The Season Closes with Surprises

Oklahoma is having unusually warm weather.  The day before our annual Thanksgiving event, known as “Man Week” Man Week Has Arrived, a.k.a. Thanksgiving!, the weatherman reported we would have our first freeze of the season.

I’ve been a little behind with the garden (unmotivated) and I still had jalapeno peppers and green tomatoes growing in the garden.  In a moment of guilt, not wanting to waste food, I immediately began to harvest the peppers and tomatoes. But how to preserve?  It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I have things to do!  John suggested stringing the peppers like his mother used to do.  That sounded like a lot of work to me and I’m all about saving time.  Checked out google for all the alternatives and it did seem like the easiest way to go.

I got out two large craft needles and John got out some green fishing line.  He took one string and I took the other.  It was actually very relaxing working together and it went quite fast.  It also added some color to the kitchen for the Thanksgiving feast.

Next, what to do with the tomatoes?  This year the size of the tomatoes were small but the taste was wonderful.  Too good to waste!  In the past I’ve canned, froze, dried, made tomato jam (very good) but I didn’t have time for that.  I put them in a colander waiting for a magic idea.  Gradually they began ripening and we began eating and enjoying the wonderful flavor of homegrown tomatoes.  I’m so spoiled I don’t buy a store-bought tomato.  There’s just no comparison!

peppers-and-tomatoes

In the middle of all this last-minute harvesting, I discovered a couple of surprises in the girl’s Garden Granddaughters’ Garden. This garden was long forgotten and the Bermuda had taken over.  To my surprise, I found cilantro and lettuce growing. This year was my first attempt at growing cilantro.  Even though I use cilantro to make hot sauce, what I didn’t realize is that cilantro does not like hot weather.  We had a very hot June this year and it never grew.  But the cooler temperatures in November brought it peeking out to greet me.  I harvested what I could by cutting leaves and not pulling the roots and put the garden to bed with straw.  Perhaps the cilantro and lettuce will come up next Spring.

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