As Christina pointed out, my pepper plants in the raised garden had a great season. We picked jalapenos, serranos, and sweet bell peppers whenever we needed them for fresh salsa or salads. As the end of summer approached, we realized we had too many and started to offer them to anyone we saw. I also tried some new ways of using them. The first was making jalapeno poppers on the grill.
Pretty straightforward recipe. Cut the tops off a dozen peppers, core and seed them. Then combine a 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar and an 8oz tub of cream cheese in a bag, then squeeze the cheese mix into the peppers.
I grilled them so the egg carton bottom was used to keep them upright while they cooked. The carton didn't burn. The grill was pre-heated on high with some water soaked cedar on one side. On the side of the grill where I had the poppers, I turned it down to low and let them smoke/cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
They were pretty darn spicy and in the future I plan to wrap them in bacon.
Another venture to use up the bounty of pepers was pickling. I've made pickles before so it wasn't too difficult. Making sure you have the correct canning supplies is huge. I ran out to get new tops and lids for our jars to be sure we got a good seal.
Harriet was very excited to harvest the remaining peppers for the pickling!
So excited she still had her pajamas on.
I chopped the jalapenos into rings, while I cut the serranos and some sweet peppers lengthwise. We also prepped some garlic from our CSA.
Last weekend Adam and Ari came to visit and we took them out to the Arboretum to get out of the city and enjoy the fall colors. It was a chilly and windy day, but we had a great time and loved seeing all the fall decorations they had out.
Well one sacrfice out of 6 isn't bad.
In August they opened up kind of a sculpture "park" along the 3-mile drive. I was kind of underwhelmed by it, but thought that this one above was kind of cool.
We went in the hedge maze– there are two paths, one for littler kids and one for older kids and adults. Ari, Adam and Harriet went through the smaller one and had a fun time doing it. I took this picture from atop a platform at the very end.
One of the most picturesque parts of the visit was the ornamental grasses section. The wind had really picked up and the grasses looked majestic in the crazy winds.
This year we had a pretty good year in the garden. We did the CSA again this year, but are enjoying eating the things we grew ourselves. Harriet really got into it and was very excited to watch things ripen, pick them and then eat them. We got a bunch of carrots that looked like a rat king or something because they were planted too close together. Whoops. They still tasted good though.
Hops was a huge success. This is the plant's 3rd year and it really took off. We harvested all of them about a month ago and then Steve dropped them off to Dangerous Man Brewery after they gave a call out for everyone's hops to make a big batch of Community Wet Hop ESB (not sure what that stands for). Steve went and had his free pint now that it is brewed and said it was quite good.
Tomatoes were kind of a mixed bag this year. The relatively cool summer wasn't great for them. As you can see the plants just kind of look horrible. We grew all heirlooms and the grape/cherry tomatoes did ok, but the regular sized ones were kind of a pathetic crop.
Our apple tree really came through this year. We had to pick them a bit early because the squirrels were eating 2-3 per day. We probably got around 40 or so honey crisps.
This is just some of the peppers we got. We had serranos, jalapenos and bell peppers. Lots of salsa for us as well as jalapeno poppers and then we canned the rest. More on that another time.
Lots of eggs this summer now that all the new hens are laying.
And finally, the thing we are most excited about... our two pumpkins! The plant was a bit of a late bloomer, but we are crossing our fingers that it ripens for halloween.
I am a little behind on the posting of this, but better late than never. A few weeks ago we attended my friend Ben's wedding to Meghan. Ben is the only friend I have with whom I attended grade school, middle school, high school and college.
The wedding was at the Lake Harriet Bandshell and it was a quick, but windy ceremony. By the end of the 15 mins, we were all covered in dirt due to the powerful winds and dry ground. That said, it was a lovely ceremony and very fitting that the wedding was at Lake Harriet given that Ben has lived the majority of his life around the lake. The reception was at the St Anthony Main event center. It was fun mingling with many childhood friends and friends' parents and to celebrate with Ben and Meghan!
Perhaps you've seen the little smart cars all over town lately? The new Car2GO program is out in full force. I signed up on the off chance I need to hop in a car to get across town (without a bike or one of our cars).