Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday was chutney day

Lots of small, windfall apples, almost-ripe but brusing immediately they touch the ground. Grabbed before the turkeys got them on Sunday morning, and made chutney: apples, onions, dried apricots, a few raisins; vinegar, spices, fresh ginger and brown sugar.

Tomaisins (Copyright. Me)

 Large batch of cherry tomatoes picked on Saturday--the day my new dehydrator arrived! There are yellow pear-shaped tomatoes, mini red ones, little gems, and Juliet grape Romas (they, for some bizarre reason, make me sneeze, those Juliets).

First I washed them, as they have been allowed to sprawl all over the garden, as well as climb up bamboo tripods.
 Then I halved them and laid them on the dryer racks, lining them up towards the center. That is not so much OCD coming through but rather following the instructions in the manual. The yellow ones looked better on the rack, all perfectly aligned, but the photo was fuzzy.

Then turn on the dehydrator: 135 degrees F, and leave alone. There's a fan inside that circulates the air through several layers of drying racks. It took longer than the manual/cookbook said--more like 24 hours than 6, or 10 hours--but eventually...

TOMAISINS!!!  Tiny, sweet, tomato raisins that are like little chews of sunshine.

And I'm supposed to store them away and eat them later? Really?

Better grow a half an acre of them next year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh pumpkin

I have never grown a pumpkin before. Now the plant is taking over, and there are many more pumpkins to come. But this is the firstborn!



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sunny sunflowers!




Sunflowers! Learned that squirrels dig up the seeds, so next year they will all be sprouted in pots and then transplanted. These are in a container on the patio.

Location:Citrus Heights

Growing up... And over




Cherry tomatoes entwined with cucumbers and roma tomatoes and a watermelon vine that has only just taken off. Garden madness!




Sunday, August 14, 2011

Folsom Zoo

Is it really that long since I wrote anything here? Seriously... where does time go?

Today, Jade and I visited Folsom Zoo, a sanctuary for rescued animals, those who cannot be returned to the wild for one reason or another. California black bears (sadly Fisher is no longer here), who help test bear-proofing of garbage cans... a blind skunk called Gizmo who was hiding today... coyotes and mountain lions.

Did you know that a bear who wants to get at the food you've left inside a locked car, will sit on its roof and bounce until something pops open? Or that wolves will eat pumpkins, and spit out the seeds?

That's what I learned today...