Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mixed Harvests

We're just coming into the Attack of the Prolific Tomato times, but up to now it's been, as my husband's grandmother used to say, "a bissel of this, a bissel of that". For instance, the mixed bag shown in this photo: cherry tomatoes, some wax beans, some chinese long beans, a papaya pear squash, and an heirloom or two. What's a gal to do? Mix, match, and save, as the mood strikes. Hello, weekend herb bloggers! I've been so busy lately that I haven't posted, gotta fix that!

For instance, I still prefer wax beans by themselves, with a little bit of butter. I normally use healthy olive oil on things, and light olive oil for cooking, but there are times when butter is mandatory. My grandmother cooked yellow wax beans with a nice lump of salt pork, but that doesn't fly with my Jewish-raised hubby. Fortunately, garden-fresh beans will last quite a while in the veggie crisper in an open plastic bag, so it only takes a few days to get enough to steam separately.

The chinese long beans are still new to me, but they seem to taste just like any other bean, yum. Our original vision was one of stir-fry, but that hasn't quite happened yet. I've given some away, and will experiment with the rest. The plant itself, unfortunately, has been subject to savage aphid infestations that I've been unable to hold in check. I'm going to just have to take it down soon, I wash them off, I safer-soap them off, and a day or two later they're back in force. The ants are helping them, bah. I may try some this fall in our greenhouse, after I put up tulle or screen over the vents to keep aphids out.

The tomato problem is not yet a problem, as it's still a delight to eat them fresh. The little salad tomatoes, such as Green Zebra and Tigerella, shown here, are a tempting pluck from the plant when passing by the back garden area. We have a squirrel that is being VERY obnoxious, stripping the Black Plum tomato from the ground up. It also yanked a Hawaiian Pineapple off the vine, namely the yellow one in the first picture, in the foreground. Rodent teethmarks in this big tomato where it pulled, then was startled away, will be cut out. I've been ripening it under a glass bowl with a banana or two, and it's doing nicely. The Aunt Ruby's German Green is slightly tart, with a kind of creamy texture, very nice.