Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Family Affair

The fruits of summers bring a lot of work.

The week before school started, I tried to roast Anaheim peppers. They are a great  pepper. In the garden the plants are prolific producers. They have just a bit of bite for the faint of heart (me) when it comes to heat in favorite recipes. I've put them with scrambled eggs, in stir frys, any dish that calls for green pepper.

My first try at roasting pepper. I put them on the gas grill

Some are pretty charred, to say the least.

 Next, I put them in a zip lock to steam for a few minutes so that the peeling will come off more easily. HA.

A big mess. I did peel them and managed to save a few for freezing. My friend who runs a small restaurant told me how she does her peppers. She puts them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes then puts them on the grill. She says the skins will just pop off. I'll try that next time. Do you have any suggestions?

Next, I froze the jalapeno peppers. My friend just pops them in the freezer bag whole. For her restaurant's salsa, she boils the jalapenos first. That's about all she would say about her salsa. Secret recipe, you know. Any good salsa recipes out there?

Tomatoes were next. Here they are in the hot water bath to loosen to peel. You can see the peeling begin to crack. After about 2 minutes or until the peeling splits, I put the tomatoes in an ice water bath to peel them. I put them in the blender and made pulpy juice which I froze. I had two varieties, yellow tomatoes and red beef master, that I processed separately.

Beef Master and a coupe of heirloom tomatoes that were really hard to peel.

Nicely pureed in the blender

I laid the pulp on a flat surface so that the puree would freeze nice and flat.

Next: Pears and Peaches. I had a half a bushel of each. The pears were work intensive. They have to be peeled and cored.

The girls came to help. Actually, Jennifer enjoys working in the kitchen. The pears were work intensive-Jen pealed, I cored..

Baby Nathan hauled nut shells around the counter top. His brother Jacob spent the day hanging out with  grandpa doing guy stuff.

(She's gonna hate this photo) And Heather, not so crazy about kitchen duties, helped out immensely by shampooing my carpet. I must mention, too, that she brought me a carload of transplants from her garden: meadow rue, Jerusalem Artichoke, prim rose,  couple of spruce seedlings, and an Endless Summer blue hydrangea that I am going to try my best not kill. Thank You Heather.

The fruits of our labor.

Flower of the Week

New to the garden, Gladiolas, a favorite. Mine didn't too well--they grew pretty crooked--. I picked them so that I could enjoy them in the house. Remember how popular they used to be in formal arrangements? They are so much fun to grow and really beautiful, too.

Teddy Bear Sunflower, A Beautiful Giant

Teddy's last portrait. It really is an impressive flower with its multiple flower heads. I didn't realize that it would have multiple flower heads. As I said before, I planted six seeds, with only one germinating. Can you imagine an entire row of these beauties?

Back to work tomorrow. Next weekend we will have two more boxes of peaches to can. Please share some of your favorite ways that you preserve your bountiful harvest, especially salsas. I want to can salsa and pickle relish, too.  Hope you all have a good week.


  1. Wonderful captures! These are photos and stories that will remain meaningful throughout the years to come for your family. Even as an outsider, I enjoy watching Nathan haul the nut shells.

    The fruits of your labor is inspiring and glad you shared Teddy's gorgeous last portrait.

  2. What a wonderful harvest you had!
    Teddy is so gorgeous, I must see if I can find seeds here.

  3. Yummm! I hope to be you one day soon with that canning. It is one of my future goals. I hope it is as easy as it looks, I do know that it takes a few steps but it looks simple and fun to do, everything looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Your canned fruit is so beautiful..very rewarding, I think, to can.

  5. My mom still cans like crazy and there are only two people living at her home.
    Those preserves are going to be such a treat on cold winter's day!
    Love the teddy bear sunflower!

  6. Hi Ann,
    Ooohhh this is just fabulous and i want to live like this..we have bought books on growing our own produce for when we move to the cottage,i have no recipes and no tips i'm afraid but if i hear of any i will let you know.
    Jennifer is really pretty and teddy is just wow!
    I love beef tomatoes so much Ann and my eyes nearly popped out when i saw your harvest,they have such a gorgeous taste :)
    Love gladioli's so pretty

  7. Mom-You know me so well. I do not like my photo. Next time you can take a nice photo of me to share with our blogger friends. My sister is very pretty and amazing in the kitchen. We had a wonderful time. Great photos. And it is jerusalem sage. Just mulch everybody with compost and they will be happy this fall. And water, winter water here is key. Love you!

  8. That should keep you going for a while!
    We have lots of green tomatoes so I will be making green tomato chutney I think.
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog about Top Withens, I do hope you make it up there next time you are in Yorkshire, & call in for a cup of tea!