Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gardening & Preserving Weeks 4 & 5

That big one is still our very first fruit. When is she going to change color?!
So the full heat and humidity of summer has finally caught up with us in Toronto.  It's been pretty brutal and supposed to get worse over the next few days.  It very exciting especially since we only have a measly A/C unit in our bedroom to say the rest of the house is a hot box is an understatement.

But you didn't come here to read about the heat you came to check in on my little urban garden which I must say is doing quite well.


Had I written last week you have seen some more growth in the fruit we had, some new fruit, especially when it comes to the peppers, but nothing earth shattering.  In that respect it's almost better that the heat, and a few other factors that I'll tell you about in a bit, killed my motivation to photograph and blog about the garden last week.

can't wait for these babies to grow up!

So what do you get today, now that I'm back at it?  You get to see my lovely purple eggplant flowers.  Aren't they pretty?  I guess it makes sense that the flowers would be purple, but purchasing this plant was such an impulse thing that neither the Boy or I stopped to think about what it would look like as it grew.

How about the fact that the little cherry tomatoes are finally changing color?  This is a new development in the last couple of days and very exciting for us.

I'm still waiting on banana pepper recipes folks!
And finally the explosion that are our pepper plants.   The banana peppers are out of control!  The Italian Roaster & Jalapenos have been doing so well that the boy was able to harvest 5 peppers from each for use in some pickles we made  this weekend.

What a better way to segue into the preserving part of this post.  Boy have I been preserving!  The thing about all of the preserving I have been doing is that much of it includes going to local farms to pick my own produce.  Not only to Farmers Feed Cities, but I really think it's important to know exactly where the fruit and veggies I can come from and here in Toronto I'm lucky enough to be surrounds buy lots of great small farms.

Two weeks ago we trekked down to Niagara on the Lake to go cherry picking at Puddicombe Farms.  We picked 40 lbs of sweet cherries in about an hour.  Sounds, amazing, right?  The problem with that is we never really stopped to think about what it would take to pit these babies.  Luckily we have a couple cherry pitters, but do you have any idea how long it takes to pit 40 lbs of cherries?   Let's just say it took me a week to get through it all.  But I am happy I did because I now have 3 big freezer bags full of frozen cherries (I place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and right into the freezer for a few hours before transferring into freezer bags), jars of cherry jam, cherry rosemary jam, brandied cherries, maraschino cherries and sweet cherries preserved in red wine with vanilla.  Not to mention that I also made some cherry frozen yogurt!

While it's not preserving in the traditional sense of canning or freezing, I'm going to share the cherry frozen yogurt recipe today.  Because it was so darn easy and it's been ridiculously hot here lately AND there is absolutely no going near the stovetop or oven or grill for this recipe.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Plus it's packed with delicious cherry flavor.  And it is actually a recipe that will work very nice later in the year with some of my frozen cherries.

print recipe

Cherry Frozen Yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup cherries - pitted
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt - i used nonfat
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsps creme de cassis or another complementary liqueur
1. Roughly chop the cherries and set side. 2. In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, heavy cream and sugar until the sugar dissolves. 3. Mix in the chopped cherries and creme de cassis. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until very cold. 4. Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

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