We awoke this morning and were greeted by darkened skies and a threat of rain that eventually became a reality! In other words, we had rain this morning! Several friends texted me to share that they were excited for us since rain would be our salve! I tried to sound very enthusiastic in my replies, but basically, it would take a week of rain make up for what we missed out on in the last 8 weeks! Although the rain has currently let up enough for the Cardinals to play baseball and the Rams fans to do some tailgating, there is some prediction for more rain later tonight, so we have our fingers crossed.
One of the best parts of getting some rain this morning meant that Farmer Dave had a day off from the constant watering. Not knowing that the rain would amount to much, we still ran our sprinkler system in the front landscape beds since the oak trees out front sap everything they can from the other trees, so there is no amount of over watering out there that could happen at this point.
I was very glad that Dave had some time to read the latest Organic Gardening magazine in our quiet time this morning. I had managed to read it while waiting at a doctor’s office last week and we are both huge fans of this publication – so much so that we even read the ads with interest! You know you are too busy when you have too little time to read! Arg! We are resolving to fix this in the future!
Dave then worked indoors on his record keeping after weighing yesterday’s harvest and proudly presented me with the Farm Report with totals to date as of yesterday. Our cumulative harvest is 1,275.953 lbs! Cantaloupe alone accounts for 235 lbs of this, but cukes are still in the lead with 314 lbs. Tomatoes follow at 216 lbs., strawberries 159, eggplants at 105 and potatoes at 83 lbs. Of course these are just the leading crops…he has details on everything else. The future contenders in the weight category will most likely be the pumpkins which are looking pretty sweet right now. They are pie pumpkins so they won’t be enormous, but we will be looking to make some pumpkin puree for pies and even some pumpkin butter, which my grandmother used to make and sounds intriguing.
I, on the other hand, had to jump right into kitchen chores which is something I love to do but sometimes gets kind of hectic. Whenever I walk past the prep kitchen refrigerators, I’m constantly reminded of the produce waiting to be addressed – whether preserved or cooked in one way or another. Today, I was facing massive amounts of red hot peppers, countless melons, and a sizable number of tomatoes which were hiding out in the laundry room. Don’t get me wrong, I was delighted to have these quantities to have to deal with today!
I started out by cutting up the tomatoes to get them on the stove and had just enough to make some meat-less pasta sauce using 30 lbs of tomatoes, our green peppers, and some other ingredients such as garlic and mushrooms from the store. While these were cooking, I prepped the red pepper for some additional Sriracha Sauce, this time, wisely using rubber gloves which were not fun to work with but hopefully protected my hands!
I had enough peppers to make a triple batch and so decided this would be a time saver in the end. Whoa, a triple batch calls not only for 3lbs of peppers but for 4 cups of peeled, blanched, sliced, garlic! That is a lot of garlic!
Oh, what delicious smells have been wafting from the kitchen all day long!
While the masses of batches of chopped and prepped items cooked away, I found time to cut up 10 of the cantaloupe and will take some to my mother as well as a family dinner tonight. Bummer that I will have to stop my processing to attend said dinner, since I still have sauces on the stove cooking away and will have to divert my attention to see a visiting nephew, Henry, who is in town briefly, on his way driving from Boston to LA. Of course, I’m happy to get a chance to visit with him! Here is some of the Sriracha in progress.
My sister, Lisa, served some of our farm produce at dinner which was great. She served our cantaloupe slices as part of the hors oeuvres, then roasted our potatoes and made a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes. Here she is about to put the potatoes into the oven.
I had to run back home to finish up the Sriracha and pasta sauce processing before she served dessert…which was a wonderful blueberry pie! I hope everyone understood this need for an early departure from Lisa’s lovely dinner. After 12 hours or more in the kitchen with processing, I am still waiting to pull jars out of the pressure cooker! Burned fingers along the way due to my negligence. Here are the 12 jars of Sriracha plus the lovely 8 pints of pasta sauce!
Such a great weekend!