Part 3 of 2011 Ketchup Soup
November was surprisingly warm in our area this year, so I did not get the Kitchen Garden fully put to bed by the end of the month. Instead, I mostly worked on ways to use and preserve and the last bits of goodness from my end of the season harvest. I also went on a house walk which gave me some lovely ideas for using items from my garden and yard to decorate the inside of the house.
This year I was successful in growing garlic. I had gotten a head of Russian Red garlic from my master gardener friend Gary and planted its seven cloves in my herb bed last October. My heads of garlic did not grow as big as Gary’s (perhaps because I had left their flowers on until after the garden walk), but they did grow. I saved and planted another 14 cloves around my herb bed at the end of this October. We had such nice weather that I thought I’d see them sending up shoots withing a few weeks; however, they did not, so I wonder how/if they will grow this year. This year I gave them more organic matter (compost and worm castings) than I had last year; I also covered them with some straw in December. Next year I should plant the garlic earlier, in late September or early October.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed using the rest of the Russian Red garlic I had harvested to make several of my favorite dishes: Eggplant-Garlic Spread, Moroccan Lentil Soup, and Argentinean Chimichurri Sauce.
I combined some of my garlic with eggplant and olive oil to make Eggplant-Garlic Spread. We ate it with pita chips as we enjoyed an evening by the fire pit on the deck.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
I used garlic, pepper and onions from my garden along with more eggplant and other ingredients to make a large batch of Moroccan Lentil Soup, one of my favorites.
I had several parsley plants, both Italian and curly, this year. I harvested all I could before my next frost alert in November and used it along with my garlic and other ingredients from my garden to make a big batch of chimichurri sauce. I froze most of it to use later in the winter months. Why not? I freeze the pesto I make from basil.
Fall Clean Up
During the last week of November, I took advantage of the nice weather we were having to do some more garden clean up and switch my front yard and deck from their fall plantings to their winter décor.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, when I cleaned and “redecorated” the deck turned out to be a bit rainy. But at least I wasn’t freezing!
Here’s a peek at how it turned out: