Our long dry spell continues here, but despite that the garden is still giving us plenty to eat. Both the peppers and eggplant are coming on nicely. I generally let most of the peppers get ripe before harvesting. That’s the yellow Flavorburst bell pepper hanging out with the pinkish purple Dancer eggplant in the below photo. Both got grilled and eaten last week. Dancer has a mild, sweet flavored white flesh and is a great producer here for me.
Also still producing are the pole beans. They truly seem to like the dry conditions much better than they did the wet rainy weather we had earlier in summer. I picked the vines clean before we left for Colorado, and when we got back I was surprised at all the pods that were ready to pick. I have yet to supply them with additional water, but they managed to give us over a pound of beans to eat. There were a few shellies, and I mixed them in with the pods and cooked them up together. It’s mostly Fortex and Trionfo Violetto in the below photo. I’ll give them some water and see if they can produce another flush of blooms and pods.
The Good Mother Stallard beans don’t seem to be minding the dry conditions either. I harvested quite a few of those last week, and brought them inside to finish drying before I shell them out. They are one of my favorite cooking beans.
Local apples are coming in, and I picked up four different varieties from one of our producers, about a half bushel all told. They had others ready, but I picked Jonathan, Jonagold, Ruby Jon and Honeycrisp. I think Jonathan and its offspring are so good for eating out of hand as well as for cooking and drying. I dried about three batches last week in our five tray dehydrator, which makes me wish we had the bigger eight tray model now. I also baked some, and my wife whipped up a batch of her Yummy Fried Apples. The below photo shows a tray of the Ruby Jon apples after drying. For long term storage I seal them up with the FoodSaver. Apples are so easy to dry, and we use them in both hot and cold cereals, plus they make a great one-ingredient snack.
I was anxious to get the apples dried because I had other things planned for the dehydrator. I had enough ripe peppers ready to smoke another batch on Saturday. I smoked a mix of sweet and hot peppers this time. That’s the mildly hot baccatum variety Aji Angelo in the below photo. I have other baccatums planted this year including Aji Golden and Kaleidoscope I want to try drying and smoking. Those peppers are just about ready too.
I smoked the peppers on my Weber grill, building a small charcoal fire off to one side and keeping the peppers on the other side. I smoked a mix including the paprika peppers Dulce Rojo and Leutschauer, the Aji Angelos and a few of the Stocky Red Roasters. After smoking, they went on to the dehydrator to dry. You can read more about how I smoked them last year in Smoked Peppers. I’ll grind up most of the smoked peppers to make smoked paprika and smoked chile powder. I use them both as table spices, and keep them out with the salt and pepper.
The fall plantings are coming on now as well. I thinned the turnips once but left them a little close together on purpose. I like to thin them again when the turnips are at the baby stage. They were already crowding each other like turnips do and I got over three pounds of them in no time. There’s more to be thinned, and turnips will no doubt be on the menu this week when my wife takes her turn at cooking. These were all the Hakurei variety. I cooked up the greens and some of the turnips for a meal last week.
The rest of the turnips got fermented. After scrubbing them clean, I cut them in bite sized pieces, then put them in a jar (skin and all) and covered with a 5% brine solution. I made them exactly like I did the kohlrabi pickles earlier this year, and the mild salad turnips should make great ‘pickles’ for snacking on. I’ve been sampling them and after three days they are already tasty, but I will let them ferment for another few days before putting them in the refrigerator. I plan on making some turnip kraut when the turnips get a bit bigger.
My wife took over the cooking yesterday for a couple of weeks, and she requested some kale so she could make a batch of Kale and Potato Hash. The hash is an excuse to try the horseradish we got at the Estes Park farmer’s market. Doesn’t everyone bring back food from vacation? I know I do, and my suitcase was stuffed with bags of coffee and a jar of honey. The kale I cut was some of the Coalition Mix, which you can see in the below photo.
I haven’t baked much bread lately. But the last time I did bake I put a couple of loaves in the freezer for later use. That’s a loaf of 40 Percent Caraway Rye in the below photo, my current favorite rye bread. After baking, I wrapped the thoroughly cooled loaf of bread in foil before freezing. When I was ready to use it, I popped the foil covered loaf of bread (still frozen) in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, then removed the foil and put the loaf back in for another 10 minutes to crisp up the crust. I have to say the bread was almost as good as the day I baked it, with a crispy and chewy crust and a tangy, tender crumb. I need to share the recipe for my version of this bread the next time I make it.
The bread was the base for a couple of Meatless Reuben sandwiches I made with some of our homemade cabbage kraut. I put Muenster cheese on the bread, then piled on the drained kraut. I grilled the sandwiches until the cheese was melting and the bread was starting to get a bit charred around the edges. I am currently reading The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum and I have no doubt I will be baking up one of her recipes soon.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at some of the activities here at HA. To hear what other gardeners are harvesting, cooking and eating, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.
Great harvest. Love the colors of the Good Mother Stallard beans.
If I get a good harvest of turnips I am going to make pickle following your kohlrabi pickle recipe.
We are also experiencing long dry spell hoping for rain soon.
Your turnips and beans are looking amazing. I’m still getting lots of peppers as well. It’s been a strange summer to be sure. Do you eat your turnip greens?
My wife and I both love the turnip greens! We had some for dinner last night. The Hakurei greens are mild tasting and tender, and lack the prickly hairs that seem to be on many turnip leaves.
Wonderful harvest and thank you for the tip on freezing/defrosting bread.
Lovely harvests. I wish I had planted some Japanese turnips for fall. I put a whole bed of turnips in but they were all of one type.
Nice harvest. The dried apples are a great idea. I don’t stockpile apples because the orchards here nicely store them for me and I can get fresh apples anytime I want. But dried apples are a treat by themselves. And thanks for the reminder on smoked peppers. Time to get out the smoker and use up some of the Jimmy Nardellos in the fridge.
Some of the apples I got weren’t as flavorful or crisp as I like, but dried they taste great. It really brings out the flavor and sweetness in them.
Beautiful harvests. I love dried apples but those in the stores often have some sort of weird preservative listed – probably to keep their colour or something along those lines. I’ll have to make my own….WHEN I finally get that dehydrator!
I love Rosy Levy Berenbaum & have both her pastry & cake bible books although dessert is more of a special occasion thing at our house, so I don’t often crack them open. I have half a shelf of bread baking books (3 of which are by Peter Reinhart – my favourite!) so it will be interesting to hear what you think of Rose’s book – I may need to add to my collection!
Your bookshelf sounds a bit like my bookshelf! I have several of Peter Reinharts books also, and I have a learned a lot from them. I will be sure and share any of the breads I make from her book.
I started with the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, then (in order) the Bread Bible, Hamelman’s “Bread”, and finally “Advanced Bread and Pastry” (Suas).
I think I get the most mileage out of the Bread Bible, though they all offer a different take.
Mine went something like BBA,Hamelman, and now the Bread Bible. With a few more mixed in between!
Well, yeah… I was just hitting the biggies. 🙂 I spent so much time with Reinhart’s initially that I think those areas of emphasis are permanently burned in. He’s an interesting speaker if you ever get the chance to go see him.
Beautiful eggplants. Those might be a candidate for our “rotating” EarthBox. Are they relatively resistant to “things”?
Dancer seems to be relatively trouble free for me here. The plants are about 3 feet tall now, and still coming on with eggplants.
The Good Mother Stallards are so beautiful! I don’t think it’s possible to even attempt to grow all the beans that I find interesting, unless I try to rival Rancho Gordo… not! I do the same thing you do, I have a jar of smoked paprika that sits out all the time. It’s great to see that the Aji Angelos are doing so well for you. I was relying on my plant from last year making a comeback, but it’s really struggling so I’ll have just a few peppers to enjoy this year. Oh well, it’s not like I don’t have enough peppers coming from the garden this year.
Beautiful harvests Dave. Are the Good Mother Stallards a bush variety? If so, they just may make it to my Survival Garden, based on looks alone. Looking at the picture of your Weber grill (I got mine from the dump, er, transfer station), do you cover the coals with foil?
The wood chips are in a foil packet that I pierce with a fork to let the smoke get out. I put the packet right on the coals. And the Good Mother Stallard beans are a pole variety.
Always enjoy reading about your garden exploits. I see you did not jump on the chance to take over Harvest Monday. Why not consider it? I told Daphne in my comment I nominated Mark over in England but you’d be an excellent moderator too! Should have nominated you there as well.
I emailed Daphne with my thoughts.
Hi Dave; I’m so glad you have agreed to take over hosting of Harvest Monday! I shall do my best to contribute as regularly as possible.
Well, good for you taking up the mantle or should I say hoe of Harvest Monday. Glad it will continue. You’ll do a great job! Thank you!
Hello. First time visitor after finding out you are the new host of hm. Congrats :). I am looking forward to the next chapter of HM.
Great harvest bet!!