April 23, 2014
Harvest time - a race against the clock PDF Print E-mail

Well, the heat is back and I’m for not working out in it. I never could stand a lot of heat, so I’ll do inside chores. I did go check out the fruit trees on Sunday. Daughter-in-law and I picked a peck of peaches off of two young trees. They are big and sweet, the skins come off easily and the pits don’t cling. I canned the softest ones with bad spots and separated the rest into one layer. When they decide to go south, you better get them put up. I canned 2 1/2 quarts and finished the rest Monday.     
The apples are starting to fall off of the trees. That will be my next project, making pies, filling and my favorite-apple jelly from the Black Arkansas trees. I figured out the other day those trees are 20 years old. We planted them at the back of the flower shop. When we sold the shop and had moved to the country, we transplanted all the fruit trees. They have a large crop on them this year. We had a large crop last year but the apples weren’t as big.
This will be another busy week as I will be coordinating the Opera House participation in the Taste of  Beardstown. I hope to make Blackberry Cobbler with whipped cream for our stand.             There are still lots of berries and not so many bugs, thank goodness. Last Friday, one of the farmer’s market vendors told me he had heard we might get our first frost by the middle of September. Gosh, I hope not. I have kale and turnips coming up nicely, and volunteer bock choy. I guess the turnips might survive. I’ve heard they get sweeter after a freeze and, with a thaw, you can pull most of the winter. Which reminds me I still have garlic to plant for  next summer’s harvest. I’d better get that  done this week.
We’re finely getting ripe tomatoes and they’re very good. The skins are thin and the flavor is great. You can only eat so many, however, and the farmer’s market is now flooded with them. I might have to can a few.             A friend wanted to buy some jars from me, so I sold him mostly quarts. With just me, I will put most things up in pints. If the family is around I can always open two pints.
I hope your summer was a good one. We had a nice one with company each month. It was just too short, although I love fall, my favorite time of year. Here is this week’s recipe for you to enjoy.
Herbed Ricotta Pasta with Corn and Zucchini: Salt & pepper--3/4 pound short pasta and 13/4 cups corn kernels--1 cup ricotta--1/4 grated parmesan, more to serve with--2 small chopped zucchini cup fresh basil leaves--2 T. chopped fresh dill. In large pot of boiling water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than pkg instructions; add corn and cook until tender, 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup pasta water, ricotta and parmesan. Add pasta mix, zucchini, basil and dill. Toss to combine. Add more pasta water if necessary to create a light sauce that coats pasta. Season and top with more cheese. Serves four. Light and healthy. See you next week, behind The Garden Gate.