This would be a great teaching tool to use with kids, perhaps even to inspire a new art/food project
Monthly Archives: August 2013
What started out as a charmingly laid-back summer rushed to its end. School has started, and with it, a tighter schedule.
The transition seems like a good time to reflect back on some of the summer projects. It feels a teensy bit mean to do this as tomatoes wind down their season, at least in our neck of the woods. But I think for perhaps the first time, we had our surfeit of ripe tomatoes. Here’s a few of the simple way we used them, in addition to canning salsa, and regular doses of pico de gallo.
One of the simplest meals, and a nice breakfast or lunch is to simply saute with a couple of eggs over-easy, and top with basil and crumbled cheese (queso fresca here, or you could use feta).
I made a few quick pasta sauces. This is tomatoes, onions, peppers with sausage from a local butcher I discovered!
Several times, I threw a bunch into my Pyrex with onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. I roasted them at about 450 until they collapsed and browned slightly, then pureed them into a tomato sauce. They turn intensely sweet and a little bit creamy.
The abundance of tomatoes was joined by tons of peppers. I made a quick piperade that we tossed with various things–pasta, on pizza, with chicken for fajitas.
Tim loves bulgur or couscous salads to pack for his lunch. Herbs, vegetables (onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber), cheese (queso fresca or feta), lemon or lime juice or vinegar, olive oil.
And homemade pizza has become a standby at our place. Garlic, olive oil, thinly sliced tomatoes, garlic and herb goat cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh basil tossed on after it comes out of the oven.
It was a live-and-learn summer with the porch garden. Paired with the unusual weather (hello, more rain than I remember in any other summer down here!), there were some porch garden casualties. After dozens of blossoms, I had 4-5 healthy zucchini from the porch, before the plants drowned in the deluge. I think zucchini would work in a future garden, I think I would drill holes in the storage container to allow for more drainage.
The Asian long beans were lovely. I had carefully created a bamboo support system from poles that I had foraged. But then, alas, an infestation of spider mites demolished the plants while I was still playing Dr. Google to find home solutions to the problem.
The tomatoes (cherry, pear and patio), however, and the yellow “snacking” bell pepper plant have been abundant beyond my wildest hopes. Here’s today’s harvest, at least what made it inside. The kids decided that the cherry tomatoes are like candy, and eat them by the handfuls.
In the meantime, I’ve scattered green onion seeds over the containers of plants that bit the dust, hoping for an autumn harvest. May pop in some garlic gloves a bit later on as well. Need to come up with some other (easy) fall vegetable plants as well.