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Gardening: 2016 (midyear)


ElainaA
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@Smithy

They taste like a citrusy cucumber and are eaten whole like a grape. Younger children find them fascinating compared to a watermelon.

 

@Okanagancook

Thanks. For such a small footprint they provide all season and lots for the freezer. Grape harvest for sparkling wine started about two weeks ago here.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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20 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Beautiful greens Wayne.  Out here in the Okanagan it's too hot to grow summer greens.  

Our weather has turned and all of a sudden the air smells like fall.  However, next week looks like a return to sun and mid-twenty (C) weather.  

The wine grapes are getting near picking time.  Some varieties are already being picked.

 I just have root veggies left out there.  I do have green tomatoes on the plants but they are just getting rough skinned and will never really ripen so they will be headed to the compost bin next week.

 

Okanagancook,

 

I would not dream of trying to tell you what to do with your tomatoes, but it kind of hurts me to see green maters going into the compost pile. :)

 

Have you ever tried dusting them with flour and shallow frying them? Also I would take all my unripe tomatoes from the indeterminate vines inside at fall at the first forecast of frost. I had the luxury of a spare room where I set up sheets of plywood on cinder blocks, and laid out all the tomatoes. Some would ripen in the sunny room, and some would get used for fried green tomatoes.

 

I'd turn them an inspect them for signs of going bad every couple days, and only then, did they get relegated to to the compost heap.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I'm expecting some bananas. It's the first time my plant blossoms, so I'm quite excited!

20160909_094502.jpg20160909_094547.jpg

 

And on a less happy note, I found this bastard in my garden, and he had the guts to be standing on my boots! This is a Batocera rufomaculata, it's weevils cause much damage to fruit trees, especially figs. This is their mating season, and they can fly long distances to find trees to lay eggs in. I think I'll have no option but to spray the trees.

20160909_095213.jpg20160909_135519.jpg

 

I don't have a good photo for scale, but this thing in about 3 inches long! They also have a tendency to hiss at people and animals.

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~ Shai N.

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@shain, very cool banana photo.  Please continue the photos as it grows; I'd love to see the process.

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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51 minutes ago, Smithy said:

@shain, very cool banana photo.  Please continue the photos as it grows; I'd love to see the process.

 

 

 

I found a picture from one week ago:

20160901_182545_HDR.jpg

 

As you can see, it grows really fast! It also has a few shoots, but they seem to be on hold and did not grow during the last month. I assume the plant dedicates it's energy to the fruits.

 

20160901_182619.jpg

 

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~ Shai N.

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45 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Bananas are herbs, right?  Maybe it would be good to prune the shoots?

 

They should be, but I want to wait until after winter, in case any of them will get damaged from wind or hail.

~ Shai N.

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That is one mean looking bug.  I hate insects!  Luckily, this year no tomato worms which are really gross green squishy enormous caterpillars.

 

TFTC, yes, fried green tomatoes.  I am dieting so no frying for me at the moment.  Most of the tomatoes aren't that big and I have so many already frozen, dried or cooked with the copious number of green beans I got this year.  So, I really can't face putting them down in the wine cellar under newspaper (I usually do this).  I am, again, feeling guilty. BUT I told myself THIS YEAR I will not be a slave to the garden as has happened since we moved to the Okanagan 11 years ago.  And I am happy to say, I did achieve a good balance of abundance.  Well, except for the squash. I have around 28 buttercup squash on three plants that grew spontaneously out of my compost.  I did not murder any of them and they took over.  Anyway, I am on a giveaway mission and so far the count is 13 out of 28 have new homes :-)  Thanks for the ideas.  Ok, ok, I will put a few down stairs for immediate consumption once ripe.  Shame on me.  xD

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33 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

That is one mean looking bug.  I hate insects!  Luckily, this year no tomato worms which are really gross green squishy enormous caterpillars.

 

TFTC, yes, fried green tomatoes.  I am dieting so no frying for me at the moment.  Most of the tomatoes aren't that big and I have so many already frozen, dried or cooked with the copious number of green beans I got this year.  So, I really can't face putting them down in the wine cellar under newspaper (I usually do this).  I am, again, feeling guilty. BUT I told myself THIS YEAR I will not be a slave to the garden as has happened since we moved to the Okanagan 11 years ago.  And I am happy to say, I did achieve a good balance of abundance.  Well, except for the squash. I have around 28 buttercup squash on three plants that grew spontaneously out of my compost.  I did not murder any of them and they took over.  Anyway, I am on a giveaway mission and so far the count is 13 out of 28 have new homes :-)  Thanks for the ideas.  Ok, ok, I will put a few down stairs for immediate consumption once ripe.  Shame on me.  xD

Not that you are asking for more ideas, but I used green tomatoes to make apple pie filling...sub the 'maters for apples and cook it down.  Needs a lot of spices and sugar but ultimately tastes like the real deal.

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8 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

Okanagancook,

 

I would not dream of trying to tell you what to do with your tomatoes, but it kind of hurts me to see green maters going into the compost pile. :)

 

Have you ever tried dusting them with flour and shallow frying them? Also I would take all my unripe tomatoes from the indeterminate vines inside at fall at the first forecast of frost. I had the luxury of a spare room where I set up sheets of plywood on cinder blocks, and laid out all the tomatoes. Some would ripen in the sunny room, and some would get used for fried green tomatoes.

 

I'd turn them an inspect them for signs of going bad every couple days, and only then, did they get relegated to to the compost heap.

 

Two suggestions: If you expect to go back to frying later, slice and freeze the tomatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and when frozen, put into a plastic bag and back into the freezer. Bread/batter as usual and fry from frozen.

 

Or...make green tomato relish!

 

5 hours ago, shain said:

I'm expecting some bananas. It's the first time my plant blossoms, so I'm quite excited!

20160909_094502.jpg20160909_094547.jpg

 

And on a less happy note, I found this bastard in my garden, and he had the guts to be standing on my boots! This is a Batocera rufomaculata, it's weevils cause much damage to fruit trees, especially figs. This is their mating season, and they can fly long distances to find trees to lay eggs in. I think I'll have no option but to spray the trees.

20160909_095213.jpg20160909_135519.jpg

 

I don't have a good photo for scale, but this thing in about 3 inches long! They also have a tendency to hiss at people and animals.

 

The bananas are cool. The bug looks evil. You sure you shouldn't take a .22 to that critter?

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Not that you are asking for more ideas, but I used green tomatoes to make apple pie filling...sub the 'maters for apples and cook it down.  Needs a lot of spices and sugar but ultimately tastes like the real deal.

 

I bet it tastes good. I've tried an Italian tart filled with green tomato jam, which is sweet-tart in flavor. (Link to recipe upthread, my post 8/21/16). A similar idea for using up green tomatoes, and it was popular in the cooking class. But in general people seem resistant to the idea.

 

6 hours ago, shain said:

I'm expecting some bananas. It's the first time my plant blossoms, so I'm quite excited!

 

I'm envious of your banana tree for its leaves. Someone once offered me her banana tree when she was discarding it and redesigning her garden. I was tempted but the tree was very large and not really suited for my microclimate.

 

Do you cook with your banana leaves at all? I use banana leaves for Thai cooking: fish with curry paste wrapped in banana leaves, cooked on the grill; or coconut custard steamed in banana leaf cups. When I make any of these dishes though, it means extra shopping somewhere to find the leaves. I've also tried a Mexican tamal wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on the grill, very good.

 

A friend and I were passing a local restaurant that had banana plants outside for decoration. No fruit, only big leafy plants. We considered coming back late at night and whacking off some leaves for our cooking needs. But we didn't do it, our innate respect for private property and the law won out. That time. :D

 

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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2 minutes ago, djyee100 said:

Do you cook with your banana leaves at all? I use banana leaves for Thai cooking: fish with curry paste wrapped in banana leaves, cooked on the grill; or coconut custard steamed in banana leaf cups. When I make any of these dishes though, it means extra shopping somewhere to find the leaves. I've also tried a Mexican tamal wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on the grill, very good.

 

I haven't cooked with leaves from my plant, but I plan to do so in the future, when the plant will be mature enough to handle being trimmed.

Actually, I have yet to taste a dish cooked in banana leaves, or even the fruit of a banana other then commercial Cavendish.

The area I live in grows plenty of bananas (and avocados), but I was always afraid to use the leaves, since they are likely to be contaminated with pesticides

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~ Shai N.

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Two suggestions: If you expect to go back to frying later, slice and freeze the tomatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and when frozen, put into a plastic bag and back into the freezer. Bread/batter as usual and fry from frozen.

 

Or...make green tomato relish!

 

I didn't know about the freeze-and-store trick; thanks for that.

 

Please elaborate on the green tomato relish.  Dad reminisced fondly about the "chow chow" using green tomatoes that his mother would make toward the end of the season.  By that time Nana was long passed, so I could never ask her about it.  References to chow chow in, say, The Joy of Cooking haven't sounded like the same thing.  Your green tomato relish just might be it, since you and she hail from the same part of the country.  

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 9/9/2016 at 2:37 PM, Smithy said:

 

I didn't know about the freeze-and-store trick; thanks for that.

 

Please elaborate on the green tomato relish.  Dad reminisced fondly about the "chow chow" using green tomatoes that his mother would make toward the end of the season.  By that time Nana was long passed, so I could never ask her about it.  References to chow chow in, say, The Joy of Cooking haven't sounded like the same thing.  Your green tomato relish just might be it, since you and she hail from the same part of the country.  

 

I don't make it any more, because I much prefer the ripe tomato version. But essentially, this recipe from Edna Lewis' The Gift of Southern Cooking" is pretty much it:

 

Green Tomato Relish
 
Ingredients:
12 - large green Tomatoes, cored (about 20 small to med size)
4 - green bell peppers, seeded
4 - medium or 1 extra large yellow onion 
1 - red bell pepper, seeded
1 - tablespoon + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 - tablespoon celery seed
2 - cups apple cider vinegar
2 - cups regular granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions: 
Chop the tomatoes and peppers very finely or if you prefer a chunky relish dice into chunks. Either by hand or in small batches in a food processor.

Add the chopped vegetables in a large pot (heavy bottom non reactive stock pot) add the mustard seed, celery seed, vinegar, kosher salt, and sugar.

Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer over medium heat. Cook stirring often and skimming any foam as needed. ( I did not have to skim off anything)

Simmer until the relish/chow chow cooks down and thickens into a relish, about 2 hours. Fill mixture into hot sterilized pint size jars and process in a hot water bath. Process 10 minutes for pint size jars.

Remove jars using canning tongs and place on a counter with a towel. Let jars cool until the lids have popped and sealed. 


Recipe Yields: 5 - 6 pint size jars

 

@rotuts would fuss at the bell peppers, but while I hate 'em, I can handle them in this application. But I think Mama always used sweet banana peppers.

 

 

Host's note: this perennial topic continues in Gardening: 2016 (Part 2)

Edited by Smithy
Added host's note (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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