Thursday, October 06, 2016
Chervil, Sunchokes, a Sea of Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes, Beans, "Spinach", Ginger, Eggplant & Jam Bread
The other day I posted a picture of my Cilantro sprouting. These are volunteer re-seeding from last season's plants. Well, the next day I found my Chervil has also voluntarily re-seeded. WIN!
delicious potato alternative. The beauty of growing these in the Valley, is we can get harvests twice a year. Now and again in the spring.
Epic Yard Farm, introduced me to Egyptian Spinach for salad leave substitute during the summer. Wonderful option along with my sweet potato leaves for sandwiches, and in soups and salads. Egyptian Spinach aka Molokia, is not spinach but Corchorus olitorius, C. capsularis, the leafy green part of the fiber plant Jute. The plant is in flower and producing seed pods, while still producing tasty leaves for us. I am really looking forward to harvesting the mature seeds for re-sowing next spring, to have more fresh "greens" options during the heat.
Preserving The Bounty!
If I have a good harvest of some of this bounty from the garden, I will probably can some of it. I've been canning for a number of years and the WONDERFUL thing about gardening year round here is you are not restricted to canning in a mad rush all at once in the fall. I can as the various produce ripens through the year. I also sun dry a lot of my bounty and store in canning jars. I've been trying to get away from using plastic containers as much as I am able, and the canning jars are perfect for storing. TIP 1: Remember when storing dried herbs etc. the mantra is: cool, dry, dark! This also applies to your canned foods. There was a very good reason why Grandma stored her canned goods in the cellar. Better food color retention and less exposure to temperature variations.
Speaking of preserving. Even with canning in short spurts I can wind up with a lot of canned jams/preserves. Wondering how to make room for the newest batches, I developed My Jam Bread recipe a while back.
Here is the link to my post on the Jam Bread. I would add one extra tip. Add a 1/4 cup more flour if you think your batter is too loose. Adjust cooking time if you double the recipe and make two loves. Just use the toothpick test to make sure they are cooked in the center.
my recipe for marmalade from any citrus.
I do use and recommend Ball/Kerr canning jars. When they started introducing their heritage colored jars a couple of years ago, I had to start getting them for use with my dried herbs and other non-canned storage like grains, pasta and beans.
TIP 2: My first year of canning my jams quite a few years ago, I made the mistake of choosing the wrong size for much of the peach and apricot jams. I chose to use quart and pint jars. Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong, because unless you can use the whole jar after opening, with no preservatives, the jams have a short life in the refrigerator - plan on 1 month tops. For us it is just the two of us and my guy likes to have variety which means multiple jars open in the frig. The first year and a half I had to toss a lot of jars after they molded. My new recommendation is to use 4 or 8 ounce jars for your canning purposes. By the way, my Jam Bread recipe uses 1 1/2 cups of jam for one loaf.
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
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