Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The garden got some much needed rain Friday when Harvey moved through and gave us a good soaking rain. We got a bit more than an inch, which was great because it had been almost a month since we got that much in a 24 hour period. Late summer and early fall are usually dry periods for us here, but who knows what climate change will bring to those norms! Regardless, the garden is keeping us well fed and keeping me busy as well. I’m bringing in the winter squashes as soon as I think they have sufficiently matured on the vines. Last week I harvested the first of the Dickinson pumpkins and the Tetsukabuto squashes, and three more of the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato squash. There’s a bit over 45 pounds total.
The size of the Dickinson pumpkin is a bit deceptive. It is very heavy for its size, and the one I’m holding in the below photo weighed over 16 pounds, and while the other one looks larger it actually weighed about 13 pounds. It’s still a lot of pumpkin though, and there’s at least two more big ones out in the garden. I’ll let these two cure a bit before I cook them up. Even the 13-pounder may require a marathon baking session!
The Tetsukabuto squash is certainly a more manageable size, and these first three weighed around 11 pounds total. A 3 to 4 pound squash is still a lot for the two of us to eat at one sitting though, so we will need to be creative in the kitchen. My favorite way to use a kabocha type squash is in a curry. I think we will first try this one cut into slices and baked so we can better judge its taste.
I also brought in the first Sugaretti squash. This 2017 AAS Winner is a spaghetti squash that is supposed to be sweeter than the usual types. I think the stripes and coloring make it look like a giant delicata. It weighed over 4 pounds, which is definitely a lot of squash! It’s prolific too, and there are several more on the vines almost ready to harvest.
It’s my first time growing Buffy, and the vines have given up lots and lots of the small tan colored fruits. They typically weigh a pound or less, which is a great size to serve as a side dish. The ones we’ve tasted so far were not extremely sweet, but they were very flavorful, with sort of a nutty taste and a nice consistency. There are a baker’s dozen in the basket in the below photo, and more still on the wandering vines. I have this one growing up a remesh trellis, and I noticed the top section of the remesh was bent over from the weight of the squashes on the vines. So, I am now calling this one Buffy the Trellis Slayer!
It’s been a great year here for the Tromba d’Albenga squash. I’ve been getting a couple of them almost every week, and they are still setting on the vines. In the below photo they are posing with Nadia and Galine eggplant, a Ginkaku melon, and the first ripe Cornito Rosso pepper. I used the pepper on a pizza, and more are ripening now on my two plants. I used part of the tromboncini as a spaghetti substitute, covered with homemade marinara sauce. I run the squash through the spiralizer, then blanch it in boiling water for 4-5 minutes to turn it into ‘trasta.’
It’s been a great year for tomatoes too. We’ve really been enjoying the Midnight Snack cherry tomatoes. It’s the best tasting of the Indigo tomatoes I have tried, and my plant has produced lots of fruit for us to enjoy. Many of this batch wound up on a salad, and others were eaten for a snack. I also roasted a few to go on a pizza.
I’m still getting plenty of paste tomatoes, and I made another big batch of marinara sauce for the freezer. There’s more tomatoes out there, but I’m running out of room in the freezer! I roasted a batch of the small fruited ones last week, and in the below photo it’s a mix of Sun Sugar, Sunpeach, Black Cherry and Purple Bumble Bee. The gallon container is full of Juliet. I planted four cages of them this year, and they have produced mightily. What was I thinking planting that many? I turned this batch into sauce.
The slicing tomatoes have slowed down though. I did find a big Cosmonaut Volkov to use on sandwiches. These have been especially tasty, and I have saved seeds to grow these again next year. There’s some Golden Rave paste tomatoes in the basket too, and I mixed them with the red tomatoes for sauce.
We also got our first taste of Carbon. This is a purple tomato reminiscent of Cherokee Purple, and it had similar flavor which I enjoyed. Unlike CP though, my Carbon plant has not been very vigorous and got overrun by its neighbors. Next year I will either plant it in a different spot, or go back to growing CP. I also want to try the Black Brandywine in 2018. I love the flavor of the black/purple tomatoes, but I have yet to find one that will consistently produce for me. So, I will keep trying until I find one!
In non-gardening news, I baked up a batch of buns last week, using my tried and true Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns recipe. We use them for things other than burgers, and I have made them so many time over the years I can practically do it in my sleep. My version uses a mix of whole wheat and unbleached flours, and you can find the original recipe at King Arthur Flour (Beautiful Burger Buns). This batch is topped with a mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds and dried minced onion. I also added a bit of wheat germ to the dough.
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!