Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Bounties

Pictured below are things coming in from the garden. Our first cherry tomato, Matt's Wild Cherry. According to Johnny's Selected Seeds "Teresa Arellanos de Mena... brought seeds to Maine from her family's home state of Hidalgo in Eastern Mexico. It's the region of domestication of tomatoes, and where these grow wild." Below that, cilantro from our farm at Garden Dreams that I am drying to save for seed next year. The little husked guys are not tomatillas but Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries. The fruit are ripe when the husk turns golden brown. You can wait til they fall off the plant to gather them. You shouldn't eat lots of them unripe since they contain the toxin solanine, just as their foliage and that of other nightshades such as tomatoes do. They are not tasty at that stage though anyways! The appearance and texture is similar to a cherry tomato but meatier and the taste hard to describe but delicious in my opinion (a bit more savory than sweet?) Ground cherries are good for preserves, baking and fresh eating. Finally, pictured last is my pickle effort. The three jars contain Mexcian Sour Gherkins and Parisian Pickling cucumbers with shallots, garlic, white wine vinegar, bay leaf, and peppercorn; a less-sweet variation on bread and butters with turmeric, and dills. The pickling recipes are from The Joy of Pickling, a great pickling recipe and reference book.

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