Re: [gardeners] Fall harvest stuff

Ron Hay (
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 07:23:13 -0800

Good morning, George,

It sounds as if your garden is coming along very nicely, if at a bit slower
pace. Ours is, too. I picked about 50 serrano chiles yesterday, which were a
beautiful fire engine red. Used some of them in a garden fritatta which I
made on Tuesday, using garlic, basil, sweet onions, yellow bell pepper and
queso anejo (a variety of queso cotija), and it was absolutely delicious.

Still haven't picked the persimmons, but will this weekend, now that
houseguests and church choir concert are behind us. Pomegranates look ripe,

Limes continue to fall, ripe, in abundance, and have learned a wonderful
recipe for limeade from Mark Bittman's _How to Cook Everything_. Side
benefit: it makes wonderful vodka gimlets:)

Our birds of paradise continue to amaze us. It must have been dumb luck on
the part of the landscaping-impaired former owner to plant the Strelitzia
nicolaii where she did, because when the sun rises in the morning, it
backlights the flowers beautifully, suffusing the garden wall with a lovely
peachy glow.

The pole beans and broccoli really perked up after our first rain of the
season, and have grown measurably, despite our suddenly cooler
temperatures...which should rise to the low 80s tomorrow and Saturday.

Something we noticed after the rain was the sprouting of a myriad epazote
plants, the famous Mexican bean-degassing herb. We knew that when we pulled
the mother plant out two weeks ago that some seeds had scattered, but had no
idea how many would germinate! If we don't pull most out or give them away,
we will have a forest of epazote, which can grow to 6', when it goes to

Speaking of going to seed, our Italian parsley has set no flowers either,
neither has it had any nibbling caterpillars. As a result, it is lush and
green, a delight to put into pasta sauces and my Indian dishes.

Basil is still beautiful lush and green, and we are enjoying using it at
every opportunity. The fragrance is amazing, even when just watering it.

George, would you mind sharing your hot pepper jelly recipe? We have dried
well over 500 serranos, but might find it fun to use some of the lovely red
fruit in jelly, to give as gifts at Christmas.

I must say, although I am not a veteran (both brothers are; my blood
pressure was too high), it was characteristically kind of  you to
acknowledge the contributions of those who keep and have kept our country
safe. God bless them all.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine on  your
shoulders on a deliciously cool fall day.

Van Nuys, CA

George Shirley wrote:

> The chiles are still producing well so yesterday evening I put up 6
> half-pints of Hot Chile Jelly. I must say it came out very good so
> there's a lot to be said for following directions. ;-) I make it in 6
> jar batches as the recipe doesn't double very well. Today I plan to make
> two more 6 jar batches as the jelly is popular within our family and
> among friends.
> Also chopped and froze a batch of garlic chives and another of onion
> chives yesterday. Decided I like them better chopped and frozen versus
> dehydrated. A little more trouble to store but works better in cooked
> dishes. As mild as our temperatures have been I could probably just cut
> fresh each time I need some but like to cover the plants with leaves for
> a couple of months and let them "rest."
> The Amsterdam (leaf) celery is doing very well with the somewhat cooler
> weather and I am cutting it back about once a week. The leaf celery does
> get dehydrated as I only use it in soups and stews and dry works as well
> as frozen. The slow-bolting Italian parsley (read non-bolting as it has
> been in the ground since early spring and has never bolted) is also
> doing well so I made another cutting this morning. Had been leaving it
> alone so the caterpillers could graze it but they've all grown up to be
> butterflies now and have flown away.
> The fall radishes are coming in fast so we planted another batch
> yesterday and will do another batch next week. Reckon we both just like
> radishes a lot. Last year I pickled some radishes with garlic cloves and
> carrot sticks and they came out excellent. Since the whole family likes
> pickles of all kinds we tried the experiment.
> Well, gotta go start making that hot chile jelly if I want to get done
> in time to put on a pot of chicken and dumplings for supper. Later.
> George