, , , , , , ,

Late August/early September is a busy time in my kitchen, and even busier in my parents’ garage.  The garage has a sink and propane burner, so it counts as a kitchen too!  Mid August, I am usually just getting home from 3-4 weeks in Italia and am right back to work the next day for a jet-lag infused reality check.

My garden is thirsty for water and full of erbacce-weeds that need to be pulled.  The fruits of the garden are ripe for picking. This was a good year for pomodori-4 different varieties.  My favourite are the ciliegine or cherry tomatoes.  I eat them like candy, and freeze some for making brodo-broth for the winter. My parents get back from Italia at the end of August, then we make passata di pomodoro to can for the year. We use whatever is ripe enough from our gardens, and purchase a lot more.  This is a major production involving the whole family, but is totally worth the effort.  I like to call it ‘Salsapalooza’.  Read more about our passata di pomodoro making in this post.

The origano-oregano was picked about a month ago and hung to dry in bundles.  It is ready to be crumbled and stored in jars.

My Mamma brings home pomodori secchi, sun-dried tomatoes from the mercato in Orsara di Puglia.  We put them in jars under oil with garlic, parsley and capers.  Yum!

In May, I planted basilico seeds in every available pot I could find and the crop was a good one, so I am making a lot of pesto this year.  I bought a stash of pine nuts while I was in Italia. My recipe for Pesto Genovese can be found here.

I am sad to pick the last of my fiori di zucca.  They are too delicate to keep or freeze.  I make them battered and fried, stuffed, battered and fried, or stuffed and baked.  Sometimes I use the broken bits to make frittelle or a frittata.  I am always shocked that so many people do not know these delicate morsels are edible!  To learn how to pick them and what to do with them, check out my post Fiori di zucca.

Some of my zucchine grew too big while I was away, so I have put those aside to make chocolate zucchini cake.  You would never know there is a lot of vegetable in it!  Sorry, it did not last long enough for a photo!

My raspberry bushes were producing a bowlful a day in June and July.  Now there are just 5-10 berries per day.  I have been hoarding them until I had just enough for one last batch of jam!

Rucola gets put in and on everything!  In my salad, on my pizza, on my thin cut sautéed beef. Some even goes into the freezer for making pasta patate e rucola, on of my favourite comfort foods in the winter.

That is about all from my kitchen (and my parents’ garage) this month.  What is happening in your cucina?  This post is part of the monthly ‘In my Kitchen’ linkup hosted by Sherry.  To read the other posts click this link to her blog Sherry’s Pickings

Ciao, Cristina