It is the end of the harvest season, and I have been processing its bounty.
First, the apples. Some months ago I blogged about putting pantyhose on my apples to shield them from boring insects (although pantyhose, in my experience, have done little to shield me from boring people). I am pleased to report that it worked quite well. Here's an unprotected apple, riddled with apple maggots and other things unpleasant:
Versus one of the apples that we'd sheathed in peds (the foot-sized items used in shoe stores to protect the goods from customers' feet):
Quite a difference! Of course, you can only protect the apples you can reach. (There's a metaphor in there for something -- social justice or child-rearing or maybe Ebola. You figure it out.)
This week I pulled the last of the hosed apples off the trees, maybe a dozen. These trees are quite old, and I have no idea what variety the apples are; they are delicious straight from the tree, but not very good keepers. So I chopped this last batch up, put them in a pot, and made sauce. A worthwhile horticultural venture overall, this pantyhose thing. A handful of preventive hose:
....yielded a nice vat of sauce:
If .2 ounces of prevention yields 2.73 pounds of sauce, then a full ounce of prevention would yield 13.65 pounds of sauce -- way outperforming the prevention-to-cure ratio. I would definitely do it again.
Next up: tomatillos. I bought a package of seed and raised a dozen tomatillo seedlings this year, the first time for this particular veggie in my little urban garden. I planted six of the seedlings myself and gave the rest to my friend Linda. I was feeling pretty good about my own haul:
Until Linda showed up with hers (she gardens in the Berkshires, in full sun):
Processing the huge combined tomatillo harvest seemed like the ideal project for Halloween night. It's hard to do much on Halloween, I reasoned, because you constantly have to stop what you're doing to answer the door. And I was prepared to answer the door a lot. The number of trick or treaters varies quite a bit from year to year, but I always buy a lot of candy, just in case. Because one year I ran out. And I vowed right then and there that as God was my witness, I would never deprive the neighborhood kids of processed sugar again.
Chop, roast, puree; chop, roast, puree: processing the tomatillos turned out to be a 3 1/2 hour project.
In the end I got two huge bowls, destined for ziploc bags in my freezer, and Linda's:
Come on over! We're having enchiladas verdes.
One package of seeds yields yielded more salsa verde than two households could possibly use in a season: another good horticultural deal.
My investment in candy, however, was less successful: three 50-piece bags yielded maybe 20 trick-or-treaters. I ended the night with roughly the same volume of leftover candy as I had salsa verde:
But no problem! I know exactly what to do with the season's excess bounty. The only question: oven?
Or pressure cooker?