Monday, September 24, 2012


We got some reports that the Escarole was so bitter it was inedible.  I happen to love love love it!  Mix it with other salad greens if you are not fond of it.

Escarole:  Escarole is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. The ends of the outside leaves are a little bitter, but even those ribs are sweet!  The hearts are really sweet. In taste -- but not color -- it is almost indistinguishable from radicchio.

Like radicchio, kale and chard, escarole is a hearty green that thrives late into the growing season. The heart of an escarole head is less bitter because the leaves haven't gotten as much sunlight. (Some farmers even cultivate these pale leaves by covering the plants and depriving them of sunlight.)

High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Try tossing a few escarole leaves into a mild salad, serving some quickly wilted with lemon juice, or stir chopped escarole into soup.

Sweet Potatoes Will Need To Be "Cured"

 Curing and Storing Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are not very sweet or moist when first dug. It takes six to eight weeks of proper curing and storage before they have the sweet, moist taste and texture desired when baked.

After the roots are dug, they should be cured to heal the cuts and trigger development of the sugar-creating enzymes. Cure by storing in a warm, humid room for five to 10 days. A temperature of 80 degrees to 85 degrees and a relative humidity of 80 percent to 90 percent are ideal. These exact conditions will be hard to establish around the home, so select a room or building that comes close to these conditions.

After curing, store roots at 55 degrees to 60 degrees for six to eight weeks. This storage further develops the sugars and maltose sugar-creating enzyme. This enzyme will really kick in while baking at 350 degrees to 375 degrees to develop the sweet, syrupy sugars that yams are famous for.

Stored cured roots may last several months or more. The length of time sweet potatoes can be held in storage without sacrificing quality will depend on the environment they are stored in. The conditions above are “ideal,” but sweet potatoes are held under a variety of environmental conditions, and quality and longevity in storage will vary accordingly.
Exposure to low storage temperatures for several days will cause the sweet potatoes to develop a hard center and reduce their eating quality.

When the roots are stored at high temperatures for a long time, they begin to sprout, shrivel and become dry, stringy and pithy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tomato Jams

This is a great site for making and canning yummy summer veggies to save for winter!
Here's Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam.
I also have made this Tomato Jam, which is similar to Mark Bittman's recipe in The New York Times.

Monday, September 3, 2012