Monthly Archives: August 2010

Container Garden Update

After a brief recovery period after the move/first harvesting, my plants are growing again and flowering for a second time! I’m looking forward to a late harvest of green peppers and tomatoes.

Tomato plants looking so much happier with the new stakes to keep them up. They’re pretty much touching the roof on the deck.

Just thought this was pretty.

And, do you remember the green tomatoes from a few weeks ago? They ripened on the counter! And they were good! That was a nice surprise, and one time that my procrastination paid off.

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Sweet Cherry Cake

I recently won a few pounds of fresh cherries from Whole Foods and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I haven’t ever liked cherry pie, and I was worried about finding something to do with them, besides eat them fresh. Regardless, I bought a fancy cherry pitter and researched cherry pie recipes. Most recipes I found featured sour cherries, and since I had sweet, I kept on searching.  I found this one from Smitten Kitchen and was all set to make it.

However. I was too lazy to make cherry pie.  But, my cherries were going to go bad, so I had to use them.  I didn’t want to go to the grocery store (again with the laziness), so it was back to the internet…

I didn’t have the ingredients for a good crumble, so I searched for cobbler. I found this recipe and it seemed perfect (simple, plus I had all the ingredients).  It turned out more like a cake than a traditional cobbler – but it’s delicious regardless. Sweet, with a hint of spice from the cinnamon, and the cherries were almost jammy.

Flour, sugar, cherries, baking powder, milk, butter, cinnamon (not shown…whoops). I made a few adjustments to the original recipe – substituted some brown sugar for white, added cinnamon, used sweet instead of sour cherries, and about doubled the cherries. I would love to try this with triple the amount of cherries.

First thing you do is preheat the oven and melt the butter in the baking dish while it’s heating. Brilliant!

Then you mix the dry ingredients together and add milk. This recipe is really easy to scale because all the amounts are whole and easily split – one cup of flour, one cup of sugar, one cup of milk, half cup of butter.

Then you pour the batter into the dish with the butter. And you don’t even have to mix it!

Then you mix the cherries with sugar and a bit of flour. I used about half of the sugar in the recipe because I used sweet cherries – definitely just taste the cherries first to see how sweet they are (a tough job, but I’m sure you’ll muddle through).

Then you sprinkle the cherries over the whole dish, and dump in all the leftover sugar (or, if you like it a little less sweet, you could leave it out).  I had a lot of sugar left, so I would recommend using a lot less sugar to mix with the cherries.

Bake in the oven, and like magic, it puffs up and mixes and makes a delicious cake!  It should come out when it’s browned and a toothpick comes out  clean. My oven was running too hot, and mine actually was a little bit overdone after about 50 minutes.

It was still delicious though.

Sweet Cherry Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk

4-6 cups pitted sweet (or sour) cherries
1/4 to 1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Put the butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish, and while the oven is preheating, place in the oven to melt. As soon as the butter is melted, take it of the oven.
  3. Mix together the flour, brown and white sugars, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  4. Pour in the milk and stir until well blended.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan over the butter. Do not stir.
  6. Mix the cherries with the 1 tablespoon of flour and additional sugar.
  7. Sprinkle the cherries evenly over the batter. Do not stir.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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Container Garden – Weeks 13/14

Instead of showing you the weekly progress of my plants (since they’re pretty much grown), I thought I’d start showing the vegetables I’ve been harvesting!

Two weeks ago, I picked three bell peppers, two tomatoes, and a bunch of serranos.

These tomatoes are so good!

With these veggies, I just made a simple pasta salad with small shells, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, diced bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, green onions, salt, pepper, and a little parmesan cheese. Super easy and delicious, and really let the vegetables shine through.

Then last week, I had to stake my tomatoes a little more securely. They were completely drooped over the side of my porch, and unfortunately, when I picked them up, one of the stalks completely broke. It had two green tomatoes on it, too, so I figured I’d try my hand at fried green tomatoes instead of throwing them out.

Then, a few days later, I was able to pick one beautiful red tomato and several more serrano peppers. I’m going to make a lovely margherita pizza with the tomato and some of my prolific basil. Still not sure what to do with the serranos.

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