This recipe is from the latest issue of Zone 4 Magazine, where I found a great article on Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint. Sungold tomatoes are delicious and wildly productive (read: a lot!) I thought it would be a good recipe to make/share. The addition of smoked paprika is brilliant!
Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika
12 cups chopped orange tomatoes
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, gently boil the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. Cooking at a fairly rapid pace, it should take about an hour of cooking.
When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Wine cups are a wonderful, waterwise/drought tolerant, colorful, plant for any garden in Mountain States. Heck, for any garden! I found my original plants at a Fred Meyer ?store in Boise. They can be mail ordered from High Country Gardens, as well. They started blooming in May, and are still going strong. I cut them back by about a foot, and did so twice this season. It keeps them from getting to straggly. Harvest the fully mature seeds and scatter them wherever you’d like to add some bang bang color to your garden.
Botanical name: callirhoe involucrata
Color: hot pink
Size: 6 inches tall by 6 feet wide
Perennial that gently reseeds.
There are a handful of plants that are working hard right now, and by that I mean, lookin’ good in the garden. Hell, even I don’t look good in the garden. We’ve had a month of days over 95, and several of those popped above 100. And then some.So, while most of us are just holding on and surviving the heat, a few seem to relish it. Here’s a quickie run down:
Sedum Matrona and the fantastic Blue Grama grass (buteloa gracillis)
The hotter the better for hardy hibiscus: Lord Baltimore, a tried and true tropical looking thing. Botanical named Hibiscus moscheutos, this hottie does well anywhere in our region, Zones 4-10. Flowers are sensational and up to 10 inches across. Plants are big, so give them room, 5 feet tall and as wide.
Thinking out loud here, the blue oat grass would look awesome paired up with the towering Henry’s lily, and the Shades of Orange would be another excellent choice in that grouping. A colorful, drought tolerant, sun loving, can-take-the-heat-combo.
A short list of the plants that are holding up well to this relentless heat and no rain:
-The prince of my high desert garden, Henry’s lily. Still loaded with blossoms, 5+ feet tall. Orange and sunny.
-Desert Four O’ Clock, mirablis multiflora, purple, mounding spreading groundcover. Lavender flowers, gray green foliage.
-Anise hyssop, or hummingbird mint or agastache. Orange Flare is rocking it. In the past, Ava has done a grand job. Need to replace Ava.
-Wine cups, callirhoe involucrata. Great spreader, deep magenta. Trim back to keep it from getting messy and to keep it blooming.
-Oakleaf hydrangea, big, blowsy cream or cream w/pink tinted blossoms. Needs water every 4 days or so, but so strong.
-Rose of Sharon, coming on STRONG. Will not stop until a hard frost. Covered with blooms, white, pink, white w/dark maroon throat.
-All the ornamental grasses.
-Peaches (waaaaaaaaaaay yum).
Excerpts from the Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States
(If you like this, you will love the book!) Look for it at your local book store or on Amazon here.
Blanching apricots. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Carefully slide 3 or 4 apricots into the water, let them sit a minute, remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Over the sink, working quickly so not to burn yourself, slip the skins off the apricots. Separate the halves, remove the pits. Freeze as they are or make into jam.
Harvesting and storing garlic. (End of July – early August in most areas) Just a few months ago you plugged little cloves of garlic (pointed end up) into the garden and waited patiently. Now it’s time to embrace that stinking rose and get it out of the ground and ready for the pantry. Knowing the perfect time to harvest garlic is a bit tricky but not rocket science. Carefully brush back the soil and look carefully at the bulbs: do they have good looking shoulders? Are they filled out nicely? Sometimes you just have to go in with a trowel or shovel and have a peek. Gently and carefully dig straight down around the outside of the formed garlic bulb, loosening it from the soil and lifting it upward. Using your other hands, carefully remove the bulb from the soil and inspect it for fullness and size. Never try to pull the bulb from the ground. Brush off the soil, and remove the garlic to a cool, dry place to cure. If the bulbs are not quite filled out and ready, leave them another week or so. If they are ready, harvest, cure and store.
Making mint tea. Bring a large pot of clean water almost to a boil, turn off the heat. Add 4 to 5 black tea bags and a huge handful of freshly cut and washed mint trimmings to the pot. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy over ice.
And they have an extensive vegetable garden, half of which you can’t see in these pics. Thanks to the Percy’s for sharing their garden on behalf of the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Special thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for arranging our monthly gardening love fest.