Friday, October 17, 2008
Autumn Gardening and Cooking
The Fall leaves are pretty well at their peak here in Saratoga County. A lot of the maple trees already flamed and fell early and the foliage is not as fiery as it has been in past years, but it is still a visual treat to see all the burgundy, orange and yellow leaves. The vegetable garden got its killing frost a couple of weeks back, but we still have some stalwarts hanging out like the sage, chives and oregano in the herb patch and the prehistoric looking brussels sprouts plants. The apple trees keep producing, and so I've made several batches of rosy pink apple sauce for the freezer.
That's an easy project to do with my crockpot, as I just core, peel and chunk our apples and toss them into my slow cooker overnight with maybe a cup of water. By morning, they are soft and I just throw in a little sweetener and some cinnamon.
When the meteorologists all predicted a hard frost I got busy harvesting the last beans, peppers and green tomatoes. We had a banner year for tomatoes. It was a veritable green tomato army that invaded every sunny window ledge and several 5-gallon plastic buckets. Unfortunately, they brought in their own brigade of fruit flies, so I got busy wrapping up one bucket of green tomatoes in newspaper to ripen more slowly over the next month or so.
There was still an impressive bounty of green overrunning the drainboard and our window sills so I thought I would try out a batch of Green Tomato Chutney. I found this recipe to use up 24 of my green love apples and only modified it by subbing whole mustard and coriander seeds for the mixed pickling spices and it came out very tasty. Actually, it's almost identical in taste to the Apple Chutney I made earlier this season, except that there are more crunchy spices to chew on with this batch.
I still have a batch more green tomatoes on hand, so any ideas OTHER THAN Southern fried green tomatoes, would be cheerfully accepted. I just don't like them, although the book "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe"by Fannie Flagg is certainly a tasty read.