Monday, October 26, 2009

green tomatoes and ham. . . .

No. There's no ham in this story. Only green tomatoes.
Lots of green tomatoes. . . . I've learned a lot this first year of vegetable gardening at the greenwood. Obviously, sun is vital (if not to the actual survival of the plant, then at least to the production of edible produce. Likewise, water (also vital) can present problems at either end of the spectrum - too much water, or too little. Oh: and also uneven water supply (as in first too much, then, too little. . . .), which I learned produces blossom rot.

With the changing season, it has been a race against time to see if the Italian heirlooms in the water garden would ripen before the increasing cold of the nights turned them to mush. When the king threw out what appeared to be a perfectly lovely tomato after one bite the other day, I knew the gig was up. There would be no more sun-ripened tomatoes. But what to do with a bumper crop of green tomatoes that had finally appeared in the late, back garden? I really didn't want to just rip them out and compost them. . . . Thanks to My Tiny Plot (a lovely U.K. gardener and writer), I now have Green Tomato Chutney. No, of course I didn't follow the instructions, but I read them, and then adapted them, and it turned out pretty nicely! Even I ate some, and I don't like tomatoes. . . . I added 'heat' (lots of heat: 2 homegrown cayenne peppers - seeds and all - as well as a couple sprinkles of the finely ground stuff from the jar), an apple, cinnamon, rum, and herbs: lemongrass, mint, cumin and rosemary. Frozen, now, in small zip-lock bags for mid-winter pick-me-ups!

In other news, the Tomato Garden is no more. . . . Going. . . . going. . . . gone. Even Luther looks sad. No more tomatoes to steal from the trug and race around with, while the queen threatens imminent bodily harm, waving her magic trowel. Very sad. What's a hound to do?

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