Sunday, August 07, 2016

Summer Bounty

This is the time the garden goes into overdrive, yet also some things go by and need to be taken out. Most of the squashes have succumbed to powdery mildew and senescence, and I've harvested a number of winter squash.  And of course, LOTS and LOTS of tomatoes.

Clockwise from top left: Hawaiian pineapple tomatoes, Early Girl tomatoes, Emerald kabocha, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Black Kim tomatoes (that white patch is sunscald, cuts right off)  Harvested 7/30/16.

A couple of Kamo Kamo mature squash I missed on the vine that intertwingled with the tomato cages, and another huge colander full of Early Girl, harvested 8/6/16.

One happy part of the tomato overload is that combining them with basil and mozarella for a fresh caprese salad is easy and delicious.   

Drizzle with olive oil (I used Meyer Lemon olive oil) and balsamic vinegar (I used Fig Balsamic) and enjoy!

Speaking of figs, the green-skinned amber interior Mystery Figs are ripening at a tremendous pace. Why Mystery Figs?  Because when I ordered my Violetta fig tree, the nursery had some half-priced saplings whose tags had been lost-- nobody was sure what variety they were.  But at half-price, I said, sure, and got a second fig sapling!   I picked about 5 pounds of figs today, on the bottom third of the tree which is as far as I can reach, and they are simmering on the stove making (I hope) fig jam.  I added 1 cup of coconut sugar (for richness), 3 cups of white sugar, some orange juice, some lemon juice, some Blood Orange olive oil and some Meyer Lemon olive oil.    I also added some cardamom and cloves.   Here are the sugared figs before I added more liquid; some of them were squishy-ripe, so they had some liquid already:

I haven't made jam since making blackberry jam as a kid with my mom.  I know to reduce it until it clings to a spoon, and that this jam doesn't need pectin because the figs have enough of it already.  It's going to be refrigerator and freezer jam, I'm not doing the whole paraffin sealing thing or the water bath canning.  Wish me luck!  


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