Thursday, September 30, 2010


Crisp cool mornings, geese flying south and the beautiful changing landscape of colorful trees reminds us that Autumn has arrived. This time of year can be just as busy as summer. Yes the summer markets are finished but this also means removing the dead plants out of the garden and composting them, picking the last of the vegetables and fruit like pears, apples, tomatoes and of course gathering the pumpkins and gourds.

For us it also means a time to be retrospective about the busy summer. What plants did well, what vegetables do we need to plant more of next year, and preparing for our winter markets and holiday baking.

This year our garden was abundant with tomatoes. Last year we had bad luck and lost all our tomato plants therefore we planted almost twice as many plants in hopes that some would survive. We canned many jars of tomatoes, dried them and made ketchup. Hours of processing tomatoes pay off in the winter when you open up a jar or use the dried tomatoes in special dishes and all the work of summer is worth it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Harvesting Pears

Labor Day finds us laboring or should I say harvesting many of our vegetables in the garden and from our fruit trees. Today we had an abundance of tomatoes which needed to be picked. We process many of our tomatoes by canning them so we can have them throughout the fall, winter and spring. After we have stored enough, we then use many of the tomatoes to dry in our dehydrator. Our dried tomatoes are such a wonderful treat in the middle of winter added to pasta sauces, pizza, or with mozzarella and olive oil. We will have recipes with dried tomatoes to come later in the fall or winter.

After the tomato picking was completed the children ran to the pear trees. These trees are so abundant with pears that they nearly touch the ground. So up the ladder the children went picking pears until all their containers were full and of course patience at picking had ended. Now we are digging up recipes to use these pears in. A winner is our following recipe for Bruschetta with Pear,Chevre, and Honey. All the ingredients mix so nicely together that I am sure this will be a crowd pleaser in your family too.

Bruschetta with Pear, Chevre, and Honey
1 baguette
2 to 3 pears
chevre cheese or a personal favorite
honey to drizzle

Heat oven on broil. Slice baguette or other crusty bread into rounds. Place on a cookie tray lined with aluminum foil and grease or spray with cooking spray. Place a piece of cheese on each piece of bread, on the cheese place 2 or 3 pieces of sliced and cored pear, then drizzle honey on top. Place tray in oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.