August 22, 2010

Garden Goodies

So many wonderful garden veggies have come our way recently and from a number of different places. These tomatoes and purple cabbage beauties came from my aunt and uncle. I made sweet and sour cabbage with the first of these cabbages. The recipe is at this link on my recipe page.

These lovely peppers came from our garden. As I've said before, this is the one successful crop from our garden this year and we're very grateful for it because...

...if you add this bowl of fresh, peeled, chopped tomatoes... get to enjoy incredible stuffed peppers! This is something we look forward to each summer as peppers and tomatoes ripen in sync. Here's my recipe from the recipe page, and I did make them a little differently this year. Instead of pre-cooking the ground beef, we combined cooked rice with raw ground beef, and added an egg. Once the peppers were stuffed and the sauce was poured on top, I put a small amount of water in the bottom of the baking dish and covered the whole thing with foil. These baked at 375 for 30 minutes covered, then we sprinkled them with grated Parmesan and let them cook another 30 minutes, uncovered. The peppers were a bit softer than they needed to be, but I wanted to be sure the meat was cooked. The taste was still fantastic!

These gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes came through our food coop from Foxhollow Farm in Elkhart, IA. There were seven different kinds of cherry tomatoes in this little load. We kept it simple with these tomatoes and enjoyed them in a salad with feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette - wonderful!

Another item from our last coop order were some cucumbers. I had expected 3 salad cucumbers, but got a pickling variety instead. However, that gave me the chance to try making a new kind of pickle - refrigerator bread and butter pickles. This recipe makes enough pickling liquid for a gallon of pickles and I used 1/4 of the recipe to make 2 pints of pickles. They are quite tasty! If you try this method, keep in mind that this is definitely not something that will go on your shelf and last a long while. These will need to be refrigerated and eaten in a short time frame - some sources say a few weeks. You'll need to make your own decision about the shelf life, but we plan on eating them up sooner than later.

Hope you're thoroughly enjoying the good things of summer gardens. The clock is ticking and we're seeing a little leaf color change around here!

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