The harvest has begun, at least of some garden (and wild) edibles. Elizabeth is hard at work bringing in produce, blanching or drying it or cooking with it and putting the results of her efforts into the freezer or on the pantry shelves for winter use. Some of the results are colourful, so we thought this week would be a good opportunity to show you. The gardens need some time to change before we go in and take more pictures.
We’ve cut the Bee Balm blossoms twice now. Here they are dunked in water (to eliminate insect life), spun dry and placed on the rack for the dehydrator.
After a few days in the dehydrator, we bottle the whole flowers and store them in a dark pantry. They make a good tea, especially when blended with the leaves of the same plant, which we will harvest a bit later.
Elizabeth harvests other flowers, too:
She hopes this year to get enough Calendula to make some ointment with it. It is very healing, especially for insect bites, rashes and skin conditions like eczema. Calendula is also nice fresh in salads. Looks pretty on the plate, too (the leaves when young are also great in a salad).
She’s all finished with the clover now, which she also uses in tea. It adds a little sweetness to the mix.
Some of the herbs she hasn’t got time to use fresh, or has too much to use up, she dries.
Here’s some of that French Tarragon she likes so much, all dry and ready to go on the pantry shelf.
Last week a lady gave Kay a whole grocery bag full of Dill, so Elizabeth was busy all evening preparing it to dry or freeze to use when she starts pickling Cucumbers. If she ever gets any Cucumbers. Kay and I showed her a female flower that appeared yesterday afternoon, so maybe…
The Beets are coming in now, too. these are some freshly washed Beet leaves, which the two-leggers are preparing to blanch and freeze.
Elizabeth’s newest culinary invention, Beet Leaf Rolls. They are just waiting to be covered…
…in a Tandoori fruit and yoghurt sauce before she pops them into the oven for a couple of hours.
Before you start wondering where she gets these bizarre ideas…
An old high school friend suggested she try using some of the bigger beet leaves to make something like cabbage rolls, offering the caveat, “avoid TOMATO-based sauce, a lot of the recipes you will find will offer to make a tomato based sauce that you pour over when you bake. This works much better for cabbage. With these tender and tasty peppery leaves, a lighter sauce I think works better.”
Elizabeth spent her formative first years among Ukrainian neighbours in the North End of Kenora. She loves Ukrainian food (she loves any food, really…) like perogies or cabbage rolls. So, she thought about it for a while…
Her ancestors also spent a good deal of time in India, and she’s grown up on the recipes they brought home when they returned. Et voila, as my friend Easy would say. Even so, she was really nervous about how this one would turn out as it was entirely invented and she’d never made cabbage rolls before and …
They were a big hit!
Elizabeth used one of the Hungarian Hot Peppers (the ones without the folds) in her Tandoori Beet Leaf Rolls. She hasn’t tried one of the Sweet Red Hot Peppers yet. Neither have I. She won’t let me try either!
She used other ingredients from the garden, like a Hot Pepper, for example, and she even used something her sister-in-law and brother made from Crabapples growing in their garden in The Yukon: Apple Butter. Truly a dish of many colours and flavours! She’s really proud of herself. So, I had to let her go on about it. Sorry.
Hey, Scribe. Could we maybe move along now? Thanks. ~:o/=
The first of the Purple Tomatillos are ripe, now too. Soon Elizabeth will make some Mango Chutney using them.
While Kay and Elizabeth work in the kitchen, I like to supervise. Not only do they frequently need a taskmaster to fire them into action when they start focusing too much on chopping and forgetting things like pots of boiling water, but I also must ensure that nothing that inadvertently flies from the chopping block to the floor is trod upon or otherwise wasted.