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In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In many Southern California gardens, peppers persist. They hit their stride in early fall and the warm, sunny days seem to be to their liking. If I had the space, I’d let them continue until Christmas as they have some years in my garden. Now, I’m hurrying them along so they don’t shade my sweet peas which are stretching toward the trellis.

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With so many green and red peppers, it’s time to freeze the surplus for later use. I think we’ve had enough stuffed bell peppers, though I continue to eat sweet, succulent red pepper strips everyday for lunch.

Many of the peppers weigh in at 9 ounces or more. The wonders of compost and raised beds.

Many of the peppers weigh in at 9 ounces or more. The wonders of compost and raised beds.

I’ve also been roasting peppers along with a neighbor’s eggplant for memorable pasta entrees. Pasta first in the bowl, roasted vegetables, then dollops of the best ricotta you can find and slivers of basil. I’ll be thinking about this mid-winter.

Here’s the start of a Mexican-themed soup with loads of peppers, black and kidney beans, onions, chili powder and cumin. Frozen crushed tomatoes and chicken broth come next. The rich flavor of the garden peppers made this batch the best ever.

Here’s the start of a Mexican-themed soup with loads of peppers, black and kidney beans, onions, chili powder and cumin. Frozen crushed tomatoes and chicken broth come next. The rich flavor of the garden peppers made this batch the best ever.

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Rhubarb and apples step up as the strawberry guavas wane. Actually, the three go together nicely in a compote using the strawberry guava puree. The puree adds color to my green rhubarb and a flavor boost, not to mention to anthocyanins and other antioxidants.

An odd lot of apples—Gordon and Dorsett Golden. The larger harvest to happen soon.

An odd lot of apples—Gordon and Dorsett Golden. The larger harvest to happen soon.

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The rhubarb apple crisp awaits, even as I write this.

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And I’ll close with zinnias from the vegetable garden. The unruly stems sort of arrange themselves in the vase.

To see what other gardeners are gathering in, head over to Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

Scenes from the Winter Garden

Scenes from the Winter Garden

Winter Color in the Garden

Winter Color in the Garden