August 15, 2006

Tomato Sauce Success

We've been suffering through a long heatwave and most of my gardening has come to a stop. Fortunately, the pepper plants in my garden are still thriving. I have lots of fresnos, hungarian wax, bulgarian carrot, kung pao and cherry bomb pods out there now. I've been harvesting most of these for various breakfast dishes. Putting them into omelet or making them into fresh salsa. I'm now keeping avocados and cilantro in my kitchen on a regular basis for cooking. Now that the heat wave is over, I've been noticing that my peppers are starting to set more pods and seem to be flowers more.

My blushing beauty bells are starting to flower at long last. The plants are about 2.5 feet high now. I've had no bells at all this year in the garden and I'm hoping that at long last, the bells are going to start setting pods.

The scotch bonnet and the chocolate habanero plants are growing like weeds. They are now the tallest peppers in my garden, but so far there are still no flowers or pods on them.

The two tomato plants have exceeded my expectations. I made my very first batch of homemade marinara sauce and it turned out wonderfully. I've never had to peel tomatoes before, but I found it easy enough to do via the instructions that came with the recipe in the cookbook I used. The magic bullet made pureeing the tomatoes very easy. I used my smaller crockpot to slow simmer the sauce for a full day and the flavors of herbs, red wine and tomato blended beautifully. I added in a bit of ground beef the second time around and it was a hearty summer meal. Between the fresh salsa and the marinara sauce, growing tomatoes is more than worthwhile. Next year, I think that I better cage them though. My two plants overtook my tiny plot and I'd like to contain them better the next time.