I made red currant jam. I picked 500 g from our red currant bush and made jam by adding 250 g of sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. I also added Gelierfix, a pectin-based gelling agent, according to the instructions to help the jam set. I canned the jam in a water bath for ten minutes, so it is shelf-stable. Looking forward to eating the jam for breakfast or using it for baking in the winter months.
The porch looks great. I have a nice mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Despite my vow to not grow tomatoes on the porch this year, I have two cherry tomato plants: one Black Strawberry (grown from seed) and one Super Sweet 100 (given to me by a friend). I also have three pepper plants: Thai, Jalapeno and Sweet Pickle, one big container of basil and numerous other herbs (rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, chives, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley). Plus a big pot with Swiss Chard, which I have been harvesting and eating (for example sauteed with garlic over pan-fried lemon garlic flounder) over the past few days. A couple of days ago, I reseeded salad greens in two of the pepper containers (May Queen with the Jalapeno and Salanova Mix with the Sweet Pickle). The third pepper container (Thai) contains the Thai basil.
I now really finished the last of my butternut squash. I had cubed it and stored it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I roasted it with some leeks and Brussels that were past their prime and topped everything with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious! The next morning, for breakfast I had the leftovers over sauteed kale, topped with a fried egg. So good.
I used up my last home-grown butternut squash to make this delicious vegan Thai curried butternut squash soup. It is based on this recipe, but I made some adjustments such as adding an entire can of coconut milk instead of just drizzling half a cup on top. It was very good.
I finally roasted the last home-grown beets today and made an arugula/beet/goat cheese salad with toasted pepitas. I still have three butternuts and plenty of garlic in my pantry (I am at the last head of hardneck but still have almost the entire braid of softnecks left). The beets (Golden and Chiogga and regular) were super sweet and yummy. I had harvested them at the end of October and they kept very well in the fridge. So good to still be enjoying my harvest.
I finally harvested my Thai peppers today. I had one plant in a container on my back porch and it gave me two cups of hot peppers. Most of them were red, some (about a third of them total) still green. I cut off the entire plant and then picked the peppers to make hot sauce. I followed this recipe for Thai hot sauce but I lowered the amount of vinegar because I wanted it thicker. I also do not have a food mill, so it is just hot sauce, seeds and all. It is super spicy and I am looking forward to using it instead of store-bought Sriracha sauce and Chili garlic sauce.
I have so many tomatoes, we cannot keep up with eating them raw. So, I slow-roasted two baking sheets of tomatoes for a few hours (at 325F, but that was too hot, so I reduced it to 250F) and then packed them in olive oil and stored them in the fridge for use in pasta sauces and on pizza.
I had a ton of Thai basil on my back porch and turned it into Thai basil peanut pesto. I served it over pan-seared trout last night for dinner. Delicious!
And I made more quick refrigerator pickles with the pickling cucumbers form the plot. Yum! The cucumbers are coming to an end, it seems.
I harvested my first pickling cucumber. It was huge, thanks to the recent rain and the heat, and weighed almost 15 ounces. It was well hidden under the leaves, and I kind of discovered it by accident. I did not even know the plant had fruit yet. I pickled it in Grillo Pickles brine, next time I will make my own brine.
I made a small batch of garlic scape pesto with about half the scapes I harvested (15) and home-grown basil leaves (the basil leaves from the porch are huge!). I just pureed all of it with olive oil and salt. No cheese, no nuts. More versatile this way. I froze the surplus for future use. This pesto is so great on pasta, pizza, roasted veggies, or mixed into a pesto mayo for sandwiches …