Seeing Red

Well… let’s just say that I’m so glad I could write a nice garden harvest post before I left for the Labor Day weekend.

At that point we actually had produce to harvest and enjoy.

Then we left.

It was a record 107 degrees as we drove to my parents place and it stayed hot and dry the entire weekend. By the time we returned on Monday –  the garden looked post-apocalyptic.

All of the vineys – the squash, watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins – everything was dead. Succumbed to the the deadly heat, drought, and dreaded squash bugs.

An they had fought so valiantly all summer.

A moment of silence please.

The corn was brown and dried up and the beans looked pathetic.

So much for a fall garden.

DSC_0132Well – except for the tomatoes. After waiting months for them to finally decide to ripen –  they all ripened at once.

Buddy and I picked bushels of them – 3 banana boxes full.

We were seeing red all the next day as we canned 9 batches of spaghetti sauce in a single day. Never before have I done that many at once.  Wowsa.

And they weren’t done.

A week later we picked another 2 banana boxes.

We have now canned 66 quarts of spaghetti sauce in 2 days.

And I can still see red ones when I look out the window.

Maybe someone should tell them there is a drought? They could slow down.

But I’m not complaining! Oh no – I’m just thankful to have any produce at all!

Really I am.

Anybody want to trade some beautiful red ripe tomatoes for some green beans? Zucchini? Sweet corn?Anything?

I didn’t think so.

Spaghetti sauce here we come.

Jalapeno Cilantro Dip

DSC_0006 The peppers in the garden are coming at full speed ahead!

I have a jalapeno (or two) in my egg every morning, fresh salsa with a jalapeno (or two) at lunch and then in the evening – as many jalapeno poppers as I can get away from the children!

I think it’s safe to say that we’re a little obsessed with our Tam jalapenos!

So when I tried this recipe I found on Pinterest – it was love at first bite!

It was smooth and creamy – with a touch of heat at the very end. Perfection!

If you don’t like cilantro (you poor souls!) you could probably substitute parsley. I will say that even my non-cilantro eaters ate some and liked it!

And if the heat of the jalapenos is worrying you – just put fewer in and make sure you remove the seeds and the white (that’s where the heat lives.)

The original recipe calls for one packet of dry Ranch dressing mix – but I always make my own. I guesstimate I used about a heaping tablespoon or two.

Jalapeno Cilantro Dip

6-8 jalapenos (or less)
a handful of cilantro
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise

Slice the jalapenos and remove the white and seeds. Puree the jalapenos and cilantro in a food processor until it looks like a paste.

Add the Ranch dressing mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Mix until well combined.

Chill for an hour and serve – or eat it immediately because you just can’t wait!

This is fabulous on veggies, chips, or crackers, or even as a topper on chicken or a burger.

Enjoy!