Wednesday, 15 January 2014

the season of plenty


Summertime gets a bit crazyville in our garden. As lucky as we are to be able to grow year round in our subtropical climate, the humid heat makes summer the trickiest season. There are piles of food to keep up with, but also the bugs. Oh those critters seem to multiply right before your eyes and can literally wipe out crops overnight. I've decided to not get too upset about it all anymore and just treat summertime as potluck season. I plant it, leave it alone and if it does well, great! And if not? Well the bugs get a Christmas feast. All in the festive spirit!

Turns out this summer has been a good one with corn, cuccumbers, zucchini, eggplants and winter beans all doing well. Oh and for those looking for holiday entertainment for the kids? Plant some winter beans. Seriously, those things are golden. We had an hour of fun just shelling them, as the kids tried to guess what coloured beans would come out of each shell. Just so you know, apparently those speckled borlotti beans are worth the most in kids-bean currency. Who needs television, eh?



Also, can someone please tell me, what in the world am I going to do with all these eggplants? We've had an absolute bumper crop again this year and I've been giving away bagfuls of them.

Confession time: As much as I love preserving and making the most of what we grow, I've never really worked out what to do with my surplus of eggplants (besides sharing the love, of course!). They are coming out of our ears. Please give me your ideas! I'd love to hear them.

20 comments:

  1. You coukd give some to me, I didn't get any seedlings raised this year! Also you can slice them up and dry them to use later. Or I have read that you can freeze them but never had extra to try it.

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    1. I'd be happy to share :) Drying eggplants! Now that's an interesting idea.

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  2. I love eggplant, but like you have no idea what to do with a good crop of them.....can you freeze eggplant?

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    1. I must look into freezing. I do have a big freezer!

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  3. Hi, this is a recipe for freezing eggplant from Year in a Bottle by Sally Wise. Great book with lots of information.

    Freezing Eggplant wash, trim ends, peel, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch ) slices. Add 1/2cup lemon juice to blanching water. Blanch for 4mins. After blanching plunge the vegetable into ice cold water, and drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel cool completely before packaging for freezing. Good luck.

    Green gran

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    1. Thank you so much! I have heard a lot about this book. I really need to get myself a copy!

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  4. Can you barter with them or sell them to your local green grocer? I've made this eggplant relish - it's delish!

    http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/roasted-capsicum-and-eggplant-relish-ajvar

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    1. Oh that looks super tasty! You know I think I have all those ingredients in the garden as well :) Thank you Rhonda!

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  5. I have just come over from Rhonda's blog. I have absolutely no idea what to do with those extra eggplants! I just wanted to let you know that I've had a little look around your blog and I thinks it is very lovely. I will be following along with interest, hoping to learn some new things.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words It's lovely to have you visit my blog.

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  6. Oh my goodness, lucky you, I'll help you eat them! I grew little round mauve speckeldy ones this year,(brinjals) but didn't get a good crop, luckily there are many roadside farm stalls around here which sell them. I eat eggplant every day if I can....if you like Indian food, this blog, Holy Cow, has many eggplant recipes http://holycowvegan.net/category/eggplant. I usually bake the eggplants, then they're already cooked ready to add to whatever I'm cooking....or sometimes just stirred into hot rice with a little chilli and garlic...yum. You don't get the problem of them absorbing loads of oil as you do if frying them off. Baking makes them lusciously creamy and sweet too. You could roast or char grill slices and put into oil, for antipasto. If you google 'freezing roasted eggplant' there's lots of hits about how to do this. Enjoy...I am so jealous!

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    1. Oh those speckled eggplants are so pretty. I might grow those next year! Thanks for the recipe suggestions. Chargrilled is my favourite way to eat eggplants :)

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  7. I found you from Rhonda's blog. Love all the colorful beans! I can my excess eggplant. It was a little hard to find directions when I began. I wrote them up on my blog: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2011/07/you-can-can-eggplant.html. Lucky you!

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    1. Thanks for coming over to visit my blog! I had read that canning eggplant was a big no-no, so that's really interesting that you've been canning it successfully! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  8. Try an make ratatouille with them some Onions and your marrows. I dry roasts those three once sliced then add a rich tomato sauce with loads of herbs and a layer of parmesan which is delicious!

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    1. I haven't made ratatouille in ages! Great idea :) Thank you.

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  9. My favorite way to use eggplant is to make a garden sauce. Using a large pot, I start with sauteing garlic and onion and an apple or plum in some butter, then add one or two chopped squash (crookneck or zucchini or both) then add one or two or three eggplant all chopped and including skin.You can add any other garden vegies too. Sometime I cut corn off the cob, sometimes I snap some extra green beans, sometimes I chop extra peppers. Once these vegetables have just warmed and softened, I start adding tomatoes. As many as will fill in the pot. As the tomatoes cook and reduce, I add a few more. I don't work about the skins. Generally they curl off of the meat of the tomato and I can skim them off. I just cut the rinsed tomatoes in half and put them with the other vegetables. Usually I cut off the stem. It takes about one and half hours to cook this sauce. Adding fresh basil from the garden, salt and pepper and a shake or two of Italian seasoning is good too. This sauce is wonderful just as it is or you can add chicken broth to it to make a fuller, smoother flavor. Finally, it is served over pasta or rice. The rest of the giant pot of sauce is bagged up and frozen. It makes about 1/2 gallon bags of sauce, plus dinner on the day it is made. When winter time rolls in, the fesh garden sauce is a wonderful treat from the freezer! Enjoy, Kari PS I found and enjoyed your site from Down to Earth!

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    1. Wow, how good are you to write that all up for me! Thank you so much! I will have to try it, it sounds great and I love that you can freeze it as a sauce.

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  10. Hi...I found you also from Rhonda's blog and I like very much youre place. About eggplants (even it's probably too late for you this year, i think) here , where I live, we use to grille them and after they are cold we peel and freeze them. After defreezing we do something like a puree, that is called Baba Ghanoush by the eastern mediteranean people.

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    1. Hi mi_ra! Thanks for finding me :) I had no idea you could freeze eggplant- I must try it next summer!

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