Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It was a light harvest week for me, as we tried to eat up all the stuff from previous harvests that was taking up space in the refrigerator. I did get my first taste of the Dazzling Blue kale, which I harvested so we could have it for a side dish on Thanksgiving. This kale is a Wild Garden Seeds cross between Lacinato and Lacinato Rainbow, and it was billed as being more winter hardy than most Lacinato types. That sure seems to be true here, as it survived our 19°F weather just fine, while most of the other kale plants in the main garden are looking a bit frost-bitten. The sturdy leaves cooked up tender, and the flavor was very much like a Lacinato. This one is a keeper, if just for the extra hardiness.
Also for Thanksgiving I baked up one of the neck pumpkins so my wife could make a pumpkin pie. This one weighed a bit over seven pounds, and I got about two pounds of puree from it after draining off quite a bit of liquid after baking. It took three baking dishes to get it all in the oven at once.
We don’t eat pie very often here at Happy Acres, but it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my wife’s Whiskey Pumpkin Pie. In addition to adding a bit of whiskey to the batter, she also beats the egg whites separately and folds them in the mix at the last. It results in a pie that is lighter than most I’ve ever eaten. The neck pumpkin wasn’t as sweet as the butternuts this year, but that’s not a bad thing in a pie which has added sugar anyway.
Also in the non-harvest department, since early this month I have been fermenting a quart jar of Aji Angelo peppers to turn into hot sauce (recipe here). It took over two pounds of the peppers to fill the jar, and I let them ferment for 18 days. I took half the peppers and turned them into Homemade Fermented Hot Sauce, a thin tabasco-style sauce. For this recipe you chop the fermented peppers up in the food processor, then press the juice out through a metal strainer. That leaves behind quite a bit of pepper pulp that doesn’t go through the strainer. I spread all that out on a piece of parchment paper, and dried it in the dehydrator to turn into pepper flakes. I used a low 115°F heat setting so as to try and preserve some of the beneficial bacteria, and it was dry in a few hours time. The dried flakes have a lot of flavor, and a bit of saltiness, and the Aji Angelo peppers give them a mild level of heat will be useful in a lot of dishes.
I used the rest of the fermented peppers to make a batch of Homemade Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce. For this recipe you throw the fermented peppers in the blender along with vinegar, sugar and garlic. Then I strain the sauce through a strainer with a bit coarser mesh than what I used for the other sauce, so most of the solids go through but any bits of seed or skin stay behind. The result is a thick, slightly sweet and mildly hot Sriracha sauce that I love to use in the kitchen. My latest favorite thing to do with it is make Sriracha mayo, which went on some lettuce wraps we made last week using leftover turkey. I got two 5 ounce bottles of Sriracha from the process, so I should be set for a while!
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!