Monday, November 29, 2010

Last tomato/Winter garden

Another Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, and here's hoping everyone had as great a time as we did spent with family and friends.  Lots to be thankful for, indeed.   Despite the bruises and pulled hamstrings from the flag-football game with the kids earlier in the day, I still managed to drag my knife through the turkey and the rest of the trimmings.

There's a turkey carcass underneath
As long as we're talking turkey, here's a photo of the turkey stock brewin' away on the stove after the last of the guests have left.  It's become something I look forward to making each year,  even though turkey soup isn't high on my list of favorites.   This year I made it with fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley (all from the garden)  in addition to the usual odori that go into the pot.  The parsley looks great this time of year.

Look at that knife blurr - mad knife skills!
I've got the winter crop all set now that the weather has turned cold.  My apologies to my friends up north and back east, but we've been experiencing some rather brisk weather in LA, and when I say brisk, I mean it's been in the low 30's at night.  Apparently the result of some Alaskan winds caught up in the jet stream, this cold weather is teasing us with the promise of a third season (winter) that we never seem to experience.  The cabbage seems to be enjoying it.


I also put in some Brussel Sprouts (never grew them before) and cauliflower.  I dug in some onion and garlic bulbs that I hope will be ready before the summer garden goes in.  I'm growing seedlings of Swiss Chard again, along with Romaine and other varieties of lettuce.  Let's see if I can coax the carrot seedlings to sprout as well.

Swiss Chard, Romaine, Head Lettuce

On a sad note, I picked the last tomato of the season.  You guessed it, Celebrity.  I'm actually thrilled that I was able to harvest a tomato after Thanksgiving!  Ever the one to share, this one was offered up on the the altar of my cutting board and added to a pot of Chili I made for the Notre Dame - USC game (ND came through after eight consecutive losses to those Trojans).  Way to go Irish!  I'm sure my November tomato made all the difference.

The last tomato of the season

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Garden Sentinels

The dogs finally make an appearance after all these months.  Here they are standing watch over the earthbox, which is still doing quite well with basil and parsley.   Don't let their tough looks fool you - trust me, the only thing standing between them and the burglar is a drool-soaked chew bone  presented at the foot of the thief, followed by a submissive offering of the soft underbelly in hopes for a good scratch. 

The summer crop has been removed from the main garden despite some hanging fruit  for which I don't have the patience to wait to ripen in the cooling weather.   I roasted the Chile Relleno peppers,  which have been seeded and stored in the freezer for future use.   The Jalapenos finished well and I'm bummed I didn't have the time to make pepper jelly this year.   I'll put the last of the tomatoes in a bag to ripen and keep my fingers crossed.

I'm into bonus time with the basil, which looks great this far into the season.  The Sunday sauce comes out so much better with fresh basil and oregano.   I put four cabbage plants into the ground a couple of weeks ago, along with a direct seeding of Swiss Chard and Spinach.  The seedlings emerged a week later only to be cut down by slugs or some other bandit.  I'll see if I can get my hands on some 6 pack seedlings at the local nursery.