Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fall is back! Ack!

Ok, I knew it was coming...but now? Our lows are suddenly in the 40's at night, and highs only in the 60's all day. They keep saying that it will warm up, but it simply hasn't. I still have peppers to harvest, perennials to divide, houseplants to take in, tomatoes to see ripen...what will I do? This little bee seems to share my sentiments exactly! C'mon summer, gimmie just a couple more weeks....pleeese?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

SeedGROW Project September Update

Wow, is it really September?! Well my 'Spitfire' nasturtiums don't seem too scared, they are blooming away like there are several months of summer left. Becoming somewhat overtaken by veggie foliage, yet managing to show their flowers anyway...
....even if they have to duck under the planter to do it!

The nasturtium in this grouping faces similar challenges, but if you look closely you can see the splashes of red here and there.
Another benefit of growing these prolific bloomers are the seeds they produce. I read that you can pickle them to make capers, so I decided to try it. One problem: the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of green nasturtium seeds, and I just can't come up with that many at once (when they turn yellow they can't be used).
So I'm going to freeze them as they're gathered until I have enough.
This should be interesting!

Update: I realized later (as is my goofy way of doing things) that including the caper recipe might have been helpful! So here it is:

The Nasturtium Capers
You need to pick them when they are still green and smallish; if they are golden or yellow they will be tough.Late summer is the time to pick them. You need to look under the leaves closer to the main stem to find them.There is a textural difference with the nasturtium pods.They are crisper, juicer, slightly peppery and have the salty briny taste that you expect from capers as well.They are also slightly larger. In many respects they are more complex tasting.
2 tablespoons salt1 cup water1/2 cup green nasturtium seedpods3/4 cup white wine vinegar2 teaspoons sugar2 fresh bay laurel leaves, or 1 dried2 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
Brining: Bring the salt and water to a boil in a small saucepan.Put the nasturtium seed pods in a heat proof glass jar and pour the boiling brine over them.Cover and let them soak at room temperature for 3 days.When you pour this over you will see them go from bright green to a much paler lemony green.
Pickling: Drain the nasturtium seed pods in a fine sieve and return them to the jar.Bring the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and thyme to a boil.Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the seed pods and let cool.Cover the jar and refrigerate for 3 days before using.They’ll keep for 6 months in the refrigerator if covered in the vinegar.

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project, thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds."