Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2, 2017- the garden is still there and eggplant in the kitchen

Welcome to October. The garden year is winding down. Of course on Monday there was this flower.

This is epiphyllum strictum, one of the new epiphyllums (orchid cacti) I got this summer. It is a species plant. The name is given with lower case letters. (Educational alert) A species flower is one found in nature, rather that developed by some hybridizer.

In just 2 months the eleventh Mears Garden Picture Contest will begin. What a run. We started in 2005 just sending out emails with attached pictures. The blog started in 2007. This week I started assembling the contestants for this year's contest. My goodness,  there are some worthy candidates this year. It should be fun.

I hope you enjoyed Julia's recipe last week. We tried for a recipe that could be used with produce that would be available at the local farmers market.
This week's recipe gives you something great to do with...eggplant. Please scroll to the end of the garden pictures for this new feature of the garden blog.

I know how many of you like to vote in the weekly poll. I have put one up this week as we all think about the picture contests over the years. You will have to use your imagination. I want you to vote on what type of flower you think will win this winter's contest. I will not give you pictures. You could go back through the archives to see what I have published over the last 5 months. The contestants will be:
Orchid cactus
Spring bulb of any kind
Anything red
Something else

In your comments you can say something more. If there was one picture you particularly liked this year tell me. Have fun with this little poll.

The garden rolls along. Leaves are falling. We continue to work on new beds. The deer continue to be present. The impatiens seem to be a particular favorite food. But maybe that is just the rabbits. Some plants are still as vigorous and colorful as they were in June. Even among a type of plant, such as hosta, there are varieties that look wonderful, and some not.
Here are sights if not sounds from the garden this week.

This bougainvillea blooms about this time every year. It is just getting started. It provides color when you want color.

This is an enormous hosta called Abba Dabba Do. It hasn't lost anything since July.

This is hosta Winter Snow. It is as good as it has been all year.

Here is the biggest of the toad lilies. It has so much depth.

The colors on this lantana just keep getting better. The colorful flower looks so good against that green background.

Look at the beads of water on this elephant ears. We had a mist all day on Saturday. Somehow this leaf retains all those beads of water.

That's it from the garden. Here is Julia's recipe.

Baba Ganoush-by Julia Mears

Here is something to make with an eggplant. I am Greek (among other things) and so I think I am naturally attracted to eggplant, which is plentiful in the farmer's market at this time of year. Today I am going to tell you how I make baba ganoush which is not Greek but Lebanese, I think. First you will need an eggplant - one of the elongated oval ones - not the long skinny kind or the little ones. Mine is purple and white, but the color does not matter; they all taste good.

First you will need an eggplant - one of the elongated oval ones - not the long skinny kind or the little ones. Mine is purple and white, but the color does not matter; they all taste good.
We came upon an eggplant with a nose at the farmer's market (see photo), and so we bought it.

Put the eggplant in a shallow pan and poke it with a sharp knife 8-10 times. Now put it in a 350 degree oven for about 90 minutes. At the end of the bake-time, the eggplant should look kind of shriveled and collapsed in on itself. You can check it part-way through and turn it over if you like.

Let the eggplant cool a bit then scrape out the insides and discard the stem and skin. The insides or pulp should be pretty soft and an odd gray-brown color and maybe a bit seedy. Put the pulp (which for my eggplant came to 2 cups) in a blender (or food processor, but I can never remember how to put it together).

Add tahini paste (I used 1/4 cup); a peeled and cut-into-chunks big clove of garlic (my chunks measured 1 tablespoon); 1 tablespoon of lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt; and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Push the on button (or on my blender "puree") until the mixture is smooth. I had to stop and push the contents of the blender container around a bit to make sure everything was properly pureed and mixed up.  Taste to decide if it needs a little more salt.

Serve at room temperature with pita pieces or crackers. A word about tahini. I do not use it often, but there are a few recipes where it matters. It is available at natural food stores and I am sure at middle eastern stores and it stores well on the shelf.

There you have it for this week. We are going east for 12 days on Thursday. We are going to say hello to the Chincoteague ponies and Katie and Elisabeth in Maine. I am not bringing my potted plants inside before I leave. I am just going to believe that there will not be a bad cold spell while we are gone. Let's hear it for global warming.
I am not quite sure whether there will be posts while we are gone. If they happen it will be a bonus.
Philip and Julia


Dave said...

I think it's going to be something red this year, perhaps in tribute to Vladimir Putin.

Lori said...

Love the addition of Julia and recipes!

Catherine Woods said...

Yum, Baba Ganoush!
I love hostas and yours are really thriving,
Happy travels.