Monday, August 27, 2012

Harvest Monday: hot off the grill

Summer grillin' & chillin'

This week's harvest looks just like last week's, so for a change of pace I present the after photos. All of those cute cherry tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers photograph even better when you spear 'em and show 'em the grill (wish I could say that I also caught the tuna for the kebabs). Throw in some xmas lights and candles to set the mood and you're in for a memorable evening that cost you nothing more than maybe a bit of smoke in your eyes. The peaches are not from our tree but with any luck, as soon as the suckers start ripening they will meet their fate over the hot coals too. Grilling peaches is not something italians normally do at a grigliata/bbq, but when my husband had his first taste, he became an instant fan of throwing fruit on the fire as an instant dessert.

Instead of the "big soak" that was forecasted, we received what I'd call a tizzle - just enough to tickle the leaves and to stand in the passing drizzle. Linking to Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Todays high: 26°C / 79°F

Monday, August 20, 2012

Harvest Monday: peppers are coming in

Picked this morning: Violetta di Firenze eggplant, datterini and regular cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, habanero chocolate, zukes and tomatillos

Judging from other garden blogs, tallying weekly totals is also the thing to do if you've got a lot of different vegetables growing in the garden. With my handful of this and 1 or 2 of that, I didn't think I'd have enough to make it count but boy was I ever wrong. Between the cherry tomatoes, zukes, one-eggplant-a-week and peppers, I was surprised to learn that I took in just under 7½ pounds of harvest within the last 7 days. Enough for just the 2 of us with no extra leftover. This morning, however, was the BIG day as I was able to pick one ripe habanero chocolate and the first red bell peppers along with the rest of what's shown here.

Habanero chocolate Beet seedlings

We are expecting a forecast of thunderstorms this weekend which should temporarily cool things a bit, aside from giving us a good soak, plus it should be easier on the 28 beet seedlings that will be transplanted for a fall harvest. Linking up with Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Todays high: 32°C / 90°F

Monday, August 13, 2012

Harvest Monday

Harvest Monday 8.13.12

The garden is still mosying along, offering a little bit of this and that for our own consumption but never enough to share with our neighbors. We may even see a bit of a setback as the temps have gotten cooler. This, I think, is affecting the cayenne pepper plants as they are loaded with peppers yet none have turned red. I like to add them chopped in pasta salad or fried rice, so I'm hoping they'll have enough of a kick.

Shiso | Perilla

The one crop that I'm getting a lot of are shiso/perilla leaves, and I pick them in all sizes. Small leaves go into a mixed green salad, larger ones are used as a "wrap" to hold sushi rice and tuna, and the rest gets tucked into summer rolls along with whatever vegetable that's sitting in the fridge. Summer is a great season for finger food, and these here have shredded cabbage and carrots, romaine, shiso and cocktail shrimp. Served with a spicy peanut butter sauce, they make an ideal lunch with beer!

Summer rolls with shiso

At Lecco's Saturday market

Saturday at Lecco market

Loads of stone and clingstone fruits at the weekly open market and while I've tried the sangue di drago (dragon's blood) plums before, this is the first time I've seen goccia d'oro (drop of gold) or shiro plums. They are sweet, even better than the dragon's blood ones. Prices are ranging between 1.49€ - 1.99€/kilo. Head on over to Daphne's for more of Harvest Monday!

Todays high: 24°C / 75°F

Monday, August 6, 2012

Harvest Monday

Harvest Monday 8.6.12
Eggplant, zuke, yellow bell, a pound of datterini and calabrian chile peppers.

7:15 am, hold the coffee! - I was so excited to be able to finally participate in Daphne's Harvest Monday roundup that the dogs were fed, the husband's bento lunch packed, and I was out the door picking these before the pups could thank me with a burp in the face. Snipping off that dark, shiny Violetta di Firenze eggplant was such a happy moment as it is very difficult to cultivate hot weather crops in this cooler mountain climate. The highest it has been is 86°F and we suffer! Weaklings. This year is certainly not one of my better seasons for gardening, and with the exception of the Cherokee Purple and Marmande heirlooms (which still have a ways to go), everything in this photo started as seedlings from the nursery.

Todays high: 26°C / 79°F