For a Second There…

…I thought I didn’t have a single tomato in the house.  I was mixing some yogurt into the last bit of refrigerated corn relish for a snack and thought a tomato or two would make a nice addition.  Looked around the kitchen–no tomatoes.

What the…?

Oh, yeah–there’s a whole box of ’em in the living room.

That’s what it comes to this time of year, when I can’t keep track of all the produce in my house, and still I keep bringing home more.

Winter squashToday, the first of the winter squash came home from the farm.  The bright yellow one is a spaghetti squash that hybridized with something else–but they’re still quite good.  The knobbly thing? No guess, but it’ll make a nice fall decoration.

I swear next year I won’t plant any random squash seed.  I swear….

The big one is a Neck Pumpkin–a sort of Butternut-Gone-Wild that has amazingly sweet delicious flesh–and a LOT of it.  The seeds are all contained in the little bulb at the end, and the rest is pure squashy goodness–close to a foot and a half of it.

What amazes me about the neck pumpkins is that the vines are STILL throwing new fruits.  I thought I only stood to get about three full-sized fruits after I had to toss a badly misshapen one, but lo and behold, there’s another behemoth, plus one or two little ones sizing up fast besides the two other full-sized-but-not-ready-to-pick fruits.

I might actually need to sell one or two at the farmers market this year–three neck pumpkins is probably about all the butternut-type squash I’ll need–though my “pumpkin” pie-eating son might beg to differ.

In other fun news, I picked up the two stoneware crocks today from my friend who also lent them to me last year for pickle-making.  I’ve already got the first little cukes brining in the 3-gallon crock, and I’m thinking of a fabulous fermented mixed pickle for the five-gallon one.

Another quick pickle’s coming soon–when these peppers finish ripening:

Italian Sweet peppersThese are Italian Sweets, and I haven’t picked a single pepper off any one of the (only) four plants I have of this variety this year.  If you’ve ever wondered why red sweet peppers are so much more expensive than green ones, it’s because they take their sweet time to ripen, and many bad things can happen in that time–hail, bugs, blight, etc.

But once your peppers start turning red in the field, you can pick them, and they’ll continue to ripen in the safety of your home.

That is, assuming your home is a safe place for ripening peppers.

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