"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Produce from the vegetable garden

The summer is almost over, and I am reaping the fruits of my toiling at my vegetable garden.

After 3 months of planting, weeding (almost every other day), hoeing (for disrupting the growth of the small weeds and keep them from seeding), watering (except during rainy days), I now enjoy veggies picked and eaten fresh (I love summer for that!).

Here are some cucumbers.

These smaller cucumbers were from my Mom's garden.

My green peppers...most of which I have already frozen as strips, unblanched/uncooked, just placed in freezer bags.

Quite fuzzy photo, the green fruits at the left are tomatillos, which, according to my friend Ana from Davao, grow as wild tomatoes in the province. I tasted them straight from the vine when yellowish, and they tasted like a cross between guava and tomatoes. And they are more solid than red tomatoes. They have a husk which has to be peeled first.

These are some of the jalapeño peppers.

Onions from my garden, some of which are larger than my fist.

ON the right is half a bushel of big paste tomatoes, and on the left, a bushel of regular tomatoes. The smaller basket behind are red potatoes, and the basket next to it are jars and lids. Everything in this photo are produce from Mom's garden that she no longer needs (and by the time I am posting this, she plans to give to friends the future harvest of tomatoes.)

What to do with all these veggies? I canned them, (or froze them) for veggie supply during the winter. 18 quarts of dill pickles (small cucumbers), 6 quarts of pimento pickles (bigger cucumbers), 4 quarts of hot pasta sauce, a quart of traditional tomato salsa, 20 quarts of tomatoes packed raw (1 quart will be good for sarciado recipes for a family of 4-5), 3 quarts of pickled jalapeño (Gary likes them. I don't. I am not sure if my recipe is the same recipe used by that restaurant where we ate.), 6 pints of tomatillo salsa (Gary tasted it for the first time and liked it tremendously as relish for his hotdog sandwiches.), and 6 half-pints of raspberry jam (we are consuming the last pint of strawberry jam that I made earlier.)

Now I wonder what to do once my own tomatoes are at the peak of harvest! I now have got enough stores of tomatoes and pasta sauces and pickled cucumbers and I have ran out of jars and lids! One thing I am sure of, I want to make another batch of pasta sauce (this time not as hot as the first batch) from those big paste tomatoes. But what to do with the other tomatoes? I can give them to my friend Ana and to her relatives, but I am not sure how much she's gonna take because her mom-in-law also gardens. Hah, I wish I could give these away to my fellow Filipinos. Oh well....

Recipes for canning coming up pretty soon! Posted by Hello


  1. Manang, I am envious how oh sooo fresh you eat! I don't even have any idea about canning hehe!

  2. Manang, I know you can make pesto with the green tomatoes. Buti ka pa, you have a massive garden. On the other hand, apat lang kami so we don't need very much. :-)

  3. Manang, you sure have your work cut out for you. But what beautiful vegetables! I just love having a vegetable garden. Can't beat going out to your garden to get fresh veggies for dinner. I don't have the patience for canning like you do though, I just throw everything in the freezer :)

  4. There's a farmer's market here, tinda mo?? hehe, pila ako sa giveaways. Pity, I have mason jars that came w/ our house....You must be proud!that's a lot of hard work :)

  5. Geeez, your pics seem straight out of a vegetarian cook book! Ang galing mo, Manang Ku. Sana kapitbahay kita. Hanep ang garden mo. Hanep ang produce. Wala ka pang fear sa pesticides.

    Great post!

  6. MissT, I realized that a lot of Filipinos don't know anything about canning. How many times during my childhood days have I wondered how tomato ketchup was made? And I am so glad that I have this opportunity to learn from my mom-in-law about it, and the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience that I will gain to our fellow Filipinos not only outside of the PI but also there.

    ting-aling, we are 4 (5 when our daughter is here) too, and my in-laws all garden, so we usually end up having more than what we need. Good thing we have chickens and cows (raised by my in-laws) to feed them the rotten fruits/veggies, but we also give out the excess to some of our friends who don't garden.

    JMom, sinabi mo! I felt elation the first time I picked tomatoes and cucumbers the first time and had them for lunch! I have the patience mainly because it is my first time, but I tell you, I was quite getting sick of doing it on my third day! Haha!

    drstel, yeah...a LOOOOOOT of hard work from the planting to the canning. But yes, I am proud of it! But the glory is not all mine. I had a lot of coaching from my in-laws. I actually acted like a robot when then told me when to start the seedlings, to take them out and transplant them, how to weed and how frequent ti should be, what fertilizers to use and when to put them. Actually all my seeds came from their excess! So for these produce I only invested my hard work. Imagine how much it would have cost had I bought them from the groceries. And nothing beats eating them fresh from the vine!

    Doc Emer, I wish there was a way I could share my excess with our fellow Filipinos. But I wish the Filipino people would also realize how blessed we are that we have the summer kind of weather all year round, making most of the veggies available anytime. We could have been the supplier of canned fruits and vegetables to the international market! We might have congestion problems in the cities there but not in the periphery of our country, and our land is just so rich, especially if Filipinos will respect the earth. I hope that the recipes I will post in the near future will give the Filipinos a start towards that.

  7. Ang galing naman talaga! I could only imagine the lots of hard work you put in raising and canning these veggies. You have every reason to be proud. Nothing beats having fresh vegetables straight from your own garden. So now you have to teach us how to preserve and can vegs and fruits. BTW, did you raise these organically? What type of fertilizers did you use?

  8. Hi Celia, organic plus inorganic. Combination of cow manure and sawdust, plus the usual fertilizers containing K, N and P (ba yun?), all taken care of by my in-laws and hubby, ako tagatanim at weed lang. Haha. Nothing of the sort of fertilizers manufactured using sewage water.

  9. I love jalapeno poppers. I'm sure you know how to cook this, manang. But to the uninitiated, they are jalapeno peppers stuffed with creme cheese and then dipped in batter and fried. Really good! I can eat a whole bunch however they would all go straight to my hips.

  10. Oops the last post was me, Carrisse! I should try for a blogger account.

  11. You are my new hero!! Can you add Burong Mustasa too to your recipe??? I'm going to try to make the salted egg... I just got back from the Korean store to buy three huge bottles to make the salted eggs.

    Thank you Manang for all the tips (esp. for canning). Pls. keep posting. :)

  12. hello'
    firstime here" sana dito ka banda sakin,para hindi na ako magtanim , saiyo nalang ako pupunta,ang gaganda nang mga gulay mo, sana matikman ko ang sauce mo someday,and i will make your fudge recipe for my kids, take care and thank's


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