Seasonal transition

4 Nov 2 Comments Tamara Culinary, Seasons, Uncategorized

Fall has definitely arrived at Reverie.  The temperatures have been down in the 40s at night (maybe even the high 30s a few nights), and the sun is lower in the sky during the day, casting an otherworldly glow through the changing leaves at dusk.  The sunsets begin to be really spectacular this time of year – there are many more clouds on the horizon and the sun sinks right in front of our view rather than off to the far right.  I find myself oohing and aahing at the impossibly orange, red and purple sky, then 5 minutes later saying “Look at it now!” then five minutes later again “Wow – look at it now!” — “No really, look at it now!”

 

 

The squirrels have been very busy for the past few months. I hope this is a harbinger of a rainy winter.  The first two years we lived here we saw very few squirrels, but this year they are out and about getting ready for El Nino (at least we hope that’s what they are doing!) Ramon’s parents have been staying with us for the past two months and they flew back to the Netherlands on Tuesday. My non-profit consulting work has begun its seasonal slow-down. We had to ask Steven, the young man who had been living and working at Reverie since May, to move out last week, a very difficult thing for us to do (but that, my friends, is a story for another blog – I’m not quite emotionally ready to tell it yet).

And so all the signs of this land and my life are telling me it’s time to transition  – the garden, my personal rhythms, the business  –  to the next season. I have already started with the garden to some extent by planting seeds of lettuce, chard, kale, cabbage, and fennel in areas of the garden that I had already fully harvested.  But I still need to pull out the final cucumber plants, harvest the remaining tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, tomatillos and green beans, and chop everything up to put in the compost bin. I will plant a few more winter vegetables in some of the beds, but cover crops will go in the rest of them. After three years adding fresh compost before each planting is not quite enough and the soil is starting to need some over-wintering love and care of the cover crop kind.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, the peppers/chiles have been extremely prolific this year, and I have a large jar of several pounds of jalapenos fermenting on the counter that should be ready in a few weeks.  I’ve never had fermented jalapenos so I’m curious how they will turn out.

 

 

My stuffed pepper experimentation continues, coming up with different fillings depending on what’s coming out of the garden and what is in my refrigerator at the time. So far my favorite is stuffed pasilla peppers with brown rice, tomatoes, and jack cheese. Depending on the spiciness factor of the pasilla peppers I also add a little diced chile.  I will be making this again this weekend (and freezing some for future meals) after I harvest the large bed full of peppers.  Ramon and I will eat it, just the two of us, in the dining room with the view, watching the squirrels and exclaiming “no really – look at it now!”

 

 

Here is the general recipe – these quantities are approximate:

  • 1.5 lbs. pasilla peppers (fresh, green)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups grated jack cheese + ½ cup for sprinkling
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the pasilla peppers in half, remove stem and seeds.  Combine the brown rice, jack cheese, tomatoes,  jalapeno and eggs in a bowl.  Add salt to taste.  Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a large glass baking dish (you might need two of them) .  Stuff each pepper half with the rice mixture and place face up in the baking dish(es) in one layer.  Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed pepper halves, cover with foil, and bake for approximately 20 minutes until the filling is sizzling and the peppers are browning around the edges.  Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Serve hot topped with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

#reverieretreat