Week Fifteen: September 19th Update
Frost: Nature's "Last Call"
Despite a few frost advisories and some near-zero overnight lows, our garden has not yet been hit by frost. Last night was the closest we've been so far, with a faint hint of frost on the roof of our garage but the field seeming okay. Many of the plants we have out there this time of year, like kale or lettuce, are tolerant of varying degrees of frost. But some plants, mostly those that grow all season, like our beans and summer and winter squash, will be killed once frost hits them.
Like riding out turbulence in a plane or choppy seas on a ship, the impending frost that marks "last call" for the garden reminds us we only operate within nature's good graces. We go to bed and wonder what we'll find in the morning.
My mom, channelling MacGyver, has attempted to save some of our herbs with a patchwork of tarps and picnic table cloths. Behold:
Hot Peppers are Hot
Have you ever done something foolish and then in a desperate attempt to maintain your dignity, tried to play it off as intentional? Well let me tell you a story of how I bravely chopped hot peppers without any hand protection, to teach a valuable lesson.
The other night we were making and canning salsa and chili sauce. We take our defect tomatoes and peppers from the garden and process them into various canned recipes, reducing overall food waste. Among other tasks and ingredients, it was my job to chop about six Jalapeno peppers. I know very well that these peppers are hot, I've handled and eaten them many times. But I suppose I'd never dealt with so many at once before.
About ten minutes after chopping, I noticed that my fingers were a little tingly, and my nose felt the same. I realized that it must have been the peppers, and that I must have since touched my nose. No big deal, I thought, I've washed my hands, carry on. I went to do some watering for about twenty minutes and by the end, my nose was alight.
I researched the cause and remedies for my predicament and learned that dairy products, specifically the fats contained in them, would neutralize the capsicum (the spicy part) of the pepper. So there I sat, humbled, with a tissue dipped in sour cream shallowly wedged into my left nostril. The good news, dairy works!
Simple Salsa Recipe
As the season winds down and our warm season veggies take a bow, here's a simple salsa recipe that makes use of the tomato, cilantro, and hot pepper in this week's share.
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lime juice
(Optional) 1 jalapeno or banana pepper, chopped
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best when consumed within three days.
This Week's Share
... and more!