Tomatoes, garlic, and basil - bring on the French bread
The sesame pods are growing
Grape jelly, seedless dried grapes, dried tomatoes, and grape jam
These seedless homemade Reliance raisins are really good
Big Beef tomato
Earl of Edgecombe
Grub's Mystery Green - this is an amazingly good tomato
Big Bomb pepper - Hot -much hotter than the Volcano variety.
We are dry again and so some rain would be nice. This is an excellent Labor Day weekend - warm, sunny, and mostly windless. I have used all the rain water again, this time on the beans, and so I sure would like some showers. With this cool dry summer some folks are still waiting on a good tomato crop. We on the other hand have a very nice harvest.
The season for stocking up has arrived and I have made some more jam and jelly, and have started the dehydrator for the season.
I used Reliance grapes, a seedless variety, and made a great batch of grape jam - tangy and to be sure I got a nice blush to the product I added a splash of Merlot wine to the juice - the result was very nice. The jam is tart and is nice and firm ( I have had troubles with grapes in the past so I am used commercial pectin to help the jelly and jam set). The other batch of grapes was a seeded variety called Trolhaugen, small but with good flavor, and this batch was made into jelly. It too had a good set and a great tangy taste.
While I had fresh grapes I also dried some. I cut the Reliance in half to open the flesh to the dehydrator fan and left the Trolhaugen whole. Both dried will and both are sweet. I also had some seedless black grapes that were store bought and so I cut them in half and dried them too.
With the tomatoes ripe I wanted to dry some of them also. I picked Sugary and Sweet Olives, cut them in half and in quarters and dried them. These dried tomaotes have a good flavor and nice bright color. I you have never dried tomatoes try it this season. They are great on salads in the winter or just as a snack to remind you in winter of what summer tasted like.
I have opened up space in the garden for some fall leaf crops, kale, lettuce, celery cabbage and hope to get those seedlings in the ground soon - maybe tomorrow. The beans and cucumbers are really producing and the peppers are ready also. As space allows I will include pictures of the peppers. However, my plant labels for the cucumbers are a mess and so I really can't make any comments on the varieties I planted. I will just have to make a better paper record for the trellis just like I have done for the tomatoes and peppers. I do know that one variety called Paradise is making a nice crop but the Diva is not doing so good- they are swelling rapidly instead of staying small and slender as in the past. The slugs are getting both tomatoes and cucumbers that are close to the ground and when I plant the celery cabbage (Napa) in the cold frames I intend to treat with "Slugo" - its war on slugs.
The St. Edmund's Russet apples are ripe and I harvest a few each day. We have another early apple that is very good but for some reason the tag on the branch does not have a name or number so its another mystery fruit. The Big Bomb peppers are really HOT. They should make excellent hot pepper jelly later when I have more apples for juice.
And now for the Bruschetta Recipe that has been requested. We enjoy this with Susan's bread now that tomatoes and garlic are in good supply.
This is all approximate, so experiment and make to your taste...
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of parsley
10-12 fresh basil leaves
3-5 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic pressed
1 small onion diced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ( optional)
Black pepper, salt to taste
Chop parsley and basil. Mix with other ingredients. Let this sit for an hour or more, even overnight will allow the flavors to meld. Cut some of that French bread that you made from last week's posting and lightly toast it, and then rub with a clove of garlic and dish up a helping of the Bruschetta with juices and enjoy..