Friday, August 26, 2011

Independence Days 2011-8: Tomato Time!

If the end of August is approaching, it must be time for the tomato glut to take over my kitchen. This year, I have had the rare delight in having my tomatoes supplied by barter from the Delighted Gardener, who brought me two pecks of assorted paste tomatoes (some yellow!) earlier this week.

Of course, with baking six days a week for Local Roots (both market and cafe), I haven't had time to deal with all the tomatoes, but I've gotten a good start.

What else has been going on?

Plant something: Golden Detroit beets, Scarlet Queen turnips at the Renaissance Man’s

Harvest something: purple beans, broccoli, golden chard, basil, spaghetti squash, nasturtium leaves and blossoms at the Contradance Callers’; calendula blossoms, oregano at the Renaissance Man’s; carrot, green beans, dill seeds, basil at the Southern Belle’s

Preserve something: dried cantaloupe candy, chocolate mint, basil, tomatoes, calendula, lemon verbena; finished drying, cleaned Soldier dried beans and put in jars for pantry; made calendula oil (not for cooking); canned tomato sauce

Reduce waste (Waste not): sorted through two pecks of tomatoes to get the cracked and otherwise fragile ones processed into sauce first before the fruit flies got ‘em; composted the seedlings (rutabaga and broccoli) that didn't survive bug damage

Preparation and storage (Want not): cycled stored water into the canner and replaced it with fresh, just in time for Hurricane Irene! (if it makes it this far); restocked oils for baking

Build local food systems: baking for market and for the Local Roots Café; made bread and pita for a friend’s fundraiser for Hospice; shared dry beans with the Contradance Callers; signed up to teach a couple more classes at Today’s Kitchen Store

Eat the food: leftover lemon basil cake; fresh cantaloupe; chard-nasturtium frittata with chevre; grilled cheese with chard; pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, broccoli; hash browns with chard; fried okra; spaghetti squash with pesto, fresh cherry tomatoes, local mozzarella; ice cream soda with black raspberry syrup; fresh raspberries on vanilla yogurt; popcorn; leftover vegetable rolls; broccoli-walnut pasta

Fall's coming -- time to get the rest of this year's food preservation in gear!

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