Friday, 28 October 2011

shadows, hibernation, and green tomato cake

With one week to go before Daylight Savings Time (Nov. 6, everyone!), we look forward to an extra hour of sleep and brace ourselves for quickly darkening days.  The skeletons of many trees have been laid bare.  The edges of afternoon shadows are sharpened in the thinning light- (when we actually have enough sunlight to create shadows...).  The rains are upon us- time for wool socks and rubber boots.

volunteers pull spent tomatoes in the cold rain

leaf mulch contributes excellent organic matter to healthy soil

Our garden work is focused on tidying up the spent crops, and tucking in for the Winter.  Our job, as Stacy says, is to be "soil farmers"- through the work of composting, mulching and planting cover crops, we hope to build excellent soil fertility for next year's growing season.

second generation of volunteer Summer fava beans

sprouting cover crops of rye, clover, vetch and buckwheat

We are nearing the end of our harvest and enjoying cool weather crops of parsnips, beets, carrots, rutabagas, spinach and kale.  But our tomatoes have sadly expired.  With the especially cool Summer, our tomatoes suffered and we were left with tubs of hard, green globes.  Thanks to some internet research, we found a recipe for 'Green Tomato Cake', as an excellent way to use up those piles of unripe tomatoes.  Here's an adaptation of that recipe:

Green Tomato Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
3/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger
2 1/2 cups diced green tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13" pan.  Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl, until thoroughly blended.  Mix next 6 ingredients (dry) in smaller bowl.  Fold dry ingredients into sugar/egg mixture until well-mixed.  Add ginger and tomatoes; mix just until tomatoes are evenly distributed.  Pour batter into greased pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.  Enjoy!

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