Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Last Friday the remnants of tropical storm Cindy came through and gave us some much needed rain. I’ve been irrigating the garden, but there’s nothing like a good soaking rain to perk things up and we got over an inch all told. I was concerned about cabbages splitting with the moisture, so I cut several heads and brought them in before the rain came. The three in the below photo are Stonehead, and weighed just under six pounds.
I harvested another head of Stonehead also in the two pound range. That gave me enough cabbage to make four quart jars of kraut. I made four different versions, including a Salvadorian one I really like called Curtido that added onions, carrots, garlic, oregano and hot pepper flakes. Another one got a Tsukemono treatment with chopped scallions, soy sauce and lemon juice. Then I made a Lemon Dill kraut with dill seeds, lemon juice and garlic that should taste a bit like Kosher dill pickles. And I tried a new one called Pineapple Turmeric kraut that added chopped pineapple to the cabbage and was seasoned with grated ginger and turmeric powder. From left to right in the below photo are the Curtido, Pineapple Turmeric, Tsukemono and Lemon Dill versions, which made almost eight pounds of cabbage disappear quickly! I generally let these ferment for about a week before putting them in the refrigerator.
I cut one of the flathead K-Y Cross cabbages for general eating. My wife steamed a bit of it one night for a side dish. It is a sweet and flavorful variety, and I usually save it for other things beside fermenting. It weighed in at a bit over three pounds, which is a manageable size for us, enough for several meals for sure. I have another two plants of Late Flat Dutch cabbage still sizing up in the garden, plus a head of Pixie.
I also pulled a few more of the giant Kossak kohlrabies before the rain came. I was concerned some of them might split too, or begin to rot. These four weighed right at 14 pounds after cutting off the leaves. I started a couple of jars of kohlrabi kraut, but there’s still lots of kohlrabi left from this and last week’s harvest.
The summer squash plants are setting quite heavily. I lined up a bunch of them for a group photo. From top to bottom we have the yellow straightneck Enterprise, Clarimore, Daize white pattypan, Flaminio zucchini and Sunstripe. I’ve been freezing some of it and we’ve been trying to eat the rest of it. It may be time to leave it on neighbors doorsteps soon! I spiralized some of the zucchini last night and served it up with a red marinara sauce made from last year’s tomatoes. The spiralized squash is tasty either raw or slightly cooked, and for the faux pasta dish I cooked it for about two minutes in a pot of salted water before draining and topping with the sauce.
Another thing I did before the rain came was dig the early garlic. I dug all the Turban and Artichoke types, about 100 or so in all. They look to be running smaller than last year, but the skins are all intact which is a good thing. I chose not to irrigate them for fear the weather would turn rainy and the quality would deteriorate. I’d rather have slightly smaller bulbs that keep well than have larger ones that don’t. Simonetti is an artichoke type that always does well for me, and makes nice big bulbs that are great for roasting whole.
I cut another big head of broccoli last week, this time from Emerald Jewel. It’s my first time growing this one, and this head weighed in at 27 ounces, just slightly smaller than the head of Gypsy I cut last week. I bought plants for both Gypsy and Emerald Jewel from a local nursery (Robin’s Nest Flowers) since I was having aphid issues with my own seedlings this spring. Maybe I need to let Robin grow all my broccoli plants next year! Robin did tell me she’ll have brassica plants for fall, so I am seriously considering checking out her supply. I do like supporting the local nurseries, and Robin grows great plants.
We have been oven roasting some of the broccoli in a cast iron skillet for a side dish. It browns up but stays crunchy, and is a quick and easy treatment for sure. It has become our new favorite dish, at least until the next new favorite comes along!
We’re still enjoying blueberries and blackberries. I picked a few of the Natchez blackberries one morning so we could enjoy them for breakfast. My wife is in charge of the blueberries.
In other news, we’ve had a big hawk hanging out around here for a week or so. I believe it is a Red Shouldered Hawk, and it has found a nice perch on one of the garden fence posts. I apologize for the blurry image, but I did not want to get any closer and scare it away so I used the electronic zoom on my camera. It’s nice to see the big hawks here, and hopefully it is reducing the rodent population.
I baked a couple of loaves of bread last week. The first bake was a recipe from Teresa Greenway’s EBook Discovering Sourdough called Griffin’s Bread. It’s a lower hydration (61%) bread made from a stiff ‘motherdough’ that is fermented in the refrigerator for at least 4 days. Everything about this formula was done to promote a truly sour bread reminiscent of a San Francisco style sourdough, and I have to say I think it succeeded. The recipe makes 4 pounds of dough, and I made one 2.5 pound loaf then took the rest of the dough and added 1/3 cup each of dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. My wife and I enjoyed both loaves, and the bread wound up in sandwiches and crostini while the leftovers went in the freezer. I proofed these two in a brotform then baked in my Breadtopia clay baker.
Yesterday I baked a recipe from one of Teresa’s Udemy classes (#10 More Fun With Sourdough Bread Baking), a Kamut Sourdough Bread featuring 20% freshly ground whole grain Khorasan (Kamut) flour. Both loaves were proofed overnight in the refrigerator, and I did a zebra score on one for fun. My scoring skills need a bit of work, but I think it turned out okay, and it was very edible for sure. I baked both loaves on a hot pizza stone, covering with a roasting pan to trap the steam. After 15 minutes you remove the roasting pan and finish baking uncovered so the bread can brown up. I have another recipe with 60% Kamut in it I want to try but I need to get more Kamut grains before I can bake it. I am enjoying these experiments with naturally leavened breads, and of course I certainly enjoy eating them!
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!