Bell peppers belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family of plants, along with chili pepper, cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes (except sweet potatoes and yams). Their scientific name is Capsicum annuum. This scientific name, however, is used to refer not only to bell peppers, but also to wax peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, and jalapeno peppers. (more…)
Author: Bryan Housel
Hi Everyone! One of my members with family in Seattle informed me that the Pacific Northwest is unusually hot and dry, and that they are plagued with forest fires just as is California. So, my stereotype of the region as a rainy place may no longer hold true. Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland, and the British Isles too, are suffering with drought and excessive heat, and many farmers have lost their entire crop. Meanwhile here in the Northeast it’s the monsoon season! But there’s nothing odd going on with the climate folks! I guess this is the new normal- that there is no normal; we just have no idea from season to season what to expect. I hate to be all doom and gloom but perhaps I am merely mirroring the predominant gray skies! (more…)
Tomatillos are also called “tomate verde” in Mexico (which means green tomato) and are considered a staple in Mexican cooking. They are a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes. Tomatillos now grow everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and are common in Texas gardens.
Tomatillos can range in size from about an inch in diameter to the size of apricots. They are covered by a papery husk which may range from the pale green or purple color of the fruit itself to a light grocery-bag brown. Before using tomatillos, remove the outer inedible husks, and rinse well, as the fruit is covered in a sticky wax. They are very easy to cook because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked. (more…)
This baked radish and quinoa salad, found on the Jen Reviews health and food blog, is simple enough to make for lunch or dinner. It contains all the tasty summer flavors and enough protein to keep you feeling full. You can add more vegetables to this salad and/or use a different dressing – the options are endless! Serves 3.
In the summertime, succotash just calls out for those fresh, abundant summer vegetables – fresh corn on the cob, lima beans, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers – red, yellow, orange or green, or even a combination of a few. You could even add in some summer squash or zucchini, eggplant, or whatever is fresh at the farmers market or in your own backyard garden.
Hi Folks, Another week and another 6” of rain! All I can say is if I wanted to live somewhere it rained all the time I would have moved to Seattle! Hopefully we are coming to the end of this wacky weather pattern and the jet stream will move back up into Canada where it belongs. The tomatoes are starting to show signs of decline but we will fight the blight and try to keep them alive. We are set back on our planting and for a few crops it’s too late for this season (like that last planting of sweet corn I had planned). We do have lots of corn planted and the first of it began to mature late last week – the sweet treat I alluded to in my last update. We hope to have enough for everyone this week, but if you don’t receive any you will for sure next week. (more…)
The tomato, like the eggplant, is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family. Tomatoes are native to western South America, but were cultivated in Mexico by Mexican Indians, who were intrigued by its resemblance to the tomatillo – a staple in their cuisine. With the discovery of the New World, tomato seeds were brought back to Spain, beginning the introduction of the fruit into Europe. Tomatoes made their way to North America with the colonists who first settled in Virginia. (more…)
This Stuffed Tomatoes recipe comes from New York Times Magazine’s: The Proper Ways to Treat an Heirloom (August 5, 2011). (more…)