Summer In September

Italian prune plumsJust when I thought the kitchen chaos was slowing down, my aunt gifted me a ten pound bowl of Italian prune plums from her backyard tree. Although August is gone, there are technically still several weeks of summer left in September, and this year, our weather insists that we take notice. Humid heat is hovering in the 30C (90F) range, and means that plants continue to produce in abundance. Our kitchen continues to be the crowded hub of enjoying and preserving all of this wonderful summer food. I have a couple of recipes that I hope to try with these plums, but they may end up in the freezer before they end up in the oven, considering everything else my garden (and other local farms) are offering.

Tons of Tomatoes… Romas and slicing tomatoes are still rolling in, and our daily consumption cannot keep up. Which will be wonderful when the time comes to make sauce. Or salsa. Or both…

Seedless Green Grapes… last week we finally ate the delicious green grapes we had been hovering over all summer, and they were amazing. I’m not sure of the variety, but they were seedless, which was a surprise to us. Our vine produced four clusters this year, which isn’t bad for a young vine. It still has several years to go until it reaches maturity.

Seedless green grapes

Backyard Apples… our apples are ripening, and since there are several varieties on our two trees, some are already ready, while others still have several weeks to ripen before they will be picked. They will be turned into apple sauce, to be snacked on by my two littlest munchkins, and also used as a natural sweetener in my baking.

Beetroot… I love roasted beetroot all on its own, or added to a fall salad. But this year, I have enlisted some help, and plan to pickle these ruby gems, most of which will come from other gardens. Unfortunately my beets have not done well in our little garden, so I will have to rely on the green thumbs of others for these.

Bartlett Pears… I had almost forgotten about pears in all of the hubbub, but when I saw them at the market the other day, I could not pass up a bag. Or a box, it seems, since I went back today for more… still not sure if I’ll be canning them, but I’ll have to figure that out soon, since they are sitting on my counter as we speak!

Kale, Chard, and Rapini… the faithful greens of the garden. Our kale is pretty chewed on still, so we keep cutting off the outer leaves and harvesting the tender baby leaves. The swiss chard is beautiful right now. It has really appreciated the cooler mornings and nights, and has bright green foliage once again. Our rapini reseeded itself from the spring, and we are now harvesting big bunches of tender leaves. All of these greens continue to make their way into sauces, omelets, kale chips, soups, and the chard into smoothies.

Just picked tomatoes

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