Check this out:
I grew that stuff! All by myself! Those thin peppers are cayennes, the light green one is a cubanelle, and there is one little bell pepper that got picked a little too soon. And thousands of tomatoes! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! This year is my first attempt at growing my own produce, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to cook with ingredients that came from my own backyard. I started off very modestly – I’ve got 6 tomato plants, 1 cherry tomato, 2 bell peppers, 1 cayenne pepper, and 1 cubanelle pepper (I had never heard of the cubanelles before, but they are a mild, somewhat sweet, pepper similar to the bells but with thinner skin. I’ve been using them in omelettes and in place of bells in some recipes). I actually have 4 tomatoes and the peppers in large pots on my back deck, which is very convenient to my kitchen, but I definitely have to keep an eye on them – they need water every day or they will absolutely wilt, and they also need fertilizer more frequently than my “in-ground” plants. Next year I plan to have a much larger garden with more variety, but even with just the small scale gardening I did this year, I get such a wonderful feeling every time I walk out to my porch and pick my own produce…It’s indescribable. I took these tiny little plants and helped them to grow and provide all this bounty for my kitchen. Absolutely amazing.
In other news:
I finally got a Silpat! I’m so excited to try it out, but the day I got it I had already planned to make these cupcakes and a silpat is pretty useless for that. Happily, I found this artice/recipe about chocolate chip cookies that I plan to make very soon…maybe tomorrow. I’ve been yearning for a silpat since I first encountered one on one of my favorite blogs (the Wednesday Chef) sometime last year. I’ll let you know what I think, but really, who wouldn’t love a nonstick baking mat that keeps your baking sheets clean and helps your lovely baked good come away with perfectly intact bottoms?
Oh, and I bought these a few days ago and still can’t figure out what to do with them. I’ve been eating them out of hand, but sometimes I don’t even want to do that, because they are infusing my kitchen with the most wonderful sweet, fruity, summery fragrance.
I may make a cobbler with them…or a crisp (yes, I know crisps are for fall/winter, but they make such a good (and actually healthy!) breakfast that I’m seriously considering it). I’ll let you know how it turns out.