Monday, October 7, 2019

Harvest Monday - 7 October 2019

We had two frost advisories over the weekend. The air temperature never really got to freezing, but close to it, and there was frost on surfaces, which is a phenomenon I don't quite understand.

Needless to say, there was a bit of a scramble to harvest tender crops before this happened. This resulted in several "first harvests" of the year.

First up is Habanero peppers. I grew these just to see if I could do it in this climate. Not bad results!

Habaneros
Next is Brazilian Starfish peppers, and mystery eggplants! As you can see, the peppers did not reach full red-ripeness, and are small. These won't make the cut next year. As for the eggplants, I mentioned a few weeks ago how little we liked the Thai Yellow Egg variety. On top of that, one of the plants did not grow to type. But the result is a beautifully colored fruit about the size of a goose egg.

Brazilian Starfish pepper and mystery eggplant
Otherwise I brought in a good haul of sweet peppers. These were cut up and frozen, except for the shishitos on the right, which we grilled in the usual way. Having enjoyed them each week for three months, I can say we've had our limit for the year. Heresy, I know.


Also a good haul of eggplants, which were blanched and frozen.


And so many hot peppers! With what we had in the fridge there was a need to use them all up.


Note the Sugar Rush Peach peppers on the far right. A little story about them. I had read that roasting them really brings out the sweetness, so we did that with the batch picked the previous week, without seeding. We eagerly took our first bite, and there truly was a rush of sweetness and fruit. Then POW! The heat hit us like a punch in the face! We couldn't eat any more of them, but we found a use.

The solution to the hot pepper surplus was a surprisingly simple way to make varietal hot sauces. This uses unseeded, un-fermented peppers, chopped, simmered in white vinegar and salt, blended, then put through a sieve. Here's the yield:


From left we have one bottle of Hot Lemon Pepper sauce, two and a half of 50/50 cayenne and Thai Hot Chile, three and a quarter of Roasted Sugar Rush Peach pepper sauce, and three and a half of Habanero. Each has its own complexity and flavor profile. I haven't chosen a favorite yet. Surprisingly, the Habanero, which I though would be atomic, is not all that hot. Maybe our climate keeps the heat down.

In other events this week, I shelled the dried runner beans. They were less productive than last year, but I still got enough for next year's seeds plus a side dish.

"Sunset" scarlet runner beans
And The Kitchen Goddess has been picking raspberries nearly every day. She likes it!


But the biggest harvest of the week I can take no credit for. TKG and her mom went to their community garden plot and came back with forty pounds of sweet potatoes!

Georgia Jet sweet potatoes.
I guess I'm going to have to learn to like them.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dave at HappyAcres.blog for keeping the Harvest Monday tradition going.

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely display of hot sauces! I have made it the way you described, if not with the same peppers. I hate to think about first frost, but it's coming here soon too. For me it's always a mad scramble with the last of the peppers. That's a great haul of sweet potatoes too.

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    1. Thanks, Dave. Looks like frost is still a ways off, for now.

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  2. You do grow some unusual things. I didn't realize you could blanch and freeze eggplant. I should try it for later eggplant Parmesan. Commend your wife on the raspberries and sweet potatoes. We'll see what survives the frost next week.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. We especially like the frozen eggplant in rich Indian sauces like Tikka Masala.

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