Radish Stew

A Central Texas Gardening Journal

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time to Move On

Yesterday we picked all the green tomatoes and other vegetables which cannot stand a freeze. I like to pack the tomatoes, separating them by newspaper. The advice on the sports section struck me as good advice for the gardener, too. Time to move on! The winter garden is looking great. The garden expansion is underway. We'll be planning the spring garden soon!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Our cornucopia is filled with tomatoes and eggplants. We may really have our first freeze in 2 days, so I am harvesting the bounty of the Fall Garden. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garden Expansion

At Radish Stew, we are not the type to just add soil and plant in a new row. We are dedicated (because it does take dedication) to having the best garden we can. Pictured above is Phase 1 of creating a new row. We are digging out the caliche, a shelf of hardened calcium deposits. The caliche is not hard as rocks, and can be broken up with some effort. It is then removed to another area as fill or to improve the drainage situation. 

For Phase 2, we have added back the soil with amendments. We have mixed in manure compost here. 

Phase 3 consists of purchasing garden topsoil and mixing in our own compost, leveling the row, and planting. Here, we have transplanted tiny Red Sails lettuce. A lot of work and sweat goes into the creation of new rows in the garden. Maybe it is too much work, but we think it is worth the pain.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


A few rainy days this week yielded 1/2 inch of rain for the garden. I took advantage of the time indoors to prepare another pot of Samfaina for the freezer. This beautiful iron skillet holds a large batch. 

2 large onions, diced small
1/4 cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium eggplants, peeled and diced small
1 red bell pepper peeled, seeded, and diced small
1 green bell pepper peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 medium zucchini, diced small
black pepper

1 28 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes

Prep all vegetables. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat then add onions. Cook until softened. Add  salt and the garlic, stirring to mix. 

Add 1/4 cup olive oil and the diced fresh vegetables and pepper. Stir the vegetables, reduce heat to low, cover, and stew the vegetables for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add the canned tomatoes and adjust the salt depending on whether the canned tomatoes have added salt or not. Cover and continue to cook for 2-3 hours. 

I have been known to uncover the vegetables during the last hour of cooking, while stirring occasionally, to reduce the liquid. 

My recipe is adapted from the New York Times recipe of 10-5-2010. This recipe and most other recipes for eggplant call for the vegetable to be salted and squeezed out. I have never done this! I have been eating eggplant almost daily in many recipes, but I have never salted it. Maybe the fact that my eggplant is fresh picked makes the difference. I just don't know.

Thanks for visiting Radish Stew. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Garden

At Radish Stew, the fall garden consists of those plants which will have their growing season ended by the first freeze, such as those pictured above. Tonight we have the first freeze warning of the year. We covered the tomatoes and watered everything well. Obviously, we are hoping that the temperatures remain above freezing tonight. The weather is warming through the next week with lows in the 50s predicted. I will let you know what happens! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Texas Aster

What a magnificent show of flowers on this Texas Aster! We have several of these wildflowers around the yard. They are all growing in the shade, up under the trees, except this one. In the springtime, I accidentally dug this one up, so I planted it in the area where I was cultivating bluebonnets. It is a 3' bush full of beautiful pale lavender flowers. An excellent example of what can be accomplished by accident...