Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Colors

Happy Halloween! There is no denying it, fall is here.  There was a good amount of wind blowing through my neighborhood all day.  Most of the trees were already bare, but those that were not, are now.  Saturday night we turn back our clocks and if you are like me, you are wondering how is it possible that tomorrow is November 1st?  Honestly, where did this year go?
Fortunately I love the Fall colors, with so many shades of orange, red and yellow.  Nothing says Fall quite like copper mums. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Multi-Grain Museli

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Here's a quick make-ahead museli that will give you a jump start on your busy day.  I adapted this from a favorite cookbook of mine, Grain Mains, which is loaded with delicious and wonderful whole grain ideas.
According to Wikipedia, museli was introduced by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benne around 1900 for patients in his hospital where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Having grown five varieties of Heirloom tomatoes this summer, I decided to try my hand at saving seeds from each.  Heirloom seeds have a shorter shelf life, but you can acquire new seeds each growing season, so I really don't see that as a problem.  The characteristics of a plant grown from heirloom seeds are true to that of the mother plant, unlike seeds saved from a hybridized plant where there is no assurance of what you'll get.  In the 1940's F1 hybrids were started in order to offer different varieties.  The hybrids had a tougher skin which gave them a longer shelf life, thereby improving the quality of shipped tomatoes.
To collect my seeds, I held one tomato of each variety over a glass container and squeezed the seeds out.  Clockwise from the top left corner: Black Krim, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Green Zebra, Mortgage Lifter and Cherokee Purple.

Monday, October 28, 2013

End of Summer Eggplant

I have to admit these globe eggplants are a little on the small side.  Together the three of them barely tip the scale at just over one pound.  But it was either pick them or lose them, so I did.  Now what to do with them?
Luckily, I stumbled upon Barbara Kafka's easy and delicious Marinated Eggplant that is cooked in none other than a microwave.  While thinking this is too good to be true, what did I have to loose?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY Energy Bars

When it's late afternoon and you haven't quite finished your To Do list, you might want to reach for one of these little beauties.   There is no reason you can't have a container of healthy energy bars on hand, especially when these are so easy to throw together.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mostly Heirloom Tomato Soup

Just as cooler temperatures are settling in, I came across a basic cream of tomato soup recipe in the Soup & Bread Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas and was inspired to create.  As chance would have it, all my semi-ripe and green tomatoes on the vines had to be brought inside to finish ripening due to frost warnings.  But rather than looking at it as 'Darn, my dining room table is covered in unripe tomatoes',  I'm thinking this is a good thing.  I can keep tabs on their ripening progress and plan accordingly.  
The heirlooms I used are Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Cherokee Purple, and Mortgage Lifter, along with Green Zebra and Black Krim which are not pictured.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

I don't know where this sweet potato pound cake recipe came from, only that I added it to my cake folder in February 2012.  Bob likes anything with sweet potatoes, for that matter he may have sent me this recipe.  Bob's birthday was yesterday and this was his birthday cake.
It is so moist and delicious.  I roasted and pureed the sweet potatoes the day before, which made the assembly on baking day a piece of cake (I couldn't help myself.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

On the corner of Summer & Fall

We are now at the corner of summer and fall.  While some days the temperature is in the mid 70's, the daylight hours are getting shorter, mums are in full bloom and you can't help but notice the golden leaves collecting on the ground. 
All the tomato plants from the garden with the exception of my still ripening tomatillos, have been added to the compost pile.  We have both anerobic and aerobic compost piles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Red, White & Blue Potatoes

This summer we grew our first crop of potatoes.  After reading a little bit and talking to a few friends who had grown them we decided to give it a try. There are as many ways to grow potatoes as there are different varieties.  Having transplanted the horseradish to another location in the yard there was an available space to build a potato box.
I had purchased some red seed potatoes a few weeks earlier and set them in a cool place to sprout.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pineapple Tomatillos & Oatmeal

For the past several years I've been growing Pineapple Tomatillos, tossing them into salads and eating them as a treat while I worked in the garden.  They are much smaller than the regular green or purple variety, about the size of your thumbnail.  In fact the only thing they all have in common is the little paper lantern that precedes the fruit, so to shield it as it grows inside.
There is the age old question... is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Squirrel Who Loves Tomatoes

The squirrel that shares in our garden harvest was filling himself, much the same as a bear about to go into hibernation, with cherry tomatoes.  Truly, as I watched him watch me, he handpicked nearly a dozen and enjoyed quite the feast.  However, I much prefer him eating those rather than taking a few bites out of a luscious ripe tomato, leaving 7/8ths of it to rot away.
Snowfall in the mountains doesn't come as a surprise when the calendar changes from September to October.  Even down in the foothills we are ready for the light dusting.