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Kitchen Constipation

October 21, 2011

I’ve got that full, bloated feeling in the preserving vein.  Foraged mushrooms drying a bit before sauteing and freezing, tomatoes in every windowsill ripening and the corn beckoning  from the garden wanting to be saved before the cover crop overtakes the stalks.  Needless to say I haven’t been in the greenhouse much lately.  I had good intentions when I harvested all the tomatoes I thought would ripen.  Funny that, the watch tomato never ripens, but turn your back and forget about them and they ripen right up.  I thought I had really picked them all except the cherry tomatoes.

Not a lot of toms, mind you, but too many to eat before they get too ripe.

Makes me wistful for next summer already, although I am getting weary of canning.

Have you read Joan Dye Gussow’s, This Organic Life?  I highly recommend it, a wonderful book about Joan’s gardening and life.  This time of year, I always think of her Glut sauce, the kitchen sink of preserving the last of the garden, and much better than a chow-chow end of garden pickle.

Everything from soup to nuts and no rules.  My glut sauce this week is the last of many things in the garden before the first kiss of frost.  Costoluto Genovese and SunSugar tomatoes, coriander, Walla Walla sweet onion, popped garlic cloves deemed too small to plant, sweet corn, and poor man’s capers, a peppery nasturtium bud or a dozen.  A generous drizzle of olive oil and a glug or two of balsamic vinegar and you’re good to go.  What an unlikely crew to throw into the oven, but after the whole mess is roasted, the flavor is amazing.  A little bit of summer to put in the freezer to pep up a soup or stew and a great way to use up the last of the summer garden.  Or forget perking up a soup, this stuff is good enough to be a dish on it’s own, just make sure to have a piece of crusty bread to go with it.  🙂

16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 7:50 pm

    Ok, what are the little green berries on stems? They look really interesting..

    Beautiful tomatoes!

  2. October 21, 2011 8:09 pm

    Just send me the directions to your house! Yum yum.

  3. October 22, 2011 1:00 am

    I loved this! We’re just heading into summer, but I vividly recall what you’re describing.

    • October 22, 2011 5:37 am

      Ilene, what a year you have had! I think we’re getting frost next week, but we aren’t as cold as you because of the moderating effects of the Pacific. Stay warm 🙂

    • October 22, 2011 5:38 am

      Frogdancer, soon it’ll be your turn 🙂

  4. October 22, 2011 3:36 am

    Here in Oklahoma, we had drought and heat above 100 degrees for most of two months, so not much for us out of the garden. Especially since we also had cucumber beetles and grasshoppers. Very little canning going on in my kitchen, though I am making a little sauerkraut and getting a head or two of broccoli. We’ve just had our first killing frost –earlier than normal — so nothing left now but the cold weather crops. A very disappointing year.

  5. October 22, 2011 3:53 am

    Looks and sounds fantastic, Matron!

    And thanks for the tip on the book. I give it a look. 🙂

    • October 22, 2011 5:35 am

      LindaG, thanks and I think you’ll like the story 🙂 Her newest book is on my list, winters coming and I can’t wait to relax a little and do some reading.

  6. TBirdsMomma permalink
    October 22, 2011 8:30 am

    Yum yum yum yum YUM!!! That makes me want dinner for breakfast 🙂 I’ve never done an “oven sauce” (vs. stovetop) but I can imagine the roast-y flavour would be divine. Too bad we just ate the last of our tomatoes last night, or I might be trying it right now…

    About three weeks ago, I tried out the thing where you pull tomato plants up by the roots and hang them upside down indoors. I had two plants that I had put in late — they were seedlings that I hadn’t thought there was room for at tomato planting time, but then later I put two still-small babies that I hadn’t composted yet in to a little patch of dirt I wasn’t using. When the rains came (I’m on Vancouver Island) and all the tomatoes were splitting, these two plants had tons of fruit but were still green.

    Long story short, nearly every one of those green tomatoes ripened right in our kitchen on the pretty, hanging plants! We just ate the last ones (with great ceremony) last night… Sad but grateful 🙂 I think next year I’ll make a space somewhere for more than two plants and try to salvage more before they split. Bit of dirt on the floor from the roots, crispy leaves to deal with as they dry… With no greenhouse, the minor mess in the house is nothing compared to lovely, ripe tomatoes weeks into a cold, rainy fall!

    Anyway, as always, your pictures are gorgeous. I think there really is nothing prettier than a harvest still life. Thanks for all of your ongoing advice and wisdom. As I never knew my hardworking, homesteading great-grandma who I idolize, you’re a very handy stand-in for all things farm. Love ya!

  7. ElizaJ permalink
    October 22, 2011 9:04 am

    That glut sauce looks outrageous! Do you puree that or freeze chunky. I will have to give that a try next year.

  8. October 22, 2011 9:40 am

    I have read This Organic Life, and I’d forgotten about the recipes. She also has a lot of good garden growing advice, so I think I’ll pull it down again and give it another read…

  9. October 22, 2011 1:04 pm

    The Glut sauce sounds perfect. I just got a new propane stove and refrigerator with a larger freezer. I don’t have anything left from the garden, but maybe I can find some things at the store that could be used. I love to make soups in the winter. – Margy

  10. October 24, 2011 7:42 am

    Reminds me of something I make called “Slumgullion Jam.” A slumgullion is a thrifty stew of assorted odds and ends. My jam is whatever combination of fruit I have too little of for a full recipe. Last year’s was primarily apple, with apricots and peaches thrown in. Sugar quantities vary but if I’m using pectin I usually take the recommendations for whatever fruit I have the most of. If I’m not using pectin or making Slumgullion Butter, I add sugar to taste. it’s always a deliciously unique taste, even if I can’t replicate the recipe again.

  11. October 25, 2011 8:28 pm

    Oooh .. I think I have a project tomorrow to use up the cherry tomatoes. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂


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