Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 8/10-8/17/08

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 8/10-8/17/08

This is probably going to be the biggest booty post of the season. For a number of reasons, for one, well, it is that time of year, for two our community garden is experiencing some major problems, which I will document in the Garden Update that I'll be posting when I'm done with this one.

I also preserved quite a bit of food this weekend, well, only two things, but a lot of one of them. It will be really nice to enjoy our favorite sauces, made from local ingredients, during the middle of winter. I just wish we had a larger freezer and am jealous of those fortunate enough to have, or have space for, a deep freeze. But I am thankful for what we do have, and really, we manage to do quite a bit living in a small, barely functional apartment.

Without further ado, here is this week's garden booty:

Here we've got: a petite bell pepper, a banana pepper, a zucchini with a lovely flower still attached, 6 roma tomatoes (which will finish ripening in the window), and 3 butternut squash.

This is the "motherload" picture, starting from the right we've got: 2 poblano peppers, 2 ripe serranos, tons of banana peppers, a petite bell pepper, lots of jalapenos, TONS of tomatoes (which will, again, be ripening the rest of the way in our window sill), 2 zucchini, 2 cucumbers (nabbed from another abandoned plot), and 2 butternut squash.

6 roma tomatoes, and yes, these too will be ripening more fully in the window.

And finally: 2 yellow straightneck squash, a zucchini, and 2 more butternut squash.

This is just what we got from the gardens!

This week's CSA:

Another gorgeous CSA quarter share, starting from the right we've got: I believe thyme, potatoes, New Mexican Chiles (!!!!), green onions, a small head of cabbage, 3 cucumbers, and 3 big tomatoes.

(Can you tell we'll be having lots of B's Famous Summer Pickles? Those are seriously one of the best snacks I've ever had!)

And this week's Farmer's Market Booty:

Starting from the right we have: 2 red onions, a yellow onion, 2 Herbal Oats granola bars (this week we got the peach "focus" flavor with Ginko Biloba in it, this is our favorite variety so far.), lot of little bulbs of garlic (not sure what kind), serranos (we needed more than were on our plant), 2 red bell peppers, some gorgeous chard, some PESTICIDE FREE peaches (we were starting to get frustrated at the market, walking from stand to stand asking if the peaches had been sprayed, we got some from the only stand that didn't spray, yay, but ARGH, damn pesticides), and 6 big tomatoes (can you tell how much we like tomatoes yet?).

This week's food preservation activities included:

Now, it might seem like a lot to go through the whole canning process for one pint of pickled peppers, but I have never canned before and I want to learn. We picked all the "ready" peppers, and had to halve, and then halve again the pickled pepper recipe in the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. The recipe called for prepared horseradish, which I thought was kind of odd, but I got some to use, since, well, I don't want to die because I didn't follow the recipe, so the jar looks a little cloudy due to the bits of horseradish and pepper seeds floating around.

Here are the pepper slices soaking on a salt water solution. We did this on Friday night, so they could soak for the called for 12-18 hours.

And here is the finished product, our very first home canned jar of pickled peppers. We were both really proud of this. And I bet you can imagine our delight this morning when we went to check the seal to find out it had properly sealed itself! Wahoo! Too bad we are going to be getting our favorite pizzas REAL soon so we can load 'em down with these peppers, we just can't wait to try them!

My second preservation activity this week was to make a double batch of our favorite sauce recipe I've created to this point: Green Chile Taco Sauce.

This took awhile, but it was well worth it. We ended up with 11 cups of Green Chile Taco Sauce (I'm not sure why it ended up being an odd number, I think it's because the size of the peppers and tomatoes varies). We kept one cup out to use for a special Mexi-meal I am making this week (that involve those peaches you saw from the market - we are really excited about this one), and the rest went in the freezer for later use.

This is the mound of veggies used in the sauce.

And this is what we ended up with! Yum, yum, yum!

Well, I'm going to start working on the Garden Update, I want to get it posted today.

'Til next time (which should be pretty soon)! ;-)


VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, so sorry that your community garden is experiencing some major issues :0( On the bright side, all of that fresh, local produce looks AMAZING!! Yum!! And that taco sauce sounds delish.

selina said...

thats a lot of food... & a lot of sauce. im working on sauce this week too! only im experimenting. i think i might try to make a mole sauce. not sure. i didnt get tomatillos this week so hopefully next week i can get more & make more salsa verde.

Heather @ SGF said...

Congratulations on your first canning experiment! It's definitely something to be proud of!

Bobbi said...

You've been a busy beaver! Congrats on all the hard work and yummy food!

Anonymous said...

I am stunned at people who are able to produce great gardens. I wish I had the patience and no fear of manure or bugs and worms. Perhaps I can hydroponically garden?

I love your gardening posts - I live vicariously through them!

jessy said...

what a glorious bounty of delicious veggies! your gardens are cranking out the yummies, and yay for the CSA veggies + market loot, too! very cool on making sauces for later - no wasted veggies there! wow! everything looks AWESOME, Jennifer!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - It's alright, the idea behind having the community garden was to learn, and I'd rather have these problems now, when I don't RELY on the gardens for my subsistence than later.

Thanks, the taco sauce IS good, so far, out of all the sauces I've created and tried, this is our favorite.

Selina - It IS a lot of food, and I am a little embarrassed about how much of it has already been eaten, we may eat veg around here, but we're little piggies. We'd probably both be quite chunky if it wasn't all veggies.

Mole, eh? That is quite a challenge, I am going to probably try to tackle that this winter. I've spent some time creating my own mole recipe, just waiting to get the courage to try it out.

We are trying out a new recipe I created for Salsa Picante today, if it's good, we'll post the recipe on the blog later this week or early next week (I'm still behind in my food posts.)

Hehe, glad you like the Salsa Verde.

Heather - Thanks! The real challenge comes when we try them. Do they taste good? Do we survive? Hehehe. I followed the directions so hopefully everything will be fine.

Bobbi - It was a long weekend, but we're happy to have all that sauce put up for winter!

Nikki - Hahaha. I used to be REALLY scared of, well, nature. Worms, bugs, poo, dirt, none of that was really my thing. But over time, learning about things like peak oil and climate change, I'm realizing that these are good skills to have, so I am forcing myself to get over it. My ability to garden COULD be the basis of my survival should things get really bad.

Hydroponic gardening is a good option, but they still have to be fed, so I think, at the very least, you'll have to get comfortable with the poo.

Glad you enjoy the gardening posts!

Jessy - This week's bounty was insane! I'm not nearly as hopeful that next week's booty update will look anything like this one, especially with the squash bugs, but we are very pleased at what we've gotten out of the gardens this year.

Thanks! We love the idea of having sauces made from locally sourced ingredients over the winter. It will be really nice to have those things when there is snow on the ground.

Erin said...

That is a boatload of produce! It all looks so nice. Good job preserving and freezing some of it, the sauce sounds great.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Erin - It WAS a lot of produce, but we've managed to find space in our bellies for a good portion of it already.

Thanks about the food preservation, I am taking off the next couple of Mondays so that I can really get as much put up for the winter as I can. The freezer only has so much space, between the veggies we've got frozen and the sauces, so I am going to be using the canner more over the coming weeks!

Anonymous said...

Those butternut squash are gorgeous! They will be such a treat through the fall/winter :o)

Your sauce looks great! You said you don't have a deep freezer, but you must have a pretty large freezer to keep all that sauce plus everything else you have been freezing?


Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Courtney - I am pleasantly surprised with the production from these butternut plants. I have learned a valuable lesson though, and that is that they are space hogs.

Oh, our freezer is very small, just a standard small unit attached to our fridge. We have been able to preserve all we have because I am getting very good at shoving things in there. I'm afraid I might not be able to freeze much, if anything more, due to space issues, so it might just be canning from here on out.