Hope you all survived the summer rains, temps and bugs. Also hope that you are looking forward to Fall. I sure am.
Every year I say I am not going to wax on about how I love autumn, fall, but I must....otherwise I shall burst. I love this time of year.
Fall just seems to be a time of hurry up and get ready. The two weeks between Labor Day and the first day of fall just offer dramatic changes in light, temps and smells that no other change of season offers. I love what we used to call (totally un PC) Indian Summer. Crops are tumbling out of the gardens, sunlight has more of a golden cast to it and my homing instincts are kicked into high gear. It is also a time of festivals of celebration. Harvest, bounty and getting ready for colder times all are part of this lovely time of year.
Last late winter, I told you all of an experiment that I was undertaking with strawbale gardening. We set up our gardens in specific arrangements according to the crops that we were anticipating. We did all the prep work of nitrogen soaks, added the topsoil and mulch, kept the bales damp, then we planted our seedlings that we took care to carefully chose, plant, nurture and prepare. And watched as every single one of our "babies" died. We had started tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantalope, pumpkin, onions, and none of those made it in the bales. We then dropped back 15 yards and planted some seeds, some purchased plants and watered on.
While some of the seed sprouted and some of the purchased plants survived, most did not. What we were left with in mid June was tomatoes, sunflowers, cantalope vines that never set fruit, watermelon that followed suit and pumpkins that looked fabulous in June and were gone in July. We did have cucumbers planted by the front entrance to the patio in the front yard but they never tried too much, only a couple.
When I purchased the watermelon plants, I only had room for two and there were four plants so I planted one in the whiskey barrel in the front porch which is shaded with shade cloth, never thinking that the plant would do anything.....but we have a watermelon there, the size of a soccer ball. When we first spotted it, the whole Cuckoo clan a happy dance. At last we had something for our efforts. Ry suggested that it grew because it is close to the gratefulness tree. Could be. There is magic in the gifting of others in that ladder.
Shortly after, the tomotes started developing fruit on their plants instead of just flowers. And now we have an abundance of yellow cherry tomatoes, Black Prince tomatoes and the wonderful Beefsteak beauties that Sweet Man loves so much. Slow start to our harvest, but at least we have one.
So this morning I made yellow cherry and Black Prince tomato jam, er marmalade. As a youngster my Daddy Jack (maternal grandfather) always had cherry tomato jam in his pantry when we would visit him in Tennessee. I looked for years to find a recipe for one that came close to his jam. This year I found one not that I grew the kind of red cherry tomatoes that he grew, they were tiny and bright red. But I figured I would give it a shot with what I had available.
The combination of the bright yellow and the red, green and maroon flesh of the tomato varieties I used is kinda cool looking and they were so sweet before I even made them that I knew they would be yummers. And I was not disappointed. My non tomato eating family (besides Sweet Man) are crazy about the results.
I found this recipe on Pinterest and if you give it a try, I'm sure you will be pleased, we sure are. http://faithfulnessfarm.blogspot.com/search/label/Blue%20Ribbon%20Recipes You'll need to pan down her page to find the yellow tomato marmalade.....but some of her other receipes look super too.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda
pssssst did ya notice I have a photo? I just gave it a try with the photo from the recipe and there it is. Wow, I can use my camera again.....Hats and Horns, lets have a party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!