Okra & peppers

The gardens have been in full-on production mode for some weeks now. We were very successful with the early greens like arugula and lettuce, our snow and sugar peas. The zucchini came on in their normal mad rush, requiring constant vigilance at the risk of producing a cricket bat sized squash hiding beneath the leaves if you turned your back for a second. All of the squash has done pretty well - I have pumpkins ripening that may last until halloween (always a bit of a gamble), and a new variety of chinese squash that a colleague gave me that are just a gorgeous pale green. 

My tomatoes were gnawed to stumps again by our neighborhood deer - we saw a young 6 point buck yesterday evening standing underneath the pear tree. He was pretty nonchalant about seeing us as well, and flipped his tail at us as he trotted back into the wood line. I swear I could smell his guilty tomato breath from across the yard. 

For the first time ever, we've had a really successful crop of peppers. Our summer isn't normally long and hot enough to produce good peppers of any kind. But I tried a few banana peppers this year and have had a terrific crop that I've grilled, chopped and tossed with sausage and other goodies. 

I didn't plant okra this year (though I have in the past), but we scored a couple of bags at the town farmer's market this weekend. And my lovely Bride was kind enough to pickle up the bunch, along with the peppers I hadn't gotten around to eating yet.   (Both of these recipes came out of the Martha Stewart Living cookbook)


They're still warm and fresh out of the canning bath, and I'll have to wait a few weeks to try them. But I'll be putting these into a special 'Dad only' part of the pantry. They'll make an appearance on sandwiches and salads after they've had a month or two to mature.

Amazing what a little vinegar, spices and peppercorns can do to keep these vegetables long into the colder months.