Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tomato Harvest

October 23rd and still not a frost!  The raspberries are still ripening, the greens are going strong, and even the basil hasn't given up completely! 
When setting aside the last of the tomatoes, make sure they are free of any blemishes or breaks in the skin, the green ones have begun to lightened up, and the skin is firm and shiny.  No matter how pretty they may be, if the skin is a bit dull, into the compost it goes. 
The last couple canning seasons have been especially busy.  Instead of peeling the tomatoes and canning them whole, I have taken to liquefying them in the Vitamix, bringing them to a simmer for a couple minutes then processing them for 10 minutes.  It is SO much quicker! 
Kale, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beets, parsnips: a few of the things worth planting to keep the harvest season going late into the fall.  Consider a simple cold frame to extend the season even farther. 
I pray your gardening is satisfying and delicious, whether it is a basil plant on your windowsill or a vegetable garden large enough to feed your whole family.
Have a joyous and blessed day!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

ground Almonds, Flax Seeds, and Sesame Seeds

There are several recipes on this site calling for ground nuts and seeds.  The above photo will show you what consistency to shoot for.  Shown here are almonds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds respectively.  The beauty of grinding the sesame seeds to this degree makes their nutrients more available than the whole seeds, but with a milder flavor than Tahiti. In this manner, these little nutrient power houses can be added to recipes without the dominant flavor of Tahiti (AKA sesame seed butter.)
For review:  freeze the seeds.  Place 3/4 cup at a time in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix and close the lid.  Grind on high for 15-20 seconds.  Remove from base, stir up, and repeat, being careful not to over grind past finely ground.  (Freezing the seeds keeps their oils  from getting too hot when ground. This is especially important when grinding flax seeds.)
Have a joyous and blessed day!