Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Experiment: Weeks 8 & 9

The sun is shining and summer is here!.....and it's beating the TAR outta my poor plants!
I am beginning to dislike the sun intensely for what it's doing this year. 95degree days in May / June? And now today, high of 70.
My tomatoes are understandably confused.
However, that having been said, I believe this is the best garden year so far!
Over 40 pots and I even have FLOWERS! Y'all should know....I don't do well with flowers on the whole. At all really.
But as far as veggies go...well does anyone out there have a really good recepie for tomato based pasta sauce? One with lots of basil?
The cayannes are going to be strung and dried again, so those should last the winter no problem, but we need a great sauce recepie that can be frosen with no bad effects.
Any help would be GREAT! LOL!
So.....between my new job, Trader Joes and the prospect of lots of great veg from my containers, the local food thing is going swimmingly. The Trenton Farmers Market is also an AMAZING resource! Aside from the logal produce, there's a Polish butcher and an Amish bakery, even a cheese monger! It's like a little time machine in there. There's even a little bodega where you can get Mexican sodas with REAL sugar in them!
Hooray! Thank you for the eye opener Mary.
I also HIGHLY recommend y'all go to the Trader Joes site and check out their food policies. Most things with the TJ label are made in the USA, and if something isn't it's CLEARLY labelled, and ALL their products are non-gmo and natural. We like them. :)
As for the other half of the experiment, I'm doing OK. Ups and downs, strikes and gutters, as the Dude says. I've gotten some GORGEOUS summer skirts from my friend Deb who has MAD tye-dye skills, (Yes tye dye, no I haven't gone hippie....they're just really cool!!!) and have been pretty good about not shopping big chains. My recent purchases have all been from ebay, or hand makers.
I DID have to go to Home Depot last night for pots, but I used a gift card and the pots are for food plants so I think it balances out.
Also, our big yearly party is coming up and we plan to have a table by the porch covered with all the things we want to find new homes for. We are going with the 'yard-give'. We don't want cash for it, just take it home! This way our treasured toys and decorations that just don't fit into this tiny apartment won't end up in a dump somewhere making the planet pissed, but with good people who will love them like we have.
Sappy I know, but I like to think my gargoyles will be happy.
I'm doing some more thinking about the supper club too. I'll have to see who would be interested before I really go to town, but it's still floating around in my head.

OH! By the way....we have defeated both the ants and the aphids this year! Thanks to all of you with the great advice! Looks like the Brussles Sprouts are going to flourish!
Sadly, as usual, I've chattered on too much for pics....maybe next time....


Dria13 said...

I have over 40 tomato plants in this year...a few more than last year. I made a ton of sauce that is frozen and holds great. It is a fresh roasted sauce. Quarter or eighth your tomatoes and place in a deep roasting pan, add chunks of onion equal to about a third of the tomatoes. Throw in a bunch of garlic cloves (whole) and basil. I use a lot but garlic and basil are to your taste preference. Toss the whole mess with some good coconut oil to coat.( I like virgin hand pressed coconut but you can use any oil you like..olive...peanut) Roast around 375 -400 degrees stirring once in a while. It's good to have some charring but not too much. When it smells just nummy (1 -2 hours) pull it out to cool. Chop in a food processor to make a chunky but pourable sauce. Cook down on stove top a little to thicken and add a touch of salt AND sugar to meld the flavors. Serve over anything...pasta, meatballs, chicken Parmesan......Enjoy!

Deb said...

Ooh, I'm all *blushing* at the tie-dye shout-out - but loving it all the same. :-)

Another coconut oil fan here. Super-stable in high heat so won't go rancid. We order it by the gallon here, lasts us maybe 9-10 months. And it is THE best for making popcorn too, as my kids will attest.

We only have a couple tomato plants since nightshade veggies don't get along with us well but there's still nothing like the flavor of fresh tomatoes, so 2 slicing and one cherry plat is all we have tomato-wise. Okra grows really well in heat, as do most nightshades. If you have a place for a big plastic barrel, you can grow a potato plant inside; I've seen some links that talk about using stacked-up tired for growing potatoes. Lots of green beans here, wish I had more of them, but enough pepper plants to make salsa for us (a la Nourishing Traditions, so fermented and not just soaked in vinegar) and for gifts for others. Cucumbers too - but you HAVE to keep them watered or they get bitter. Found that out the hard way last year after a week at the beach resulted in no more cukes for us that summer. :-(

We use most of our basil to make pesto - we jut can't plant enough basil for our pesto addiction! And it's so so easy to incorporate other greens like kale or chard or spinach into pesto - green is green, and my kids can't tell the difference. LOL As long as there's enough basil and garlic (we grow that too, super-easy!), they have no CLUE that it's half basil and half kale (or whatever combo of greens, including beet greens and dandelion) might be in there!

Nom nom nom!!!

Gypsycaster said... usual a culinary GODDESS!!! We will DEFINATELY try out your sauce recipie. Tim loves roasted tomatoes! Wer'e checking into the coconut oil thing, I'm not sure I can have it (Triglyceride levels), but Tim should be fine. We mostly use Olive for EVERYTHING except baking.

Deb....but of COURSE doll!!! Your work is amazing! The only tye dye cool enough for me to love!
As for the tomatoes, I'm allergic myself, so they're ALL for Tim! LOL! Bruchetta and sauce for the whole winter is the goal. I'm with you on the Basil though. PESTO = HAPPY!!!!!
And thanks for the info on the bitter cukes too. I'm trying to keep up, but we have zero shade on this porch so I ended up putting the cuke pot behind a pepper pot for shade. LOL! Works so far!
Now are beet greens a sweet green or bitter like dandelion??