‘blowout’ in the oven. Oh well, as most bread bakers know, looks don’t usually affect the taste, and this one tasted as good as usual, with a nice sourdough tang to it and a crunchy crust.
I love roasted garlic, and the bread gave me a good excuse to roast a couple of the bigger bulbs. I cut the tops off, sprinkled on a little olive oil, wrapped them in foil, and then baked in a 400°F oven until they were soft. I squeezed the garlic from the cloves and then spread it on some of the sourdough bread. Paired up with a bowl of vegetable soup, it made for a great meal!
To see what other gardeners are harvesting, digging and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays every week.