|Home Grown Tomatoes|
|What I Did On My Holiday Vacation (While Under the Weather)|
I spent most of December and January in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes using different berries, citrus and tropical fruits.
I canned (pickled) the remainder of my green pear tomatoes with the last of the hot peppers and baby carrots. I had a bunch! I put up 12 pints and 11 half-pints to give away as kitchen gifts. After a month or so in the pantry, I used some of them in one of my favorite bread recipe. I chopped some and added them to my hushpuppy batter along with some fresh garlic chives and onions.
At the end of November I purchased some Japanese persimmons from my buddy Jason Powell at Petals From the Past in Jemison.
Wintertime is a perfect time to go to your local farmers market. I found some mangos at a great price! Also, there were raspberries and blackberries from Mexico that were super sweet!
I love batter-fried mangos! While I was frying the hushpuppies I prepared some mangoes too. To go along with those, I made a dipping sauce using some of the Japanese persimmons, those big-honking mango pits with mango meat still attached, a few fresh Serrano chilis and some Golden Eagle table syrup. Yum!
With the raspberries and blackberries, I made a balsamic vinegar reduction to use as a condiment on everything from cheese and crackers to deviled eggs.
The kumquats started coming in, so I made my usual marmalade.
The Meyer lemon tree produced great numbers this year! I zested 30 of them and made four liters of limoncello to enjoy in the summer. With the juice and pulp of 10 of those, I made lemon curd. I juiced the rest for fresh lemon juice. If you have never tasted the juice of a Meyer lemon, you should.
Now that the days are getting longer, I’ll spend more time getting the garden ready for spring. It’s time for me to take soil samples here at the Tomato Tower. It has been a little over three years since it was last done.
There were several Knockout roses getting too much shade, so I took advantage of the season and moved them to a happy place. Winter is the best time to move trees and shrubs.
Get ready for springtime, folks! I’ll see you all in March. Happy Groundhog Day!
I hope you’ll all tune in to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday from 8-10 a.m. Central Time for the most accurate garden talk! Go to http://HGTradio.net and follow the links to listen live!