Getting ready to hibernate

Today was the last day of our local farmers market (two blocks from our house, we are spoiled) so now I know it won’t be long before the snow arrives. I still have fall garden to do’s. I have to winterize the artichokes and purple sprouting broccoli. I need to pick the rest of the leeks and freeze them. I missed pulling a couple tomato plants. I need to chop down the mammoth sunflower stock. Brussel sprouts need to be harvested. Bean pole tripods are still standing in what has now firmly become the official herb garden.

The new freezer is chock full of food from the garden and farmers market. Next year I’ll cook down all of the tomatoes to save space. This week I roasted a couple sugar pumpkins. If you still have freezer space now is the time. Roasted butternut squash freezes nicely too. Silicone muffin cookware is great for this as you can peel them out easily and each one is 1/3 of a cup.

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Checked the red wine vinegars this morning. The first on the right was made with a 50/50 split of raw organic red wine vinegar and a nice red wine and it does indeed taste like vinegar (not spectacular just average) but it hasn’t grown a gelatinous mother as hoped. I added some more wine, leftover from last night, we’ll see what happens in a couple months. The second on the left is made with a mother and smells fabulous (I didn’t want to disturb it so I didn’t taste but should be good for Dec 15th at which time I’ll start a new batch).

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I harvested the last of the beets and Paris Market carrots yesterday – these are so very sweet and the easiest carrot to grow as they only grow down two to three inches. I also picked a brussel sprout featuring the elusive and difficult to grow pea sized sprouts (sarcasm) which is sort of cute and will end up in pasta or stir fry. Also a second purple sprouting broccoli has sprouted… I’m waiting as long as possible before picking them as they are only a little larger than a beer cap… if the plants survive the winter we should have hundreds of sprouts in the spring.

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I came across a recipe for red velvet cupcakes (which I never make because of the obscene amount of red dye required) that are coloured with beet purée (the book looks great too, going to check it out of the library to give it a perusal). They turned out great, the icing has orange zest in it and they tasted fabulous, no beety taste at all. BY the way a good zest tip is to zest any citrus you use anytime you only use the juice and keep a container of each type in the freezer – that way you always have zest on hand.

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One of my favourite blogs Milkwood has me thinking about maybe trying to grow mushrooms next year, so I bought an easy (“fun for kids!”) kit of oyster mushrooms to try since the method would be similar if buying all the supplies to do the same thing at home. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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I put some effort into seed saving this year, dill, green beans and tomato seeds shown. Hopefully they will grow again, I saved all my favourites (that said I already have 25 other types of seed I want to order).

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And lastly a shot I just took of some of the garden through the rainy sunroom window.

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About stanleycottagegarden

We garden, we cook, sometimes we blog.
Gallery | This entry was posted in cold frame, Cooking, Garden, Preserving, Vegetable, Vinegar and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Getting ready to hibernate

  1. So funny, I’ve made red velvet cupcakes before, but I left out the food coloring (I also thought it was an obscene amount!) and they come out a funny brown color – but taste great! I’ll have to try the beet juice idea to get the pretty color! :-)

  2. Using beet juice instead of artificial coloring…very interesting! I don’t like beets, but would be willing to try this if you can’t taste them. :-) Sounds like you’re ready to settle in and enjoy the fruits of your labor now. ~ Marsha

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