Monday, September 1, 2008

Harvest time: part one

The garden is full of goodness this time of year, and I'm going to share my goodies with you--well, photos of them, at least.

This photo is a bit rough, but I like it--the texture and variations in color are really interesting to me. It looks how it feels under your hand--sort of bumpy and sticky and smooth all at once.

Anyway, this is just one of the enormous sunflowers that grew this year--the tallest is over 12 feet tall, and the heads are the size of dinner plates. I have no idea what made them giants this year and not last year, but they are glorious to look at. And the seeds are good, but very labor intensive. Drying them out and salting them is no big deal, but eating them is another story.

Following the model of how to make pumpkin seeds, we soaked them in saltwater overnight, then salted them, and baked them for 4 hours in a low oven. When they were done, they smelled great, and so I just popped a few of those salty little guys right in my mouth, like roasted pumpkin seeds. Which they are not. After hacking and sputtering out a few of the shells, I figured out --uh, you don't eat the shells. No kidding. Which is why I have never seen sunflower seeds sold this way in the store. Come to think of it, even the birds leave the shells on the ground...

After hulling a few to get the meats, we agreed that while the seeds are tasty, they might not be worth the effort right now. Looks like we'll be saving the heads for the birds to eat this winter. Sharing the harvest, as I said.

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