Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pears and Peppers

It's the time of year for football and fall crops. Time to start wearing wool socks and fleece. It does seem like it got here too quickly, but it's that time warp thing again. I do love the fall crops because of the variety, color, and durability of them.

The color ... just look at the califlower available yesterday at Sunny Farms. Vibrant.
Then we have the green of the green beans (this is the Pacific Northwest area remember, where tomatoes and beans are fall crops).

Finally, the glowing red of peppers.
Yesterday Susan and I processed pears and peppers for good winter eating. The pears are packed in unsweetened apple juice with a cinnamon stick in each jar. The peppers are the long sweet carmen reds, standard green bell, and pimento peppers. Yum. These have been cleaned and seeded and will be kept in the freezer for cooking this winter.

Dinner last night was amazing, and I'm taking credit for coming up with a winner. We had apple juice left over (in which we had blanched the pears), and some apples. I decided to roast the pork chops using the juice and fruit, with a brown sugar rub on them. I also put a red onion and fresh garlic on the chops and let them cook in the oven for an hour. Wow, I had a winner (you never know when "experimenting").
I made a big pot of stir fry veggies with some peppers, and other veggies from the garden, which included chipolini onions, garlic, bok choy, green beans, zucchini, patty pan squash and broccoli. With just a bit of salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil, we had another hit. I really do like it when my dinners come out alright.
Our garden is on its last run for the most part. We have harvested acorn squash and potatoes, and will harvest more in a couple of weeks. We will be harvesting collards, bok choy, and spinach for winter greens as long as it doesn't freeze. We are hoping the brussel sprouts will have some little baby cabbages for us, but we aren't holding our breath on that. The asparagus have done beautifully through the summer and are getting ready to hunker down for the winter.

Finally, the beds are ready for planting the garlic in a couple of weeks. With that task done, it will be time to do the final cleaning of the garden, and put it down for the winter.
Even though it's been a cooler summer than usual, our garden has provided us with many rewards for which we are grateful. One of the fun things about gardening is you just never know what each year will bring.
Like this volunteer cherry tomato plant growing out of the compost bin. There are a few green tomatoes, but I doubt we will get any ripe tomatoes from this plant. I did find, however, this ...

Looks like a sock for Halloween, or more specifically, to wear in support of the Oregon State Beavers. Go Beavs!!!!!!



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