Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter Green & Cornbread

Green Pumpkin & Parsley

It has been warm for several days and then cold at night, and now it is finally getting colder during the day and very cold at night. My porch thermometer reads 44 degrees F as I type this.

I plucked this last sweet little pie pumpkin from my garden about a week ago. I kept waiting for it to turn orange first, but I couldn't let it sit out there in the cold weather any longer. I brought it inside in the hopes that it would ripen indoors. It is doing just that, although very slowly. There are some flecks of orange on it and I placed him with his orange colored sisters hoping their ripeness would "rub off" a little on his green little self. There below is my whole pumpkin family for this season.

Small, sweet & tender pie pumpkins

So with the weather getting much colder now, I figured I'd better harvest the last little green bell pepper from my garden. I had left the plant in the ground due to the extended warm weather and because it had a pepper growing on it. It was fairly protected in my raised bed garden, blocked from cold north winds by the back wall of my house. The nights have been getting far too cold for a hot summer crop like bell peppers! Reports of temps in the 30's made me concerned that this little green pepper gem would shrivel up and be culinarily useless, so today I plucked it right off the plant and brought it inside with a brief stop on my porch for a photo op with her neighboring parsley plant.

Green Bell Pepper & Parsley Harvest

My parsley plants are still growing strong, and I bet if I protect them with a cold frame for the winter, they will last right through until spring and keep on producing for me. I use parsley in so many things, not just as a pretty garnish. I like to put a healthy handful in my green salads and I love to cook with it. It is very nutritious.

To change the subject slightly from green garden things to warm food for cold days, take a look at the nice cornbread I baked in my cast iron skillet a couple of weeks ago. I had never used this skillet for baking before, and I am very pleased with the results. The cornbread was delicious!

Delicious hot homemade cornbread

I just had to show it to you. Now I made myself hungry. I guess I should go make myself dinner now. No cornbread in the house though. Guess I'll make a sandwich...

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

I bought my first sweet pie pumpkin this year, and here you are growing them right in your garden. How lucky is that?! I hope it's ripen up like the others. Let us know if and when it does, okay?

Ken (my husband) has been baking corn bread in our cast iron skillets for a few years, now, and has a recipe for a chipotle chile cornbread that's delicious with a little kick in it. He uses the little 6" skillet to make one just the right size for the two of us. We have several sized skillets which are Ken's favorite thing to use for cooking just about anything he likes to cook.

Stay warm . . . it is getting pretty chilly around here!

Hardware Bob said...

It has been uncomfortably cold , we are definitely finally into Winter's grip.

The tiny pumpkins you harvested are really very cute, and I wasn't at all aware of them having genders.

My parsley plant, like yours, is still pretty green and robust. I always totally forget to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of the plant, and just think it's a nice looking bushy green plant.

Now, the cornbread sample I received from you was the highlight of my day, and very, very yummy. Not enough sample size though, but yummy.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Yes, the little green pumpkin guy is slowly turning orange. I have been too busy to cook any of them yet, so I hope they last until I am ready.

Yes, it is cold this week. Must go build a fire in my woodstove in a few minutes.

Hi Bob,
Yes, pumpkins have genders.

Parsely tastes good in salads and other dishes and is said to help prevent cancer. It also freshens breath. I think that's one reason why they put it on our plates as a garnish.

That cornbread was really good, wasn't it? All gone now. Sorry.

frugalmom said...

I love baking cornbread in my cast iron skillet. I make these things called puffy pancakes, too. Sorta like a great big popover, but sweet. More of a dessert thing, I guess.

Your cornbread looks fantastic.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

mmm! Look at that huge slab of golden cornbread! Looks amazingly delicious. I'm so hungry now.

I love parsley, too. When I use my juicer, I add a bunch of parsley with apples and other fruits or veggies. It gives such a spicey, fresh flavor to everything. Just perks it right up.

Your pumpkins are also beautiful. I hope the green one ripens up well for you, too. You're going to have some delicious pumpkin to can or bake with soon. :)

New Mexico