Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer's Bounty

Oh yeah.

We're talkin' Razzle Dazzle tomatoes, Purple Dragon carrots, Sun Sugar tomatoes and Swedish Fingerling potatoes.

It's not a big harvest, mind you. A mere plateful, actually.
But it's a big deal around here.

I dug up a couple of potatoes just to see how big they were. I wouldn't call them 'fingerlings' so much as 'stumplings.' See?
Just about the size of a cherry tomato. So, they stay in their barrels a bit longer.

The big news is that we were able to harvest and eat some of the Maple Sugar corn.

We had 6 ears that bloomed...sprouted...grew...whatever they do...but 2 of them mysteriously turned moldy. So I was only able to pick 4 ears.

We carefully husked them to see their beautiful golden goodness inside...
Holy Weirdness, Batman! What kind of freakish vegetable creature have I grown??

Not sure what happened to that poor little guy. Needless to say, we didn't eat it.

So we were down to 3 ears. For 4 people. Rather than do brain-hurting math, I cooked the 3 remaining ears...
(yes, they're supposed to be that small)

...and cut all the kernels off so we could divvy up the goodness equally.

And, man, was it good. True to the name, there was a maple sugary taste to the corn. Quite unlike any corn I've ever had. Very, very good. We decided that if we do corn again next year, we plant a LOT more of it.

There are a few cornstalks that haven't produced anything yet, but they are getting little silky mop tops, just like the earlier ones did. We'll see if anything comes of it. Our taste buds sure hope so.

I'm still waiting for my White Wonder tomatoes to turn white. (I have mistakenly been calling them Italian Ice tomatoes. Italian Ice was the plant I ordered. Then killed. White Wonder is the replacement.)

The plant has a lot of green, lemon shaped tomatoes on it:
And one very yellow tomato:
Not quite sure what to make of that. I'll keep you posted.

In honor of all this yellow, summery deliciousness, I'll give you a fantastic lemonade recipe. Normally, I'm not a big fan of Rachel Ray's recipes, but this time she nailed it. This lemonade is so good, my girls don't want to even look at the canned, powdered or concentrate kind anymore.

It's a bit of work, but it's worth it. (So if I ever serve it to you, you know it's 'cause you're special.)
Honey-Vanilla Lemonade

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 12 or so large lemons)
Lemon wheels or wedges for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey and 2 cups water, and place over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in 1/2 lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the saucepan, along with the pod. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Put the lemon juice into a gallon jug or pitcher. Pour the sugar syrup through a strainer into the pitcher and discard the pod. Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well.

Serve over ice with lemon wheels or wedges.