Today is one of the first real "Fallish" days we've had this year. We woke up to temps in the 40's, and it's been sunny and breezy all day. It's not even quite 60 out there yet. Andrew and I spent quite a bit of time outside this morning. He immediately headed to the sandbox with his trains, where he occupied himself for a good half hour, while I sat nearby shivering in the shade, despite wearing my favorite fall jacket. It's quite breezy out there, so you really need that sun to keep warm. (James even announced this morning that maybe he should have worn mittens!) But I just LOVE this time of year! I can't wait for the leaves to change color. We even got our first small pumpkins from the CSA already a few weeks ago.
I also harvested a nice bunch of veggies from the garden this morning. Andrew helped by picking broccoli leaves and eating them. This is one of the rare instances where my kids like a real food (i.e. not a processed "kid food") that I just do not! I enjoy broccoli, but those leaves I can just do without! However, after a little googling I read that the small, young leaves can be compared to collard greens, which I do like when cooked, so maybe I'll give them a try. But back to my harvest. I was happy to pick quite a few tomatoes (I only have six plants because we get quite a few from the CSA), some broccoli florets, a couple pickling cukes and some green beans. Enough to fill a Zappos box about the size of 2 shoe boxes.
There used to be a lot more green beans, but Andrew ate quite a few of them while we sat on the front steps. I'm not complaining! We're having some family over for James' birthday tomorrow, so I'll make good use of those tomatoes. When I don't have immediate use for the tomatoes, I've been making big batches of sauce in my 8 quart slow cooker. In addition to the tomatoes, I add in any zucchini (shhhh...that's my little secret) and peppers we haven't eaten, plus usually a couple cans of crushed tomatoes. And of course there are some herbs and garlic to round out the flavor. If I have onions on hand, I'll slice up one or two and put those in as well. And some times I add a touch sugar depending on how sweet the vegetables are. Since my boys (all three!) don't like chunky vegetables in their sauce, I just whip out my immersion blender after it's been in the crock pot all day and blend it up. You'd really never know the zucchini is in there. Currently I have about 8 quarts of the sauce in my freezer!
All this talk of veggies and sauce is making me HUNGRY! So time to go whip up some lunch for Andrew and myself!