I already miss warm summer evenings, call me crazy. But time is ticking away for my tomato plants as the evenings get chilly and the nights become perfect for bonfires and terrible for cold intolerant plants.
I pruned back the tomato plants that survived the summer around September, and now we have pounds and pounds of green tomatoes hanging heavily from lanky branches. I keep waiting to see the first signs of ripeness. No luck yet. At worst, we hit a cold snap and these precious heirlooms will turn into fried green tomatoes and roasted green tomatoes with feta.
What I really long for are ripe tomatoes, the last bites of summer. Continue reading
Austin harvested quite a few habaneros this weekend from our garden, and I made spicy vinegar with them — a super simple way to store them for future culinary use.
The other method I like to use to preserve them is dehydration, but making chili powder takes more time.
If I had any fruit, I would have opted for a habanero jam. Alas, we did not. That idea will have to wait until peaches or blackberries are in season again.
The vinegar is best after a couple of weeks, and we just use plain white vinegar. I refill it with vinegar when the level gets low and peppers are exposed to air. I try to avoid that air exposure so that the nasty microorganisms don’t spoil the food. It is highly acidic, so no need for sterilizing the jar more than a good clean and no need to refrigerate.
Here are some ways we use spicy vinegar in our house:
- Serve it as a condiment for fried fish or fried veggies, eggs or tacos.
- Use it to make a vinegarette.
- Add a little fish sauce and lime juice for a delicious Thai hot sauce to use with Asian inspired dishes
You could also probably use it to make a delicious meat marinade. I just haven’t tried that one yet.
The thumping life rhythm in my chest stretches arms out, limbs curling toward the sun like the tendril of a green bean recently emerged from the soil.
A cotyledon’s tender true leaves come unhinged and two stronger leaves unfurl.
The tendrils grow and grasp until a trellis is found — oh miraculous mound of earth that placed me so close to a chainlink ladder. I’m lucky. I’m upward bound, no eyes to look down.
Somewhere near me human eyes blink. And during that space between observation and appreciation, my leaves crash up, ever up, toward the rainbow hiding in every blue sky.
Soon blossoms will grace the crooks of my arms — from which I will nourish the tender pods created like all living things create beauty. Simply. Living fully.
I am thankful for rich, dark soil.