Saturday, July 27, 2013

Once again Life has stepped in & I've neglected to keep up with this blog.

Since early spring, when I last posted the snow melted & we were behind the eight ball trying to get the gardens in & the yards cleaned up from winter.

Its been a slow crawl into real spring weather & summer has been slowly crawling in too. Hopefully the gardens will produce well.

I've done a number of things to test the theory I have, that I need to bring different environments to my garden zone. So since tomatoes & peppers prefer dry roots & heat... (two things we aren't have naturally in South Dakota) I've elevated my tomatoes in tires, with a 8 inch base of broken concrete & debris --- then a layer of mulch, mule manure & top soil.

To determine if its really any different from traditional method, I've also got some "control" tomatoes that I planted on the same day, that are in the soil with landscape cloth around their base & tomato cages surrounding them. They get the same water, just have different rooting opportunities.

The tires also provide heat as they absorb the sun's rays & "bake" the zone with added heat.

I've also planted peppers in containers since often container gardens suffer from needing more waterings... I figured perhaps this negative issue could be utilized in a positive manner.

I've also planted fennel in containers & some of my herbs. This year, I've planted all my sage in containers since my garden patches mysteriously died though they were hundreds of yards from each other.

I've got broccoli, cabbage and Kholhrabi all doing great this year with the cool spring and cool June weather.

My corn crop was eaten initially by something and few of the seedling made it, so I had to replant. Luckily the replanted corn is almost knee high and as they say "Knee high by the fourth of July" is the old measure of whether your corn is going to be successful.

Dakota Stoneware Pottery shop owner, Dave Huebner, gave me the use of a portion of his former mule corral to plant some of my corn & squash, so I've got two different gardens I'm overseeing this year. Will try to get photos uploaded as soon as possible.

I also successfully started my vertical lettuce garden. Its in a 6" deep wooden "trough" that I made from scrap boards and covered with hardware cloth following me filling it with peat moss as a medium.

Summer Produce perfect for Condiments

As my own garden begins producing, I started realizing I could make small batches of relishes and the like easily with the small amounts of produce coming from my garden.

So I thought I would share some old recipes I found in a cookbook.

"Good Housekeeping's Book of Menus, recipes and Household Discoveries" 1922 edition.

Title: Emergency Relish
2 qts canned tomatoes
3 medium-sized onions
3 green peppers
1 cups brown sugar
1 c vinegar
1 T salt
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole allspice
2 good sized sticks cinnamon

Place the tomatoes in a preserving kettle, cutting them apart until well broken. Add the onions and peppers put through the food-chopper. Scald together the sugar, vinegar, salt and spices. Combine mixtures and cook slowly, stirring frequently about two hours. Bottle while hot.

Title: Emergency Chili Sauce
1 qt canned tomatoes
2 onions chopped fine
1/2 tsp celery salt or 2 pieces celery minced
1 green pepper chopped fine
2 tsp salt
3 T brown sugar
1/8 t pepper
1/2 t mustard
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 c vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a preserving kettle; stir together, bring to a boil, and boil gently about forty-five minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook a little longer if needed to make the sauce the right consistency.

Title: Chutney Conserve

12 apples
8 green peppers
1 red pepper
1 cup seedless raisins
1 pint weak vinegar
8 bay leaves
1 tsp whole allspice
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
Juice 6 lemons
1 T salt

Pare, core and chop the apples. Chop the green peppers after removing the seeds, and chop the red pepper retaining the seeds. Mix all the ingredients together and boil until thick. Seal in jars while hot. This quantity makes four and 1 half pints.

Title: Celery Sauce

24 ripe tomatoes
2 stalks celery
8 large onions
2 red peppers
2 T salt
1 pint vinegar
1 lb brown sugar

Clean the vegetables and cut them fine. Add half the vinegar first (you may not need it all), sugar, and salt, and boil slowly till tender, about one hour and a half. Put in jars and seal while hot.

Title: Beet Relish

1 qt. cooked beets
1 small head cabbage
1 cupful grated horseradish
2 cupful sugar
2 T salt
2 t mustard
2 t celery-seed
1 pint vinegar

Put the beets and cabbage through the food-chopper and add the rest of the ingredients in the order given. Let stand at least twenty-four hours before using. This will keep indefinitely. It may be botled or kept in a covered crock.

From my old 1900s cookbook:

Title: Baltimore Chow-chow

Part One
1 peck ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 qt onions sliced
1 cup salt

Part 2
1 pint cider vinegar
1/4 lb ground mustard
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T celery seed
1 T ground cloves

Mix part 1, let stand two hours and drain; then boil two hours in a preserving kettle, then add the ingredients of part 2. Boil another hour and can in pint jars.

Title: A Fine Cucumber Relish

1 doz cucumbers
2 qts small onions
3 red peppers
2 T salt
1 lbs brown sugar
1 qt vinegar
1 1/2 t white mustard-seed
1 t turmeric

Peel onions and slice cucumbers, onions and red peppers thinly. Remove the seeds from the red peppers. Let them all stand one hour well sprinkled with the salt. Drain and add the brown sugar, white mustard-see, and turmeric. Cook forty-five minutes or until tender. Pour into sterilized jars and seal hot.

These are just some of the recipes from the cookbook. Recipes like these allow you to use the same basic main ingredients, but change their flavor outcome. Thus stretching the bulk ingredients such as rice, beans & meats.

Title English Mint Chutney Sauce

1/2 lb ripe tomatoes
1 lb tart apples
2 c granulated sugar
3 large peppers
12 small onions
1/2 c chopped mint leaves
1 1/3 c seeded raisins
3 c vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt

Chop the tomatoes, add the salt and mix. Chop the apples, onions, raisins, and peppers, and add mint. Scald and cool the vinegar; add the sugar and mustard. Mix all together and allow to stand at least ten days before using. Severe with lamb. This will keep indefinitely and is the better for standing several months. It may be put into pint preserve jars, if you wish; shake them occasionally. This relish has the advantage of not requiring any cooking and is entirely different from the usual chutney sauce.

Title: Green Chili Sauce

35 large green tomatoes
10 large onions
1 3/4 c sugar
5 large green peppers
10 c vinegar
5 T salt

Chop tomatoes, peppers and onions fine; add seasoning and boil for two hours; then seal in jars. This quantity makes about seven pints.

Title: Green Pickle

1 Peck green tomatoes
5 small onions
1 quart vinegar
1 c salt
1/2 tsp allspice
7 c sugar
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 t ground cloves
1 t cinnamon
4 tsp celery-seed
1 cup mustard seed

Slice or chop tomatoes and let stand in salt overnight, or though the morning; drain, and add the chopped onions. Add spices and all the other ingredients and boil hard in a preserving kettle fifteen minutes. Whole closes and stick cinnamon may be used if perferred. Can Hot.

Title: Green Tomato Pickle

1 peck green tomatoes
12 medium sized onions
2 heads cauliflower
3 green peppers
1 bunch celery
3/4 c salt
2 quarts vinegar
2 pounds sugar
2/3 c whole spices

Wash the green tomatoes and slice; peel the onions and slice. Separate the cauliflower heads into small flowerets. Remove the seeds from the green peppers and chop. Wash and dice the celery. Place all in a large preserving kettle in layers, sprinkling each layer with salt. Let stand overnight. In the morning, drain, add one quart of vinegar, and two quarts of water, bring to a boil, and cook 15 minutes. Drain again. Make a syrup by boiling together for fifteen minutes the other quart of vinegar, the sugar, and the spices tied in a cheesecloth bag. Add the pickle, bring to a boil, and can hot. This makes five quarts of pickle.

Title: Harlequin Sauce

12 red Peppers
12 green peppers
12 good sized onions
2 T salt
2 c light brown sugar
1 quart vinegar

Chop coarsely the peppers and the onions. Pour boiling water over the peppers and let them stand five minutes; drain and repeat, letting them stand in the second water ten minutes. Drain, add chopped onions, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Cook twenty minutes after it begins to boil and put into sterlized jars while hot, or store in a crock.

India Chutney

15 large sour apples
2 green peppers
1 c seeded raisins
2 good-sized onions
1 quart vinegar
2 T white mustard-seed
2 T ground ginger
2 T salt
2 c brown sugar

Pare, core, and chop the apples, together with the green peppers, from which the seeds have been removed, and the onions. Add the raisins and vinegar, put in a preserving kettle, and simmer two hours. Add the sugar and seasoning and cook slowly for another hour. Seal in glass jars while hot. This recipe makes about five pints.