It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It was another rainy week here, with over two more inches falling on already soaked ground. It has rained 10 of the last 14 days, to help put it in perspective. I have been harvesting between showers, and weeding as best I can. The rains came just as the tomatoes were beginning to ripen, and as a result many of them are splitting and rotting. We are still getting plenty to eat fresh, but I am not sure how many we will have for cooking up and turning into sauce. Thankfully last year was a great year for them, and we have quite a bit of sauce and paste left in the freezer. Other than the tomatoes, all the other crops seem to be holding up well so far. And there has been no need for irrigating lately for sure!
Some of the tomatoes seem to be handling the rain better than others, and I am making note of those for future plantings. Damsel is one of them, and it’s a medium sized pink beefsteak tomato with good resistance to late blight disease. I think it has a great flavor that compares favorably to heirlooms that don’t usually do well for me here. I’ve grown it for several years now, and it has been a dependable performer. I’m growing Chef’s Choice Purple for the first time, and it is also holding up well. It’s in the below photo along with Chef’s Choice Yellow and Chef’s Choice Striped. It’s also my first time growing the 2022 AAS Winner Purple Zebra, and while some of those are splitting they are holding up pretty well too given the wet conditions.
We did a taste comparison of Damsel and Chef’s Choice Purple one day for lunch. My wife and I enjoyed both of them, and it would be hard for me to pick a favorite!
On another day, we sampled Damsel along with Purple Zebra and Chef’s Choice Striped. The Purple Zebra and Damsel had a good mix of tangy sweet flavors, while the Chef’s Choice Striped leaned towards the sweet side to my taste buds. They all went well with a ham and kraut sandwich we enjoyed for lunch one day, made using my homemade rye bread and kohlrabi kraut.
It’s not all about tomatoes though. We’re still getting a lot of eggplant, even as we wait for the sweet peppers to ripen. I got two of the large Italian eggplants last week, Nadia and Galine.
Roasting the eggplants is one of our favorite ways to cook them. Sometimes we just brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Another way we like to prepare them is to add a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top after the eggplant is roasted.
In other news, our mowing service got an early start on the front lawn one morning. Too bad we can’t get them to only eat the grass and leave the flowers and veggies alone! I’m not a real fan of the deer ticks they leave for us either since they often carry Lyme disease.
Despite all the other breads I bake I hadn’t made pita bread in a couple of years, and last week I cooked up a batch of them. I used half white whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, using my Whole Wheat Pita Bread recipe. I baked them on a hot pizza stone, and they puffed up nicely. We use them more often as a flatbread, instead of a pocket bread, so the ‘puff’ isn’t really required for that use. They also make a tasty crust for homemade pizza.
I’m still tweaking my recipe for whole wheat cinnamon swirl bread. Last week I baked it in a 9x4x4 Pullman Pan, and made an effort to roll up the dough a bit more tightly. I am happy with how loaf that turned out, and next time I want to try bumping up the filling a bit. I will share the recipe here on the blog once I get it finalized.
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 please take a minute and check out what everyone is harvesting!
I wish we could have a share of your rain, Your tomatoes look delicious and juicy.
Wildlife is lovely in it’s place. I didn’t realise that they spread Lyme disease too. I knew that sheep did,
You’ve definitely mastered the cinnamon swirl.
Thanks Sue! I would gladly share our rain with you. It seems to be all boom or bust here for us.
I sure am envious of your rain, and I wish some of it would come our way. But I don’t want my tomatoes to split!. Like you, I’m always seeking hybrid tomatoes that taste as good as the heirlooms. Damsel looks to be one of those. The eggplant with parm looks to be as simple as it is delicious. About the deer, they are always fun to look at but I too worry about the ticks. Maybe some day they’ll perfect a vaccine for Lyme. And is that a cemetery you live next to? I didn’t know that.
We do have a small cemetery across the road from us Will. They are quiet neighbors too!
Good job Dave. Congratulations. I agree Damsel is a great tomato in terms of both taste and yield and diseases resistance. What cucumbers do you recommend for yields and diseases resistance in the west and hot July August? I’m in metro Philadelphia, slightly warmer than you. Thanks.
I only grow cucumbers in the greenhouse Dirk, so I can tell you what does well there since it gets hot inside there too. Mini Munch is a great performer for me, and I have also had good luck with the white skinned Itachi. I like excelsior for a pickling type.