Friday, September 4, 2009

Seven Green Beans and a Rotten Tomato...

...was last week's yield from The Family Garden. We'd been watching the green beans for a couple of weeks, and as soon as they looked almost big enough to eat, we picked them. Otherwise, we were afraid birds or bugs or slugs would get them.

Since there were only seven of them, I bought some more green beans at Walmart Market. As you might have guessed, I was anxious to do a side-by-side comparison. I was delighted with the velvety, almost downy surface of our home grown beans, and when I snapped them they made a satisfying sound that I could both hear and feel. The Walmart beans felt dry and rough in comparison, and their snaps were a little anemic.

I carefully cloistered the home green beans in a separate compartment in the steamer basket. When the beans were ready, I counted out two beans each for Allyson and Bill, and three for me--I was the one who was most excited, after all. (Ethan was out of town, but he wouldn't have eaten a single bean anyway.)
The Verdict
Honestly, it was hard to tell any difference between our beans and the Walmart ones when it came to taste. Maybe I over-steamed all of them. They were all just... green beans. They were certainly tasty, at any rate--much better than the bitter salad we ate a few weeks ago.

The tomato, on the other hand, was not so pretty. Like several other tomatoes recently, it had split in two directions as it ripened. Maybe it had ripened too quickly; it was still quite small, the size of a cherry tomato instead of a beefsteak tomato. I cut into it anyway to see if part of it might be edible. It wasn't. Inside, it looked like Ethan's moldy cheese experiment from fourth grade--the stinky specimen that we kept in the garage.

I should have realized it was no good when those pesky birds left it alone.

One Glorious Sucess
Soon we'll be harvesting Ethan's two giant banana peppers. These are actually bigger than the banana peppers I've seen in the store. I'm hesitant to pick them because I'm not sure how to tell when they're ready. Or maybe I'm just reluctant to see our summer adventure end; I think these peppers will be the last of the vegetables.

Taken About a Week Ago--Much Bigger Now

My plan is for Ethan to pick the peppers, then to pickle them together. Does anyone have a good recipe for brine?

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