Posts tagged ‘potatoes’

July 4, 2011

Tomato Thievery

On Saturday afternoon, I was taking pictures of our garden produce, and planning to write an eloquent essay on the bounty that our family gardener had produced.  And so, let me begin with that essay.  To say that we have been luxuriating in an abundance of lettuce is an understatement.  Growing lettuce is so amazingly easy, and incredibly rewarding, that is amazes me that everyone doesn’t have a bed of lettuce outside of their back door.

But never being a family known to stop at one type of plant, we have, of ucourse, a good sampling of other produce.

Our Marketmore cucumber, grown from seed, has just produced its first three eatin’ sized cucumbers.

Our basil is as tall as a small child, and there will need to be pesto makin’ on the Family Foodies’ “to do” list this week.

And, we harvested our first baby potatoes – only three so far, but sweet and delicious!

But the pride of the garden has always been our tomatoes.  And, yesterday, at about 3 pm, I took pictures of tomatoes ripening, in anticipation of being able to pick them today or tomorrow.

At 7:30 pm, the Man of the House walked in with the ripening Paul Robeson, the one in the picture right above this paragraph, and showed me the devastation. I was so distraught, that I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it. It had been pierced, with a beak we believe, and most of its juicy insides were consumed. We did, however, cut out the bird-eaten part, and tasted the unstolen side. It was delicious, even though not fully ripe.  It made us long for the ability to eat a fully ripe Paul Robeson. It was a most bittersweet evening.

Apparently the long hot June means that the critters who live in our neighborhood really really want our tomatoes.  Some summers, we have limited thievery, but this summer our first two sun golds were snatched, and we have had to start picking BEFORE the tomatoes are all the way ripe, because somehow the critters know when the tomatoes are just about ripe….

Well, the plants have been quite productive, so we are hoping and praying for (1) rain, and (2) less thievery.  We have not had success with cayenne pepper, and haven’t quite decided to try fox urine, and aren’t entirely sure that we could actually make netting work given the location of our garden.  So we continue to hope and pray and pick earlier than we want to. But, maybe, with time and rain, we can let the tomatoes ripen all the way on the vine.

August 30, 2010

Meatless Monday: Long Live Lentils

 

Preparing meatless or mostly meatless meals is becoming a more and more regular occurrence in our household…and the boys are loving it.  As we were preparing dinner: Green Lentil salad, Roasted Potatoes and Yellow Peppers, and Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber salad, the boys emerged from the basement, noses first, and asked what was for dinner.  A quick peek in the bubbling pan, and an unauthorized look into the oven, and there were exclamations of joy all around…except for the picky eater (but she is another story altogether). 

Although I have not been a consistent full-scale meal planner this summer, we have been doing a much much better job at eating everything in the fridge.  And the meatless meal described above reflects what we had in the kitchen that needed to be consumed prior to tomorrow’s CSA pickup.  The red onions onions, yellow peppers, red potatoes, fennel, hierloom tomatoes, cucumbers, as well as the fresh thyme and bay leaves were all from local sources – our CSA, our farmer’s market, and our own garden.

Every recipe is easy and painless to prepare.  All that is required is a good knife, high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and some cookin’ music.  A step-by-step guide is below:

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees or so.  Quarter small red potatoes, half a red onion, and a yellow pepper. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika.  Place in the oven.  Let them roast while you get going on the other parts of dinner.

Second, follow the Lentilles du Puy salade recipe on David Leibovitz’s blog.  Get the lentils in some boiling water with a fresh bay leaf and fresh thyme. Slice and dice carrots, onions, and fennel.  Sautee.  Add the vegetables to the lentils when the lentils are done (after about 25 minutes).  Drain, if necessary.  Then mix up the olive oil, balsamic, and some good dijon mustard, and add to the lentils.

 

 And while the lentils are cooking, slice up the wonderful variety of tomatoes you bought from the farmer’s market, add sliced cucumbers from your garden (as well as the ones your neighbor brought over for you to eat), and toss well with a balsamic dressing.

Dinner is served.

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