Monday, August 23, 2010

Early Fall Garden...or is it Late, Late Summer???

Some years I am so busy by late summer that I do not fully enjoy or use the bounty from my garden. Not so this year!
We decided to scale back our lifestyle this year and the benefit is more time available to spend cooking and hanging out in the yard and garden.
I think I might be a bit obsessed - I have been visiting the garden several times a day just to see what's going on (and trying to keep up with the weeds, bugs, and critters.)

Coleslaw, gazpacho, stuffed pepper, cucumber salad, fresh corn and beets, carpaccio, brocollini, eggplant pizza.... It has been a real treat!

Every morning my breakfast has been a chopped tomato with feta. Yum!

So here is my early fall garden update...or is it a late, late summer update???

Green fried tomatoes are so yummy - see the video below. My Mom made these every summer and I always loved them!

Green Fried Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes after the recent rain. The rain causes the tomatoes to split. Rats!
The flavor from the early cherry's was not so good and I vowed to find another variety. They are tasting better now - sweeter. The jury is still out on whether I should grow this variety again.

Broccoli for dinner tonight. Perhaps we'll have Steve's Hot Broccoli Fettuccine. Yum! It's perfect because it uses cherry tomatoes too.

The cabbage is great this year.

I had a visitor while I was working away in the garden, Oliver, the neighbor's cat stopped by for a visit. I picked beets and Steve and I had them for dinner last night. Very tasty. We ate them all!!

I harvested most of the black beans. Seems like some of the pods need to dry a bit more so that they will break open easily. I love black beans and can't wait to see if they taste different being home grown.

Ah ha! Someone has been raiding the garden - someone with four legs and a good appetite. Rascals!!

We have had a few muskmelons that we harvested. They are out of this world, crazy good.

Whole melon from the garden. Can you believe that this would come from a home garden? Or should I say that I can't believe this came from my home garden.

Isn't it lovely???

White pumpkin. Pretty cute.

Cool orange pumpkin. I just labeled the pumpkins generally and I am guessing that this is the Rouge Vif D Etampes Pumpkin. I like it! It's the Cinderella pumpkin.
I am disappointed that we don't have more pumpkins for all the garden space that we devoted to growing them. The cucumber beetles are so difficult to defeat. They are out there now in abundance and I am not comfortable spraying at this point - too many bees and too late in the season.

Peppers ready for harvest. They are so large that the peppers are pulling the plants over. Time to use them!

Some turned red while others went to an orange and a light green. Actually, the green peppers seem to have a better flavor - go figure.

Made this recipe up last night and it was yummy!!! Happy harvest!

1 C. uncooked rice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed
1 T. olive oil
1 Tbs. Chili powder
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Clove minced garlic
1/2 C. chopped onion
3 C. grated cheese (cheddar)
2 Chopped tomatoes (or equivalent)
6 Peppers - tops, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add chopped tomato and continue to saute for 5 minutes or so.
Combine cooked rice with black beans, seasonings and tomato mixture in a bowl. Fill pepper half way with rice mixture, then 2 tbs. of cheese. Repeat layer ending with cheese on top.
Place in baking dish loosely covered with foil. Bake for 40 minutes until pepper are just soft.

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