Blog: Food

Most of these posts were originally posted somewhere else and link to the originals. While this blog is not set up for comments, the original locations generally are, and I welcome comments there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Garden lineup

I just finished putting seedlings in containers. Let's see what survives. This year I learned about companion plants so I'm giving that a try in the big pots. And I also bought some liquid plant food to see if that helps with the bounty.

The pickings for cucumbers were pretty slim and mostly marked "thrives in ground". I found one hybrid bush that said it's suitable for containers. The seedling looks like it's struggling a bit, but we'll see what happens with room and food. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for another.

I'm trying tomatoes again despite the loss to critters last year. Apparently basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes: the core of Caprese salad in one pot! (But just in case, I also have basil in a separate pot.)

Well hello there

With no prior expectations, this being my first year, I almost missed this in the pot:

pot on patio with full-size cucumber nestled under large leaves

And it turns out there's a second cucumber, almost full-grown, under those big wide leaves toward the left.

I dunno; I was expecting the fruits to appear where flowers had been, farther out from the base. I guess there was a flower under there. I haven't tasted my new produce yet, but soon!

This is, according to the tag from the seedling, a cucumber "bush". I expected a bush to be less vine-like, but fortunately I could move the pot near a trellis once I realized what I was dealing with. (I have another one that admitted to being viney and it has a tomato cage.)

Meanwhile, I have gotten exactly three small tomatoes off of that plant before the others started disappearing -- two that were almost ripe the previous day, gone when I went to harvest them, and today, many of the still-green ones are gone. This happened with a different variety in a different location last year, too. I might have to give up on tomatoes until I'm ready to build a greenhouse (ha, not going to happen on this property).

This year's garden

This year I am attempting to grow (in containers):

  • Roma tomatoes
  • slicing cucumbers (it was labelled as a "bush" and good for containers)
  • red bell peppers
  • orange "lunchbox" pepper
  • basil
  • chives
  • mint

I have a few more smaller pots, should I come across or think of anything else I want. Last year I had lots of herbs, and found that aside from basil I wasn't keeping up with them fresh and so dried a lot. I want more vegetables anyway, but many of them require more space than a container can provide.

I hope that whatever was eating my cherry tomatoes last year is not as fond of Roma.


I asked my spouse to pick up a couple bagels and he came back with this and I had no idea this was even a thing. Very festive; no idea what the bakers had in mind.

Image without description

Description: Two colorful bagels, one sliced open to reveal swirls of red/orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The outside of the other is mainly green and orange.

Ugly CSA week 12 (final)

The final week of the 412 Rescue Ugly CSA:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 5 medium-large yams
  • 1 large tomato
  • 8 Bosc pears
  • 3 heads garlic

Weight: about 10.5 pounds.

Definitely all stuff I can use! Winter squashes and root veggies are my favorite season.

The end-of-season survey included a question about interest in a winter share. Winter shares are uncommon, but the one my previous CSA did (before they shut it down) was very nice. I'd be happy to join one this year.

Ugly CSA week 11

  • 1 large green cabbage
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 2 medium-large tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 Crimson Crisp apples
  • a dozen small red potatoes

Weight: about 10.5 pounds.

Yay, more squash!

The cabbage weighs about 4 pounds. Some of it will become cabbage soup (beef). Some will probably become coleslaw. That won't account for all of it unless I make a big batch of soup and freeze some. Which I might.

I hadn't heard of that apple variety before. The wisdom of the Internet suggests it's a good one to eat straight and doesn't talk about cooking with it. I can do that.

The folks running the CSA have kindly agreed to an alternate pickup day for those of us who can't pick up next Wednesday, Yom Kippur. Good; I was hoping to not have to miss the final share.

Ugly CSA week 10

  • 2 bell peppers, 1 medium green and 1 very large half-orange (hoping it'll keep going)
  • 1 zucchino
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 8 medium Bartlet pears
  • 7 medium-large Macintosh? apples

Weight: about 9 pounds.

I like fall squashes -- butternut, acorn, delicata, all good! I would be happy to get more of those. (And I wouldn't say no to more onions; a singleton surprised me a little.)

The manifest said Macintosh apples. Most images I found are redder than these, but maybe that's an effect of when they were picked.

Last week's apples were very good as apple crisp. I might do more of that, or make applesauce, or maybe it's time to dry some. (I like dried fruit, but last time I made it I had a working dehydrator. Time to learn how to do that in an oven.)

Ugly CSA week 9

  • large head leaf lettuce (email said red leaf but this is green, so not sure what variety it is)
  • 12 medium (on average) Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 enormous tomato (more than a pound!)
  • 2 medium red beets
  • 10 medium-large carrots, about 2.5 pounds
  • about half a pound of green beans

About 7.5 pounds.

I roast root vegetables a lot when they're in season, so that's easy. (Some are in the oven now for tonight's dinner.) The tomato needs time to ripen, but I have some other tomatoes to go into salads with the lettuce. There might be some carrot-raisin salad. There might also be stew, though that's usually for colder weather than we have at the moment.

Ugly CSA week 8

  • a bunch of kale
  • 5 Ginger Gold apples (they're more green than gold)
  • 4 medium yams (the perfect size to have one of as a side dish)
  • 12 banana peppers, mostly large, in various stages from green-yellow to almost-complete red
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 head garlic

8.5 pounds.

Last week I said I hoped the balance between fruit and veggies would shift some; this week it sure did. (That's good, because I still have pears and apples from last week.) That's a lot of banana peppers, so I'm going to pickle some tonight and then distribute the rest among various meals (stuffed, on pizza or in pasta, not sure what else). Some of the kale and one of the peppers went into a curry tonight along with other veggies and some Thai basil that desperately needed to be pruned.

Ugly CSA week 7

Fruit is good, but I do hope the balance shifts a little more toward the vegetable end of the spectrum next week! (For this purpose, we can count tomatoes as vegetables.)

  • 3 small and 3 medium Bartlet pears
  • 5 Gala apples
  • 3 nectarines (not yet ripe)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 medium green peppers (here's hoping they'll ripen)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce

Weight: about five pounds.

I also harvested my second red pepper tonight. (It was delicious in a stir-fry.) There are eight more full-grown ones on the plant in various stages in the journey from green to red. I lost one in a storm. For a long time it's looked like that was going to be it -- 11 peppers -- but in the last few days some new ones have started. I count seven, and there might be an eighth in a hard-to-see place. They're in the rapid-growth phase, so it should become clear soon. Nice -- a second round!