Whether it's been the ungodly heat, the unpredictable rainy spells, bugs, fungi, bugs, vermin in the bales or bugs... I know - I said that 3 times.. But, I'm really trying to grow organically - and the bugs are carrying the garden away... Passive insecticides and things made out of marigolds just isn't doing the job.
Anyway - I've lost 2 tomato plants. I should restate that... I lost two tomato plants AFTER they were full of green tomatoes. Which meant I had to harvest a 1/2 bushel of green tomatoes. In the narrow scheme of things, it doesn't exactly sound like such a bad thing... except this week they all started to ripen - concurrently.
On top of that, the 2 remaining healthy plants are also kicking out the red globes eight to the bar.
I'm awash in maters...
and unfortunately... okra...
|This is 1/2 (half) of the okra I got from the Okra Man|
I've told you guys about the Okra Man before. Out on a drive with Jane today, we headed towards Ellijay to get away from the cyclists and throngs of tourists that had invaded Dahlonega. Since the weather has stunted my own okra production, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a "little" okra from my guy until my own plants could catch up. Now... In the past, you could pick up a little 4-serving sized basket from the roadside stand, drop your 5 bucks in the can and be on your way. This time, he didn't have any little baskets. He had bushels ($12) and 1/2 bushels ($8). I bought a 1/2 bushel.
I figured I could find some things to do with it....
I really didn't think that all the way through...
To give you an idea...
Two pounds of okra will net about 10 servings of fried okra. I now have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 servings of fried okra in the freezer. I'm guessing I'll pickle some - stew some - and roast some... and on the conservative side, I'll still have a couple of pounds left over to add to what my own plants should be producing by then.
I'm thinking the okra fairy is going to be making some late night deliveries...
At any rate...
Back to the tomatoes...
Normally, I can put a hurtin' on tomatoes (I do love me some tomato sammiches), but this is more than I really want to eat... and we've already been having them with every meal... and no one else wants them....
So today, they all went into a big pot of sauce with a bunch of the garden herbs that were beginning to bolt
Overrun Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 Quarts
25 Tomatoes (Mine are a mixture of Golden Jubilee, Brandywine, German Green, and Red Hybrids - feel free to use whatever you have... but I do like mixing golden and red to cut the acidity some)
1 Red Pimento Pepper (or Red Poblano)
2 Cups Dulcetta Peppers (About 8)
1 Bunch (about 1/2 Cup) Thai Basil with Blooms
1 Bunch Oregano Blooms
1 Bunch Thyme
1 Bunch Purple Basil
1 Head Fresh Garlic (it's from my garden..I was so thrilled that I grew my own)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
3 Bay Leaves
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Cups Water
Stock Pot W/ Lid
- Put everything in the pot and bring to a boil on high
- Reduce to medium, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes (you want the tomatoes to begin to burst)
- Reduce to low and puree everything in the pot with the immersion blender until smooth
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes
- Remove from the heat and strain out the stems, peel, and seeds
- Return to simmer and reduce by 1/2
- Makes 4 Quarts
I don't do all that well with the whole canning process. I typically jar them up and freeze them until they are needed.... which around here is pretty quick.