Partly to combat my aversion to many vegetables, I started growing zucchini, string beans, carrots, beets, and radishes, in the hopes that I might learn to like them. Well, the thing with actually being successful in growing my own vegetables is that at some point, I do have to harvest, cook, and eat them. Today, I would like to share with you my (suprisingly) enjoyable experience cooking the zucchini from last week’s harvest. I found this recipe for zucchini bread at Smitten Kitchen. The recipe looked easy to make and garnered many raves reviews from Deb’s readers. Since I only had one zucchini at the moment, I opted to cut the recipe in half to make a dozen muffins.
So far this summer, I have harvested about 2 1/2 pounds of jalapeños. Pickling these medium-hot peppers in vinegar is a fast and easy way to preserve them. These are much better than the canned ones that are found at grocery stores. To retain their crisp texture, jalapeños are picked once they turn a shiny dark green color. If left on the plant, the peppers will eventually turn red. It is best to pickle jalapeños before they change colors because fully-ripe red ones, while sweeter, end up softer than the green ones.
Today, I picked the first two tomatoes (the two reddest ones on the left) on my Sweet 100 tomato plant. A few more are going to be ready in a couple of days. There are lots of flowers and small fruits growing on this plant and in a week or so, I’ll be harvesting many more. My other tomato plant, a Yellow Pear, is loaded with about 75 fruit, but it is taking its time in ripening. It probably won’t be ready for harvesting until early August. I can’t wait to eat homegrown tomatoes that are sweet, juicy, and flavorful.
In addition to the tomatoes, I also harvested another 7 jalapeños for Chris to pickle in vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, coriander seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. This brings our total harvest count to: 14 jalapeños and 2 cherry tomatoes.
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Today, only 49 days after planting the little seedlings (see May 22 entry), I harvested seven jalapeño peppers. With ample water and sunlight, the scrawny plants have now grown to about 2 feet, with minimum care. The ripe jalapeños were about 3-inches long with a bright shiny green color. There are still about 10-15 peppers ready to be harvested, and many more blossoms. I will harvest more in a couple of days, but leave some of them on the plant until they turn red. The red jalapeño peppers are sweeter and not quite as hot.
Since I don’t use jalapeño peppers regularly, I need to figure out what to do with all these peppers since I don’t want them to go to waste. I can probably freeze or pickle them, preserve them in olive oil, or add them to homemade salsa. In the meantime, we sliced the peppers for Southwest burgers, stuffed them with goat cheese for poppers, and added to some pub cheese (another good buy from Trader Joe’s) for nachos. None of our dishes were very original or creative, but they were all very tasty!
© Daisy’s World, 2011-2013. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.