Sunday in the kitchen

Made a batch of pesto this morning. Didn’t have pine nuts, so I used toasted walnuts instead. Didn’t have quite enough basil leaves, so I added a cup of salad greens. They worked–tasty stuff.

And another seven pounds of tomatoes were whittled down to a quart and a half or so of marinara. I really cooked it down, so the flavor is concentrated. Had some for late lunch with tri-color rotini. It came out well.

There are a couple of tomatoes ripening in a bag under the kitchen sink, and a few more on the vine that may be ready to pick in a couple of days. But temps are expected to dip into the 40s during a couple of nights this week, and that’s the temp that triggers late blight. I’ll see how well things hold up. The Aunt Ginny heirloom has a number of large greenies, but I don’t think they’re far enough along to pick and bag. I hope I don’t lose them.

It’s a gorgeous day. Low 80s. Some cloud, and a light breeze. King’s lying on the deck; Gaby is on the lawn in the shade.

3 thoughts on “Sunday in the kitchen”

  1. I envy you your tomatoes. I’m having an issue attracting pollinators and haven’t gotten a single tomato this year and very few other veggies. Am investigating possibility of putting in a beehive for next year since the pollinator-attracting plants that I’ve put around the garden don’t seem to be doing the trick. Need to check into regulations first since I’m in the city.

    OTOH, I had such a bed of basil last year to make pesto for the freezer for several years! I’ve just planted enough this year for fresh uses. It’s one of my favorite herbs.

  2. I’m lucky I’ve been able to harvest as many tomatoes as I have. The extended stretch of 90+ degree weather that we had knocked the hell out of them. Many blossoms were dropped. I read somewhere that at elevated temps, the pollen becomes sticky/clumpy and blossoms can’t be pollinated. Hence, they dry up and fall off.

    As for attracting bees…I have no idea if this is coincidence or not, but I bought some organic fungicide, insecticide, and repellent made from various combinations of herb oils–rosemary, thyme, peppermint, and clove are ones I recall. I would spray my Rose of Sharon or the tomatoes with the fungicide or insecticide, and I swear that bees showed up within minutes to visit the flowers and in general buzz around. I don’t believe those sorts of oils hurt bees–I’d hate to think I had attracted them to their deaths. But if a couple of observations count for anything, the bees seem to like the stuff. They’re made by a company called EcoSmart. If nothing else, you can spill the stuff on yourself and not worry about your imminent demise.

    I didn’t have much luck with basil this year. I think it was a combination of trying to grow it in deck pots–the ground became too hot is my theory–and not thinning the seedlings soon enough so that they became too crowded. I did get all of my 5 varieties to grow. Cinnamon basil does indeed smell like cinnamon, and lemon basil like lemon. The lettuce leaf and dark opal taste like the sweet Italian, but some bug or other just adores the dark opal–all the seedlings lost leaves to insect damage. The other varieties were left alone.

    Next year, it’s the raised bed for them.

  3. We hit record temperatures a lot this summer, so that certainly could have contributed. Interesting re: bee attractant. I have three of those essential oils. I wonder if there have been any studies on chemical attractants. Internet, ho!

    I’ve got lime and lemon basil in addition to the regular Genovese. LOVE those in salads. The ones I planted in the ground did better than the ones in the containers too…probably since the heat required watering 2-3x/day to prevent wilting and who has the time for that? Might set up a drip system next year for the containers if is going to be that bad again.

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