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From Garden to Table

Local markets and roadside stands are overflowing with summer tomatoes, corn, string beans, squash, eggplant and herbs. At the community garden in Chinquapin Park, Jeanne De Jarnette has begun harvesting her Roma tomatoes and basil.

This week DeJarnette will start putting up jars of tomato sauce for the winter. "To me it is the flavor,” she said. “The summer tomatoes have their own sweetness. The ‘Farmers Almanac’ has some good information and recipes in Old Farm Canning Recipes."

She will also start turning basil into pesto. DeJarnette puts the basil through a food processor while adding olive oil, then freezes the mixture in ice cube trays. The cube size portions are later thawed and the cheeses and pine nuts are added before serving.

Down at the other end of the row, Virginia Guild was busy weeding her garden. "With all the rain it is a job trying to stay ahead of them."

Guild prepares her tomatoes for winter by coring and quartering them. Finally placing them in a freezer bag and freezing them uncooked. She takes a few out to add the soups and stews over the next few months.

She also prepares small freezable containers of pesto. Unlike DeJarnette, Guild adds basil, parsley, garlic and cheese to the mixture before freezing.