Saturday, September 12, 2009
Working at "The Gardens" this summer presented me with a thousand new lessons, including how to grow, and harvest vegetables. Eggplants take patience and can be harvested when glossy. "you should be able to see your reflection," a superior told me. Carrots should be almost poking through the ground and contrary to popular belief will actually stop growing once plucked from their hole. If you try to re-bury a carrot after pulling it, it will not continue growing. Cucumbers are easy. They can be plucked when you feel they are big enough, but taste just fine when small. Swiss Chard is as beautiful in the ground as in the market, or on your plate, and Pumpkins are absolutely done when they have turned a creamy orange. Do not wait past then to pick then.
Along with lessons, I received a lot of fresh and free produce this summer. Gorgeous eggplants, cucumbers, bizarre looking carrots, sweet smelling basil, mint, hot peppers, fat beets, and the reddest juiciest tomatoes. Cooking with my treasures was fun. This dish was probably my favorite:
from Cooks Family Cookbook (Thanks Aunt Elizabeth!)