canning tomatoes

 
 
I bought 25 lbs of local tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market, added a few of mine and canned 11 quart jars. Recipe: – Peel tomatoes after scorching in boiling water 1 minute. Slit and remove seeds. Slice in food processor with 1/4 inch blade. – Clean quart canning jars in dishwasher. Boil lids and rings in water on the stove. – Pack tomatoes in jars to 1/2 inch of the top. (I added a small chili pepper to half of the jars.) Clean rims. Apply lids and rings. After tightening…
 

onions in storage

 
 
Onions were pulled, washed, dried a couple days in the sun, then trimmed and bagged in mesh I saved from supermarket onions. Hanging now in basement. It will only take me a couple months to go through these, so they don’t need to keep very long. Next year I will try for a bigger crop – not necessarily more onions, but bigger ones. That means giving them their own space with no other plants competing for their sunlight. And maybe start the seeds a little earlier. I sowed Feb 25,…
 

onion harvest

 
 
I pulled these yesterday before the rain. The rain cleaned them for me. I’ll let them cure in the sun here a few days so they store well. Most are not as big as I hoped since I let the big volunteer squash grow in the middle of their bed.
 

the last of my garden garlic

 
 
I only have a few heads of garlic left from last years harvest. They have been delicious! I wish this years crop looked better. I forgot to cover it with salt hay and it looks like this was a mistake. Plus I planted very late. Many cloves didn’t sprout and it looks like its suffered from drying out with the lack of rainfall this spring.
 

onions

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My onions are rapidly maturing. The tops are falling over. I pulled about half of mine today. I leave then to cure int eh sun a day or two, because that’s what I see that the old gardeners do. My onions are very small this year 🙁
 

my larder

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(I’m taking some pictures now….) Finally – the photos…. My larder this fall includes: Winter squashes: Butternut, Long Island cheese, Acorn and Delicata. A couple small orange pumpkins. Potatoes, and lots of sweet potatoes. Onions, garlic. My chile ristra has grown and is drying well. My root cellar (a small basement refrigerator has about 5 lbs of carrots, 10 lbs of beets, some celery, and a head of purple cabbage. In past years, I kept my potatoes and squashes in baskets in the basement. This year I was disappointed I…
 

pickles!!

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My first try at making pickles! They are yummy. I made the recipe called Famous Back Eddy House Pickles from the book Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger and others. This book has lots of similar recipes and I’m hoping to try more of them soon. I like pickle recipes that use a mix of vegetables, in addition to cucumbers. I added beets (striped Chiogga’s) to the recipe, which darkened my brine.
 

my new ristra

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I found some pieces of string and started a ristra. I love that it is something that grows. I can add to it as more chiles ripen. I tied three cayenne or two Thai together at the stem with string then made a loop with the end of the string. The loop gets added to the other chile bunches on the growing ristra. I hung it on my kitchen door – so evil is now warded off!
 

chiles for a ristra

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I’m accumulating a lot of small red chiles this year. Time to figure out how to make a ristra. I see instructions at eHOW (eHOW ristra instructions link). They say a ristra is decorative, but its also a good way to dry chiles and keep them for fall and winter use. A couple years ago I made a ristra with wire. It was hard to make and didn’t hold the chiles well. But they did dry and keep well. I used them all winter. eHOW’s method uses string to tie…
 

drying garlic

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Before leaving for vacation, I was short of time and threw my newly harvested garlic into a box in the basement. I found this nice video from Kitchen Gardeners about harvesting, curing and storing garlic. Hopefully my garlic will still dry OK after neglecting it last week.
 
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