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Summer's Last Gasp


snowangel
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Here in Zone 3, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are longer and much cooler.

I'm looking at my lemon basil and knowing that the days are numbered, think I need to make a batch of sauce for the "Grilled Coconut Chicken with Lemon Basil" from James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor (btw, this braising liquid freezes beautifully!).

I have "put up" many pints of jam, using beautiful Colorado peaches and my neighbor's unwanted raspberries.

At every opportunity, we grill something, and it is always accompanied by a fresh off the vine tomato. Oh, and for an after school snack, it's a diced tomatoe, with minced basil a splash of evoo on bread for the kids.

Oh, and should Paul drive by the local corn stand and not stop -- he knows better than not to stop.

I can't get enough of the current bounty, so the meals are not fancy. A bit of meat, and the rest comes from the garden.

How do you celebrate this most bountiful of times of the year?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I stop at every corn stand I can, and I'll even buy "local" at the supermarket. I pull off the few red tomatoes from my plants and jealously guard the greenies. I harvest my Bright Lights Swiss chard and pray that the Brussels Sprouts sprout sprouts. I worry about what the heck to do with my basil and lemon verbena. Never enough corn, never enough tomatoes.

I'm an atheist, but even for me late summer is a holy time, and a wistful time. Like Susan, let's respect it.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Like Maggie, lot's of corn. Many tomato salads and tomato soups. And the Asian pears from my favorite orchard are just starting to come in, so I still have something to look forward to... :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The basil isn't as robust as the days shorten. Even with three plants we'll still have to buy some to go along with the heirloom tomatoes from the farmers' market. Three of the four zucchini plants are still providing us with enough produce for at least two meals a week. The pole beans look like they have one more meal coming as well. The mint is doing so well that we made a point of using it in last night's cocktails.

Friends in NJ said that they had lots of blossoms on their zucchini plants but not one zucchini! Makes you appreciate your bounty.

The 'corn guy' at the farmers' market said he's very near the end of his season. Too bad! I look back and realize we didn't buy enough corn this summer. It all went by so quickly!

Local apples are in now. I've made the switch from peaches to apples with my daily yogurt. Gotta go with the change of seasons - again. One bright spot - it's nice weather for Maker's Mark Manhattans!

KathyM

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I am up to my neck in aubergine. I can't use the stuff fast enough. Tomatoes have come and gone, but grapes are all over the place, and persimmons are creeping in.

I first moved to Asia when grapes and persimmons were in season, so whenever I smell them, grapes especially, it takes me right back to those first scary days.

I also have my first Awate prefecture apple on the table, from a student. It will be breakfast tomorrow with peanut butter.

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I'm trying to see if I can actually drown myself by eating too much watermelon. So far I'm just cold and have to use the ladies room alot!

Edited by petite tête de chou (log)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I'm up to my eyeballs in tomatoes, but I'm still encouraging the plants to produce as much as possible because September 15 is technically our first frost date. I'm watching the predicted lows carefully, because the night before the first good frost is when I take all the green tomatoes. Going on "frost watch" is what signals the start of fall for me.

The basil is mostly gone, turned into pesto cubes in the freezer for future enjoyment.

And the Hatch chiles are in the stores. I admit I usually use frozen, but there is nothing like the smell fresh chiles roasting, and the anticipation of the delightful meals to come.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Salsa, salsa, salsa. Spaghetti sauce. Tomato tarts. Bruchetta.

Apples are starting now.

We're at the tail end of our corn season here. :sad:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The saddest thing about living in France is: no corn.

On the other hand, figs and mirabelle plums are plentiful right now, and the tomatoes are still good, although after a torrential downpour last night they'll probably go all soggy. And I've still got beautiful medium-hot red peppers flourishing in a pot in the garden.

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And the Hatch chiles are in the stores. I admit I usually use frozen, but there is nothing like the smell fresh chiles roasting, and the anticipation of the delightful meals to come.

Marcia.

We still have frozen chiles from the bushel we bought last fall. Even so, I couldn't resist the smell of roasting chiles at the farmers' market and picked up a small bag. My husband couldn't understand why I had to have them when we still have peppers at home. Fresh roasted chiles win over frozen every time!

KathyM

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Enjoying every last tomato and cucumber --

Frying up apples and making lots of apple cakes

Put up tons of peppers in the freezer today-including a super hot one we weren't sure of heat wise, so naturally what do we do- why taste it of course! Our mouths were on fire for a while! Waiting to make hot pepper jelly with some of them mmmm...

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Everyone is giving away/trading fruits and vegetables now ..I am looking for more garlic to plant and have bulbs all over the house! there are bowls of tomatoes in various stages of ripening everywhere ..I made a huge pot of tomato sauce the other day to freeze ...on my second wave of cold crops like my favorite escarole (I need to pick today) ...the house smells like all kinds of wonderfull fragrant herbs drying...I have bundles hanging and piles drying everywhere ! my friends keep telling me I look like a pot grower! how would they know huh????

very soon after just a bit more rain ...I am going to be plodding through the woods looking for mushroooms !

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I'm going to make one last visit to the "big" market tomorrow (City Market, where we hope many of you will be shopping with us next July/August at The Heartland Gathering - pardon the shameless plug :rolleyes:) in hopes of getting some canning tomatoes, but I am dubious that I will find any - it just got too cool too quickly around here. This has been one of the strangest growing seasons of my adult life, I think.

Another reason to appreciate our growers and what they endure to bring us the best. I guess I'll stop by the bakery on the way and get treats for Farmer Appreciation Day - a holiday that I declare at my whim each fall to thank my 'peeps' for all they do.

Edited by moosnsqrl (log)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I'm going to make one last visit to the "big" market tomorrow (City Market, where we hope many of you will be shopping with us next July/August at The Heartland Gathering - pardon the shameless plug :rolleyes:)

Don't be suprised if you run into me there - I was thinking the same thing.

I'm enjoying the fact that lettuces and leafy things have made a comeback in my CSA shares, so I've been doing lots of stir fry dishes with chard and asian greens. I'm really going to miss the healthy, vibrant way that eating lots of super-fresh greens makes me feel. It's also about time for my annual trek to an apple orchard in Weston to pick apples for apple butter and apple sauce.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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Everyone is giving away/trading fruits and vegetables now ..I am looking for more garlic to plant and have bulbs all over the house! there are bowls of tomatoes in various stages of ripening everywhere ..I made a huge pot of tomato sauce the other day to freeze ...on my second wave of cold crops like my favorite escarole (I need to pick today)  ...the house smells like all kinds of wonderfull fragrant herbs drying...I have bundles  hanging and piles drying  everywhere !  my friends  keep telling me I look like a pot grower!  how would they know huh????

My house looks the same. We have to move tomatoes out of the way in order to eat at our kitchen table. I don't have so many herbs to dry, but I've got big piles and containers of beans that need to be shucked. Yesterday, my husband asked me if we really needed so many tomatoes. I forbore telling him that he was just looking at one day's worth of picking!

My paste tomatoes are bearing so heavily that I'm going to attempt estratto, the concentrated Sicilian tomato paste. Of course, here in South Dakota, I'll have to cheat and use my food dehydrator.

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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do you have earwigs as well crawling out of your stuff :raz: ???? that part is not quite so romantic ..I still think they crawl in your ears and eat your brain!

Everyone is giving away/trading fruits and vegetables now ..I am looking for more garlic to plant and have bulbs all over the house! there are bowls of tomatoes in various stages of ripening everywhere ..I made a huge pot of tomato sauce the other day to freeze ...on my second wave of cold crops like my favorite escarole (I need to pick today)  ...the house smells like all kinds of wonderfull fragrant herbs drying...I have bundles  hanging and piles drying  everywhere !  my friends  keep telling me I look like a pot grower!  how would they know huh????

My house looks the same. We have to move tomatoes out of the way in order to eat at our kitchen table. I don't have so many herbs to dry, but I've got big piles and containers of beans that need to be shucked. Yesterday, my husband asked me if we really needed so many tomatoes. I forbore telling him that he was just looking at one day's worth of picking!

My paste tomatoes are bearing so heavily that I'm going to attempt estratto, the concentrated Sicilian tomato paste. Of course, here in South Dakota, I'll have to cheat and use my food dehydrator.

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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very soon after just a bit more rain ...I am going to be plodding through the woods looking for mushroooms !

Here in Eastern Canada, our summer has been very wet and people are saying that mushrooms are quite abundant but with an increasingly demanding job, numerous repairs to do on the house and a toddler to take care of I think I might not find the time to get in the woods this year :sad: .

On the brighter side, my garden has given me a plentiful harvest of tomatoes which we are still transforming in soups, sauces and everything else that we can think off. I am glad we planted a few varieties because some of them produced very few decent fruits, others were quite prolific.

Potatoes are now lying on newspaper in the basement and beets and squashes will soon join them. We had only a few squashes this year... most of our cucumber, zuchini and squash died early due to powdery mildew.

All our cabbages and chinese greens are in great shape and we are trying our luck for a fall harvest of peas and lettuce.

This was a first for us, we only had a small garden in the past but this year our new yard provided us with all the space needed to experiment with new plants.

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Everyone is giving away/trading fruits and vegetables now ..I am looking for more garlic to plant and have bulbs all over the house! there are bowls of tomatoes in various stages of ripening everywhere ..I made a huge pot of tomato sauce the other day to freeze ...on my second wave of cold crops like my favorite escarole (I need to pick today)  ...the house smells like all kinds of wonderfull fragrant herbs drying...I have bundles  hanging and piles drying  everywhere !  my friends  keep telling me I look like a pot grower!  how would they know huh????

My house looks the same. We have to move tomatoes out of the way in order to eat at our kitchen table. I don't have so many herbs to dry, but I've got big piles and containers of beans that need to be shucked. Yesterday, my husband asked me if we really needed so many tomatoes. I forbore telling him that he was just looking at one day's worth of picking!

My paste tomatoes are bearing so heavily that I'm going to attempt estratto, the concentrated Sicilian tomato paste. Of course, here in South Dakota, I'll have to cheat and use my food dehydrator.

Before last weekend, we had 4 large baskets of tomatoes on the counter and 6 or 7 large bouquets of herbs drying in the windows. Add the bunches of swiss chard and the occasional peppers or eggplants from the garden and we had very little space to cook anything. Now it is my freezer that is full (we did not take the time to can our tomatoes or make the usual ketchup).

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do you have earwigs as well crawling out of your stuff  :raz: ???? that part is not quite so romantic ..I still think they crawl in your ears and eat your brain!

Thankfully, no. I've only had trouble with the occasional picnicbug. Now I just need to get everything processed before more tomatoes turn to slime in my kitchen.

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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I've probably still got stray sugary blips on my arms or shirt, from just now getting the first bushel of sand-pears all cut and sugared down for cooking into preserves tomorrow morning.

We thought we'd missed out this year, for no one made the trip either up from or down to the pear trees at the old homeplace in Mississippi this Summer. However, yesterday Chris came home with a bushel-and-a-half from where else???

A YARRRRRRRD SAAAAAAALE!!!

He stopped to look around at a house WAY out Highway 74, and didn't see much of anything to buy. He got back in the car and started to pull out into the road, when he saw a huge pear tree, still hanging pretty full, and completely surrounded with many, many fallen pears.

He went back and asked if he could buy some, and they said "Help Yourself---we're glad to get rid of them." And then, for convenience, and just to be polite, he did buy a one-dollar bushel basket and a fifty-cent half.

It took me quite a few hours to peel and cut the bushel---an old sand-pear is the armadillo of the fruit-world---they give no quarter, aren't any good to eat, and will fend off the sharpest knife, until you let down your defenses. THEN will come a slide and a nip and the knife's bitten YOU. Sly, tough old things.

I used quite a generous amount of "Fruit-Fresh" in the water as I peeled and set aside, and there's been no turning of the nice pale color. By morning, the mountain of sugar will have coaxed a lot of lovely juices out of those hard little pellets of pear, and the hour or so of cooking will turn them rosy and chewily-soft, all sweet and the very essence of pear.

Sometimes I think about these old pears when I meet or hear a grumpy or loud or curmudgeonly person---they just need a good nap and some sweetening to make them rosy and fit to be in any company. I hope I don't ever stop thinking that.

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Racheld, I'd not heard of sand-pears so thanks.

Here in a zone 6A I'm pretty much done harvesting stuff -- a few zucchinis and some mint maybe still in the garden. I had to scrape the car windshield this morning, but outside hit room temperature by 10 am. Now I've learned we're preparing for Tropical Storm Kyle this weekend so that should be the end of getting things from our garden. Farms around here still have some excellent corn and those strawberries that just keep going.

Over the next few weeks I think we'll make applesauce and pear chutney.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Eight chunky upside-down widemouth pints cooling on the kitchen counter, all pink and rosy and sweet. Second cooking going---should be about seven in that one.

House smells wonderful---as much the scent of a Fall day as the whisper of burning leaves in the air. :wub:

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Was at my parent's house in southwest Arkansas this week and brought home three watermelons. Their watermelon vines re-made and I was tasked with picking everything before I left. I picked about 15. They are not very sweet, but the watermelon flavor is really strong. A little salt and I will eat them as my last taste of summer.

I have one bell pepper plant that is still going strong. It looks a lot like a tree at this point. I got 20 peppers off of it this week.

I planted a fall vegetabe bed this year for the first time ever, but the results still won't be as special as summer produce.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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