From our multi-talented & ever-dependable Ozark Hillbilly:
I forget where I read it and I am quite sure that every person who ever cared about cooking echoed the sentiment, but one eats with the eyes long before the mouth. With that in mind, I am always looking for beautiful fruits and veggies to grow in the garden.
This year, my maters didn’t exactly measure up with the tongue due I think to too much rain, but there was some definite eye candy on them there vines.
Starting at top left: Hillbilly (from TomatoBob), Mushroom Basket (BakerCreek), Amana Orange (TB), Wood*s Brimmer (BC).
My wife thinks tomatoes are supposed to be red and won’t eat one that isn’t red or pink. No problemo, more for me.
I always grow a variety of beans but Good Mother Stollard is a favorite. (Also Hidatsa red beans — look closely)
This was my second year growing Ojo de Tigre beans and this year they really produced. (Amix pic) also to be seen are Cherokee Trail of Tears (the black beans), Xmas Limas (all 2 of them).
Sometimes beauty shows up when you least expect it, like when slicing up red cabbage for sauerkraut.
We’ve all heard the saying that “beauty is skin deep but ugly goes to the bone.” but that ain’t true. I planted our apple trees 8 or 9 years ago and this year for the first time they produced enough fruit to bother picking.
Starting last year they developed a leaf spot disease and this year was a repeat. Looking it up on the google, the most likely culprit is the cedars we have on the property. Well, forget that. Not only am I not cutting them all down, I’m planting more (along the road as a winter privacy screen). So I decided the apple trees would have to live or die with the cedars. So far, they have chosen to live with them and this year I harvested the (somewhat meager) fruits of their labors. They were ugly but hey, I never won any beauty contests so I wasn’t about to judge.
Slicing them into wedges it was obvious that ugly is only skin deep too! The Jonathons were everything they are supposed to be: Tart and crisp. The 2 honeycrisps, my wife loved and the golden delicious were just fine (not my fav but Jonathons and Honeycrisp need them for pollination).
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
Feels very autumny.
J R in WV
Beautiful food photos, amazing product of a ton of hard work!
Thanks for sharing this!
That mushroom basket tomato is really interesting.
I know beans are healthy, but I just cannot bring myself to like them. Hard to cook and weird mealy texture. But I didn’t grow up in a bean eating family, so I don’t know enough about cooking them.
Good Morning, Everyone???
@Sab: I find beans very easy to cook. I like to make a batch with nothing but a couple bay leaves, and an onion with a little salt, put in a crock pot for the day on low. There is a quick soak method but I prefer to soak them overnight first.
As to the texture… I can’t help you there.
@OzarkHillbilly: The instant pot kills some beans.
Beautiful. Ozark, you have the eye of an artist and the soul of a poet.
@raven: My computer friendly wife loves the instant pot. I have almost shot the damn thing on several occasions. I’ve come to the conclusion that it and I can only exist in the same household if we stay away from each other.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
@OzarkHillbilly: I will try that. As I said, no one ever taught me how to cook them. With winter coming, a crockpot going all day seems wonderful.
I think the texture issue is more my husband’s than mine. Hummus is one of my favoite foods.
@OzarkHillbilly: Leaving the vent ajar can be bad, especially with steel cut oatmeal.
@SiubhanDuinne: Aw shucks….
@Sab: My wife doesn’t like beans either. She has texture issues with several foods but I don’t think that’s the problem for her with beans. More for me. :-)
I have every plant disease and pest known to man in my garden. Apple/cedar rust being one of them. The only thing that annoys me about the rust is I cannot grow hollyhocks any longer. The rust winters over on the new plant leaves and kills the plant in the spring.
Easiest way to cook oatmeal is double boiler. Just put it on and let it cook. No need to stir or watch or time it or anything. Just don’t let the bottom pan run out of water.
@Jeffery: That sucks.
@Sab: Canned beans are about the only canned food that ~= home cooked (Goya not great). Pressure cooker works well, follow directions because they foam up. Agreed, not much you can do if texture is the issue.
@raven: I have tried the overnight, on low, crockpot method on steel cut oatmeal , several h2o levels experiments, and always end up w mush in the a.m. I’ve returned to the 20 minute-ish stovetop method. Butter, salt, & maple syrup to finish
Enjoy your bounty. Maybe I’ll try beans again next year, but I need something bunny proof.
Beautiful tomatoes and pictures OH! I grew Hillbilly and Amana orange this year, along with Baker Creek’s new black tomato but got very little due to our near drought. A few off each vine, smaller than normal. The black variety produced the most so they’ll get another chance next year. Unlike your wife, I prefer non-red tomatoes ?
I like my instant pot a lot, but have discovered that the best results come from never using the preprogrammed settings, which apparently assume everyone cooks frozen solid meat all the time. My last pot roast (a shoulder roast) cooked in 45 minutes, the preset was for 90. And never use fast release on meats, let the pressure drop naturally to preserve the moisture, otherwise the steam will take the meats juices with it as it escapes.
@Jeffery: Oh shit, I got apple cedar rust for the first time on my crab apples, I assumed from the huge conifer on the vacant lot next door. I planted hollyhocks on that side of the yard. I’ll adjust my expectations.
Duke of Clay
Regarding tomatoes: I am particularly fond of green zebras. As you might guess from the name, they ain’t red.
@satby: When I saw Hillbilly maters at the TomatoBob site, I had to have some. Not sure why, it just seemed fitting. ;-)
@Duke of Clay: Green zebras are my favorite, I love the color and the hint of citrus flavor, but they are kinda picky. Always an early wilter, this year they turned especially early. After years of fighting it, I finally figured out the key to fighting blossom end rot in them is to acidify the soil which helps with their calcium uptake.
@OzarkHillbilly: They’re one of my favorites, bicolor and big heirloom taste. I still have one good sized green one I hope lasts long enough to ripen, or at least get close so I can ripen it in a bag. My best producing grape tomato was a mystery one, but looks like a mini pineapple or hillbilly variety, same yellow blushing into red. I’ll have to figure out what it was, because I’ll grow that next year too. It even beat the sungold cherries in output.
@satby: The past 5 years or so I’ve been growing Purple BumbleBee cherry tomatoes. This year I decided to mix it up and grew Sunrise Bumblebees. Maybe they are your mystery mater.
I spent 4 hours in the community garden yesterday helping to prep plots for our garlic planting and winter rye. It was perfect weather wise. I’m saving seed from tomatoes today for spring planting. It helps stave off the lack of light to keep spring and the promise of baseball (maybe) come April. And the earth will survive Cult45 even if humans decide to ignore Darwin.
Gorgeous (drool-worthy) ‘maters and beans.
Except for a few herbs, I no longer intentionally garden, but I was an accidental gardener again this year (bad aim for the compost bin; a couple of years ago the same bad aim gave me a bumper crop of spaghetti squash).
Instead of gardening at home I shop at a local farmers’ market and often make impulse buys based on what looks good. Best impulse buys this year were a gorgeous purple cauliflower, that I turned into purple soup, and an eggplant that looked like Richard Nixon (turned into Ratatouille Baked Chicken).
Re: Steel Cut Oats: I make them weekly in the Instant Pot using this recipe (reheat in the microwave). They are never mushy, although they do need milk added when I reheat them.
@Miki: Accidental gardening is the best kind. All the rewards, none of the work. :-)
@OzarkHillbilly: Glad you’re making purple kraut. Love it with pork chops in the winter.
@HinTN: Same here.
Those matoes are pretty, but them beans- Zowie! I get fresh dry cranberry beans at the farmers market and they cook so fast we use them for special fancy pots of pasta e fagoli soup. The day to day beans we grew up on are just plain pinto beans. A pound or two of picked over pintos boiled furiously for 15 or more minutes, then a gentle simmer with a halved brown onion, couple of garlic cloves smashed bay leaf No Salt and a dab of tomatoes paste. If there’s a bit or parmesan rind, that goes in too. A quick gish with a potato masher to thicken and that’s a damn good pot of beans. My mom’s bean cooking could not be topped. A bowl of beans with parmesan from the little green paper can a hunk of sourdough and a green salad was the most common dinner we had growing up. Sometimes there’d be a ham hock, most times not. A most comforting thing to eat- unless you dont like beans. Might have to make a pot today.
I didn’t have much vegetable success this year. Early on I got a bunch of Roma tomato’s, then the hornworms arrived. I picked them but couldn’t catch enough early enough. Many people were gardening this year, and everyone was out of Bt. I bought some this weekend for next year. All my squash got squash borer. I will prestock up on supplies for next year. My sister tried gardening for the first time ever and had different bugs get her squash. She seems to be hooked on gardening though. I commented that I never had as many bug problems with flowers as I did vegetables, they must be more tasty. She agreed, and is now interested in flowers too.
i am trying to get my seed orders for next year in as well as start fall seeds. In Florida, fall is a good season. Many things grow through the winter. Broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce do best in fall winter and usually don’t make it in spring.
i also got my mist setup going again and am rooting more of successful plants before I cut some things back. Trying to root more of moms begonias for my yard.
@OzarkHillbilly: That’s them!!! Thanks ?