Well, tonight's dinner was late (watering plants and Mr. Official's work schedule), but we did eat some new stuff: jalapeno potato-chip crusted chicken with a creamy buttermilk and jalapeno sauce drizzled on top. Sides of black beans with peppers and a sweet corn cake that needs some serious tweaking of the original recipe.
Thanks for the new thread Terry. Last night was the old favorite: bbq chicken, fresh corn on the cob, smashed garlic taters (I didn't have any milk so used a small carton of cottage cheese), fresh bread. Cranberry oatmeal cookies for desert. Yummy. Dunno what's cooking for tonight. Terry, can you share the buttermilk jalapeno sauce recipe?
MaryMcP wrote: Terry, can you share the buttermilk jalapeno sauce recipe?
Sure - it was easy.
Buttermilk Jalapeno Sauce
1/4 cup mayo - can use light or regular
1/4 cup sour cream - can use light or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh buttermilk
1 tablespoon Ranch Dressing mix (you could substitute your own herbs and seasonings if you prefer)
5-6 slices of jalapeno, chopped (I keep a jar of chopped jalapenos on hand, so I just tossed in enough to look "right")
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I used diced)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I skipped it - figured the dressing mix had plenty o'sodium)
Probably catch-as-catch can here. It's Wednesday and we're all headed out the door (Swimmer Girl is gone swimming with a friend and won't be back until after 8 tonight; Mr. Official never gets home for dinner before we head out the door on Wednesdays and Middle Soon finished off some of last night's leftover chicken and fixins.)
If things go according to plan, you'll find me settled into a comfy chair at 8, with a bowl of popcorn and the new Dallas series fired up. Not highbrow entertainment, but hopefully highly entertaining!
I picked my first zucchini of the season today, halfway steamed them and then sautéed in coconut oil and dried coconut flakes. Ground sirloin patty on the side. Vanilla Håagen Dazs ice cream in the freezer will be dessert. Sure wish I had some fresh fruit for a topping.
My new doc wants me to make some dietary changes for my thyroid by eliminating goitrogenic foods. I knew some of them, but didn't know gluten was high on the list. SusanKC sent me a gluten-free link and I'll have to do some research myself. Cruciferous veggies (which I love) are also very goitrogenic, but apparently steaming/cooking them nullifies the effect.
Leslie, thanks for the reminder. I researched (and wrote) about milk with rBGH (bovine growth hormone) back in 2010, and if I remember correctly, Starbucks ice cream is also made with hormone-free milk. I almost never buy ice cream anymore, but just had a yen for some lately. None of the stores in my town or surrounding towns carry very much variety in ice creams, generally just the cheaper ones with all the fillers. No Haagen Dazs except one store 30 miles away, and what B&J's I see never include any plain-jane flavors. There IS a Starbucks store down near the state line but I seldom get down that way, and any ice cream would be melted by the time I got back home.
I finally got my fresh pesto. I made a turkey pasta dish with all my extra veggies - green beans, red pepper, kale, swiss chard, onion & mushrooms as well as a batch of fresh pesto. Oh it was so good! I love being home & able to cook.
Eat hearty for moi, Susan. My dining partner hasn't called to say he's left the office yet, which doesn't bode well for dinner . (Heaven help me if I ever have to regularly cook for myself. Popcorn and cheese and crackers will probably constitute "dinner" if/when I find myself in that predicament :-)
I can't imagine managing a burger with a throbbing jaw. Hope it's all better today, Terry. I also can't imagine you on that "alone" diet. Shape up girl. A day without a garbage can salad is like a day without sunshine.
We are having a big fat roasted chicken with roasted celery and purple, red and gold potatoes. Also on the menu are sauteed Vidalia onions and broccoli with recently harvested garlic. I'm hoping to parlay the remains into burrito fillings tomorrow night.
I made a huge pot of Cheddar Corn Chowder today, enough to fill my Dutch oven to the very brim. 10 ears fresh corn cut off the cob, 1/2 pound applewood smoked bacon, 6 cups chopped onions, 2 pounds diced red potatoes, 1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar, 12 cups chicken stock, 2 cups half 'n half... plus flour, butter, olive oil and seasonings that included turmeric. I'll have some tomorrow after the flavors meld overnight, and most of the rest will be frozen in single-serving size.
DH went clamming today so we're having steamers tomorrow. I'll have to see whether the farm market down the road has corn to go with it, but it's probably too early. And maybe I'll make a zucchini casserole; that goes well.
Corn chowder...I'll help Tammy help you Darius. Sounds great. and I can do popcorn for dinner, no prob!
Tonight was to be jalapeno crusted chicken with creamy buttermilk jalapeno sauce, but alas ... just now home, about three hours later than expected. Maybe tomorrow. We'll just barbee that chicken breast and add a baked sweet potato...longgg day.
Tammy, it's something I made up myself. Sauté sliced zucchini with onions, salt to taste, and then dump them in a casserole - the size depending on how much zucchini you have, of course - and cover with milk and egg - one egg per cup of milk. Add grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven until firm. You could also add cooked potatoes to it to make it more substantial, but we usually don't. It's a nice side dish for a light meal like steamed clams, and it's got protein AND veggies.
I've tried just about every recipe I could find for summer squash, as those here probably remember from a couple years ago. :-) And I'm always trolling for another. I did plant summer squash this spring so you'll all probably hear me talking about this again.
I went to the Allentown Farmers Market today - its one of the oldest in the country. While there are a lot of produce stands, there's also a lot of prepared foods. I got some mozzerella cheese w/sun dried tomatoes (graaskaas ??) and a beautiful salad with fresh greens, goat cheese, strawberries & figs. Made a delicious lunch!
Tam, my favorite summer squash recipe is generally sautéed in coconut oil and dehydrated coconut flakes. However, I picked up some multi-colored pattypans this morning which I will marinate in EVOO and garlic, then grill. YUM.
Speaking of jams and such - a friend has me all interested in lacto fermenting. I'm just starting a batch of dill pickles, I have a grape vine so can use those leaves, home grown garlic and red onion, also added two garden grown (I repeat myself alot) kung pao chili peppers - takes less than 10 days for the cukes, longer for kraut. She gave me some of her sauerkraut and it's wonderful.
BTW, can anyone tell me if the sauerkraut will lose it's healthy benefits (all those good bacteria) if I use it as the base for a pork loin in the slow cooker - long, slow temps?
MaryMcP... I make LOTS of lacto-ferments. In fact started 2 jars last evening, one of garlic scapes and another of immature garlic seedheads.
I don't know for certain, but I'd guess slow cooking will kill the good enzymes in the kraut. You might cook the loin in half (for flavor) and add the rest just before it's finished, bringing the new kraut just to warm... I'd do it anyway just because home lacto-fermented kraut is better than store-bought vinegar-pickled kraut.
Oh, good idea on the half/half Darius. And I just knew I would catch your attention with the lacto post. It's our mutal buddy, Jayne, that has me going. That Jayne, she can do that. There's so much she knows, I'm a mere speckle under her wing.
Tonite it is pork roast in the slow cooker with undiluted french oinion soup and cream of chicken soup. Serving it over egg noodles. Sometimes i add a can of applesauce for a liitke sweetness and serve ith with garlic smashed potatoes and sauteed cabbage.
I had some of the cheddar corn chowder (made yesterday) for lunch, and a larger bowl for supper. Man, was it good! Best batch I've made yet. Even took a huge portion to my neighbor Buster since his wife works 2nd shift and he makes his own "down-home" suppers. He brought the dish back later and complained that I only gave him 2 servings!
The rest is in the freezer. Need to find something to thaw for tomorrow... zukes are coming in ahead of yellow squash so they will be on the menu for a while.
My zukes are just starting to get flowers. I'm growing them under cover to see if I can foil the squash bugs. I had to buy some at the farm market today for my zucchini casserole. They also had the first sweet corn - yellow and white. The ears were small but the kernels were like sugar. That and the clams made a terrific dinner.
Darius, your corn chowder sounds really good. Why do you think that batch worked out so well? Maybe you should share the recipe!
Leslie, I think the quality of the ingredients made a difference. The applewood-smoked bacon was either from Applegate Farms or Niman Ranch (it was a partial piece in my freezer sans wrapper), and the half 'n half was actually pasteurized heavy cream (NOT ultra-pasteurized junk) mixed with organic whole milk to be half 'n half. I used Vidalia onions not yellow onions, the butter was from pastured (grass-fed) cows and imported, and the chicken stock was homemade from free-range chickens.
Nope. The salt just keeps any bad bacteria at bay until the naturally occurring lactobacillus on the foods does it's work. I use about a tablespoon of salt per quart and I usually have some fresh whey (from draining yogurt, or cheesemaking) to add. The veggies never taste salty. I don't think they absorb enough, since they are not "cooked" in it via heat.
We humans carry enough lactic acid (lactobacillus) on our skin to make several loaves of sourdough bread. I'm thinking that might be what attracts mosquitoes, gnats, flies and other bugs to us when we are outside. I want to do an experiment of washing my skin with a baking soda dilution (alkaline) to see if that changes the attraction.
That's a good idea, I'm interested to hear your results. I used to attract mosquitos but I don't these days. Also do not suffer the canker sores I normally get with all this tomato eating. I'm thinking it's the GERD medication, started in the last year to control a nocturnal cough, has changed my body's pH. If changing your pH has an effect on lactic acid, that may be how it's related.
Thanks for the info on salt and fermenting. Jayne's sauerkraut was not overly salty...ping-ing maybe...sour and tart, Anyway, we'll see when my cukes are done in a few days. I did the math wrong on halving the liquid and this might be a test batch. :-\
Mary, the more I learn about good gardens and pH, the more I realize the same principles apply to my body. The majority of the foods most of us eat anymore are very acidic, so we never get into the "normal" pH range. I'm trying to get mine into balance, but until I get the foods right, ACV in water 2-3 times a day helps. Surprisingly, ACV in the human body is alkaline.
I wasn't ever diagnosed for GERD, but the meds my liver doc had me on for reflux were the same. I was able to get off them after 2-3 months of eliminating all grains and legumes from my food protocol. It was amazing! (I'm not saying it might work for you.) Now he wants me back on it, both for thyroid, and digestion. I doubt he was ever taught pH balance in Med School, though. Their classes in Nutrition are sparse.
Oh, that's a good idea, the ACV. DH was on a vinegar kick a while back for some reason but he would drink a 'shot' straight and man! that did not go down so good. Mixed with some water would probably work. Thanks for the reminder.
We did a Father's Day grill-out with hand-made burgers, pasta salad and beans, and a coconut cake for dessert. It was well received by our resident honoree. Anyone else enjoy a Sunday meal with their dad? I'm thinking tomorrow night might be a chicken spaghetti dish - haven't made it in a while, and a simple tossed salad.
Leslie, everything I have researched says it's alkaline but damned if I understand why. I remember years ago a friend telling me fresh grapefruit was alkaline in the body, rather than acidic. It took a lot of convincing...
I dilute it as much as 1:3. If it tastes too strong on that particular day, I just add more spring water. Fresh squeezed lemon juice does the same thing, but the lemon juice can vary in strength whereas the ACV seldom varies.
Dr. Reams (RBTI) always insisted on lemon water several times a day, and I'm beginning to understand it probably was to bring the body's pH closer to neutral.
Picadillo (peek-a-dee-yo) o salpicon, Susan? It's eaten with numerous variations elsewhere. How creative! I grew up making a Cuban version which Darius, having lived in Miami, probably knows well.
We are doing Terry's proverbial "catch as catch can" dinner. There are a variety of leftovers hanging out in the fridge and we returned to a busy schedule in Atlanta today. After putting my feet up for a few minutes, I made two chair pad covers for a Trash To Treasure-style headboard seat SO made for our tiny vestibule, then cleaned up my office/studio space to hide evidence of the wedding celebration table quilt project from DD and DFSIL.
We are hosting a RU at Maypop this coming weekend. This will be our third year. We know most of the guests, making it a comfortable kick back way to share time with awesome DG gardeners. The BIG plus is DD and DFSIL will be there.
Bags are packed, I'm on my way, you can show me around! I love ethnic food from seat-of-the-pants eateries. San Jose (CA) had(has) a great Ethiopian restraurant we would go to for lunch. It was very good. Miami should be a spicey food lover's dream.
I had the distinct pleasure of having all three of my children's feet planted under my kitchen table tonight. Dinner was simple, but well-received. And then they spent several minutes trying to top each other with really bad puns and jokes.
Mary, Cuban food, like most more pure Spanish influence is like Castillian cuisine. Not spicy at all. More like food from Mediterranean Spain, Italy and France. Give me until after the wedding weekend and my closing on the Miami house to pack your bags. You would then be very welcome.
Our youngest was trying to get here and couldn't. He's wry but not into puns.
Yes. It is Picadillo o salpicon. He was quite proud of the fact that he was able to make it. What recipe do you use for it?
Dinner was left over Picadillo o salpicon, a kidney bean/raw veggies/parsley salad, a mixed greens salad, and a black bean chocolate cake with a yogurt/peanut butter frosting. Cake is Gluten free and turned out well. I skipped the Ganache and used a different greek yogurt/peanut butter/cinnamon based frosting. I told DH it would make a good PBJ Chocolate cake. Use alternating layers of cherry jam and PB frosting. The rest of it goes to DH's work today.
Not spicey. Interesting. I'll change my wording to flavorful, lots of flavor then. When *is* the wedding weekend Laurel? I lost track. :-}
Susan, he dances *and* he cooks? Jeez. Lucky girl!!!
Last night was the last of the pork loin with home fermented sauerkraut. Awesome stuff. Side of garden beets, almost the last of them. No idea about tonight, probably a bbq'd something. Another long day ahead. Work. Bah humbug.
Susan, I don't use a recipe but like to have radishes, lime juice, parsley cilantro and plumped raisins. Sometimes toasted crushed almonds. I usually use chuck for the meat. Cuban picadillo, as Darius pointed out, has stuffed green olives either chopped or split and is tightened in a tomato based sauce. It usually includes peppers and onions, lots of garlic and oregano. The Spanish brought oregano, which originated in Greece to the New World. Because Rome also occupied Greece (remember Roman Greece? Of course you do) they copped their oregano. In fact, they were rather adept at stealing (ahem, I meant styling) good ideas and good food from the Greeks. The Cuban version can be made with coarsely chopped pork or beef and may include uncased ground sausage. If you eat picadillo in an upscale restaurant it will sometimes have raisins and toasted almonds. Not the street food versions. You can see the Roman influence that spread to Spain (since Rome occupied most of what is Spain today) and later came to the New World with the use of almonds, raisins olives and their oil.
I love pork cooked in kraut. Knockwurst are great slow cooked that way too.
The wedding is Thursday morning, July 26th, in Atlanta with a luncheon to follow. The reception is Friday evening, the big party and contra dance is Saturday evening and the Maypop brunch and open house for straggling guests is Sunday. We will need to run to Maypop after the Atlanta luncheon with all the food needing last minute prep. Not a very relaxing day for mom of the bride. The rental company will set up tents, tables, chairs and lighting in the meadow of the compound for Friday night. I'll follow with linen, chaffers, and service. I've got help with the food service and clean up so hoping I can get out at a decent hour because the next day will be a very big one.
We are hosting our third annual DG RU and hot dog fest this Saturday. The kids are coming in Thursday to get their marriage license and will be joining us for the RU. Guess you could call it a mini dry run.
Another lucky duck! Nice. Good luck with it all Laurel, I've faith you (and yours) will bring it all together nicely. Nothing like the happiness at a child's wedding. I've not been mom-of-the-bride/groom but DH was (dad of the bride) and it was an awesome event. Such love - everywhere.
We used Hotels.com to reserve at a Holiday Inn Express. It didn't give us a leg up or put our ducks in a row like La Quinta though I might be able to sell ice to Eskimos. I'm pretty good at sales. :)
Susan, extra items are themes and variations. More is not necessarily better but he might find recipes with these ingredients included and try them. I've had some with a little honey added too. My understanding of picadillo is it was/is made in big batches as a filling for various ethnic stuffed doughs such as empanadas. The leftovers were more sauced and served over rice.
We are going to a neighborhood grill pub, The Brickery, http://www.thebrickery.com/ for all you can eat beef ribs. Our kids used to call Okay, I admit I will not order steamed broccoli or the vegetable of the day as either of two sides.
Grilled chicken w/Major Grey's chutney... and a salad with a store-bought heirloom tomato. I dropped the tomato in the parking lot, so it was soft... but not too bad for a grocery store tomato. My Brandywines are just now putting out true leaves so good tomatoes are waaaay in the future!
I did use Priceline a few years ago - seemed OK, but a couple of hotels suggested that we call them direct next time - they could offer as good or better rates and not have to share the revenue with the website.
I think that's good advice if you know where you want to stay and you know what sort of discount you should be able to get. I used Priceline to book reservations in NYC this fall - I could have started calling around but it was much faster to use Priceline and let them find me a nice room in midtown at the price I was willing to pay.
I think tonight's dinner is going old-school (Wednesdays are usually fast-and-furious for dinnertime.) Tuna casserole. Simple, fast, everybody likes it and leftovers reheat well.
Terry, what do you use in the tuna casserole for moisture? I love tuna casserole but have sworn off Cream of Anything soup-in-a-can. [much like we have collectively sworn off particle board furniture. ] :-\
Sorry to disappoint you Mary, but I make it just like those "vintage" cooks from the 20th century. Good old Cream of Mushroom soup. But you could approximate it with a white sauce, and even dump in some chopped 'shrooms to give it that classic flavor.
We heart tuna melts, too. And tuna patties. And tuna fish sandwiches. When my kids were young, I always kept several cans of tuna on hand. When all else failed, if I had a couple cans of tuna, I could whip up SOMETHING we could eat-and-run. Now we rarely eat it in any form, but occasionally we get a hankering. Tonight is looking like one of those nights.
So does he like his tuna casserole with peas? (I do, but my kids don't, so I almost always cook some to go on the side, and I can stir mine into my casserole, while everybody else keeps theirs separate. Silly people.)
Sounds like my DS only for him it's almost anything green. I never separated them out for him, but I do humor him now with his aversion to coconut...if I put it on a frosted cake, I leave one area naked.
Naked of coconut...hah! The spincach queso dip sounds like a good idea, I like peas in mine too. Laurel, do you think some nastursiums would be a good flower? Silly girl. Ditto on the tuna melts, have not done tuna patties, might try that.
My bad on the "flower", Mary. Nothing that a little sleep wouldn't fix.
Terry, he likes it with peas (and onions, extra mushrroms, hot or sweet peppers, brocolli, carrots...whatever). I never make it because, though I don't hate it, I don't love the smell of that particular dish. We rarely eat tuna these days too but while at Maypop the other day I popped open a giant tin from Costco and used half for a big tuna salad lunch. I freeze the other half and find there is no change in flavor, fewer cans and the tuna is in big hunks instead of looking like smashed cat food in the little tins.
I'm trying to get my own sourdough starter going. Eventually it will pick up some local wild yeasts from the air. Then (if I can find the bag) I have some organic sprouted wheat flour and a couple of other sprouted flours, to make bread. They won't be gluten-free, but better than regular artisan breads in that respect.
One of my friends is treating a small group of us to dinner at Château Morrisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway next week. Dress is casual but I'm told I have to wear shoes! (I don't wear shoes in summer.) I have to go through boxed clothes and see if I have anything decent in summer wear (that still fits me) suitable to wear in public. Shoes I have, having always been close to Imelda in collecting shoes, although truthfully I've never had more than 200 pair at a time.
I put an onion quiche in the oven five minutes ago and am trying to talk SO into making a salad. We are feeling lazy after the last few days work. He did sear two brisket flat cuts on the grill about a half hour ago. I smothered them in onions, adobo, garlic and spices and home canned tomatoes for later meals. It is now roasting.
Darius, about starter...I put mine out in the yard, moving it to a new location every day, to collect wild yeast. SO has mocked me for waltzing around the woods in yeast nymph mode. Bring it on! My baby yeast gets halved daily and used for pancakes or added to muffin and quick bread batter while still young. It's good for dipping veggies and frying too. I'll get it really perfect and keep it going for a few years, then loose it. I've not had success with freezing The starter seems to weaken. I've never been able to create a starter as vigorous as commercial yeast. Guess that's why recipes have commercial yeast with some starter to enhance flavor added. It would have to be used and fed daily to keep it strong. Since every effort is made to minimize oven time during hot weather, I don't bake bread in the summer. One cool thing to do when you travel and come across a noted bakery; ask for some starter. If you offer to pay they will almost always refuse. You'll get a few rounds of bread baked while that regionally flavored yeast survives. It's a great memento of a trip. I've brought home smidgens of yeast starters from all over the world. :)
I have no luck with wild yeast, and end up with odd, undesirable flavors. I use purchased sourdough starter after quite a few loaves of skunky, odd bread. And I swear it wasn't too warm when I started, it wasn't the taste of gluten going off from too-high heat. I've done that as well, it's a different bad flavor.
I made zucchini "crab" cakes, quinoa pilaf, and spinach salad with tomatoes and basil.
Celene... I have to try anyway. Not much to lose but my time and some flour! Sourdough starters I've bought before slowly change anyway after a few feedings... I've never been a good bread baker, and doubt I will ever be one. Biscotti is more my forté.
Zuke 'crab' cakes? I have an abundance of zukes right now (doesn't everyone?), might be something to try. I'm also going to freeze some, using Julia Child's method to retain some zucchini flavor.
What's Julia Child's method for freezing zucchini, always assuming that I get some? They're in a popup tent to prevent colonization by squash bugs.
Back when we had goats I used to make cheese, and it never tasted wonderful until the wooden board that I aged the little rounds on developed the right kind of mold, and after that it was consistently excellent.
I want to get back to making cheese again, but there's SO much on my plate right now... I've heard from folks who age cheese on wooden boards in a cheese "cave" that it's much better after the boards become inoculated with the right mold. After all, that what makes roquefort so consistently tasty... the mold in the caves.
I was just at a class where they had a "light" Mac & Cheese. I thought I would post the recipe since we've been talking mac and cheese in the thread lately.
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat or high fiber macaroni (likes Barilla Plus)
1 (12 oz) can skim evaporated milk
3 Tbl flour (or corn starch)
1/4 tsp of dry mustard
1/8 tsp of garlic powder
pinch of cayenne (optional)
1/2 cup light sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup quesadilla Mexican cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Cook the dry pasta, drain, and set aside
Toast the flour in a dry sauce pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add the evaporated milk, mustard, garlic powder, cayenne, and 1.2 tsp salt to the flour. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer and whisk constantly until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.
Take off heat, whisk in grated cheeses until melted and smooth. Stir in Macaroni. Let mac and cheese sit off heat until sauce thickens slightly. Calories 352. Serving size 1 1/4 cups.
Edit: BTW - I couldn't eat this but my freinds in the class really liked the mac & cheese.
I never used anything, Darius, but a daily dance in the woods with the bowl of starter. I have to wear shoes what with two big dog gifts but you are already more authentic as you are barefoot. Put some chi into it. Maybe even a wreath on your head. It starts burbling in a few days.
We have horrible squash vine borer problems as well as squash bugs in the South. Most people plant a boatload of squash, harvest all at once, freeze, can, etc. and then lose their crop. The borer eggs hatch in less than ten days, bore the squash vines and the crop is gone overnight. I grew great squash over a long season several years ago by planting late to avoid the main borer moth season. For us that's mid-May to mid-June. This year, I seeded squash under row covers in mid-May and now have male flowers. In a week or so when female flowers start I'll pull the covers. So, though we could have been eating squash for some time now we are delaying in hopes of a better, longer season later.
I lost all my squash two years ago...overnight!! Doing fine one day and the next, blooey!! Figured it was borers. This year something starting eating my beans so they are under row cover now in the raised beds. And looking fine. We're not even close to harvesting anything.
We will be able to begin harvesting beans this weekend. I plant several varieties. First ones in were Hilda Romano https://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=01193&c=83&p=Hilda+Romano+Pole.. and they are the first to produce. We have been picking snow peas but I am now letting them go to seed. No edible tomatoes yet though lots are set. Peppers are forming. We grow around ten varieties. Eggplants are beating the flea beetles in the race. Cabbages and other greens got wormed last week but then a spray of Bt brought things under control. We could really use some rain.
SO is having leftover mac n' cheese with roasted chicken, also leftover, and a salad. I am having the chicken on a salad.
Using silver mulch really made a difference with the squash vine borers. But then the squash bugs moved in. Last year I started the squash under cover and just removed it when they started to flower, and squash bugs still killed all the plants even though I also sprayed with neem. This year I'm growing parthenocarpic squash under a popup tent. We shall see. I love zucchini and would appreciate being able to get some. My tomatoes are setting fruit and I should be getting some of the currant type fairly soon. Peppers are forming - I'm growing Cubanelle, Marconi Red, and a type that a friend in France named Long Red Hungarian because he bought the first ones in a market there.
I think sowbugs were eating my beans last year, and probably my chard and kale this year. Diatomaceous earth deters them if you keep up with it. I planted my eggplant in among my tomatoes this year because I read that tomatoes deter flea beetles. They seem to be holding up better than usual. You can also start your eggplant in containers on a deck or balcony where flea beetles won't get them, and transplant into the garden once they're big enough. That works well, too.
For dinner we had hamburgers with leftover frozen beans from last year and potato salad. Nothing exciting, but it was a good meal for a very hot day.
We're headed to dinner at a freind's. She is making eggplant parmesian. We're bringing a dish of some kind. Our choice of what the dish is. Seems like EP typically gets served with bread and a greens salad. I' having a hard time thinking out of the box on this one. DH makes a nice apple tarte tartin. I've been on a roasted sweet potato/black bean/cilantro salad kick but I'm not sure how well that will go with the EP. Any suggestions on what to bring?
I got the seeds for the parthenocarpic zucchini varieties from sources that don't use GMO products, so I'm fine with them. I'm just curious to see how well they produce. I grew Partenon once years ago and got very little from it.
Just popped a quiche in the oven. It has a little bit of everything in it. My sis, who seldom eats more than 6 bites of anything (and weighs 88 pounds) is off today so I'm hoping she'll eat a slice of quiche since it's hearty.
Last night I made Poulet au Vinaigre, from a recipe I found online. I was a bit disappointed because it didn't have as much flavor as I'd expected. I have lots left over so maybe it will be better next time around. Along with that we had brown rice and I made a salad with garden lettuce, an avocado, some crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and some syrupy fig vinegar that I got locally. That was really good!
Welcome back, Tam! And Darius, I hope your sister enjoyed the quiche.
Glad to hear you are back. How much more traveling to CA do you have left?
Mary - Thanks for the ideas. We're headed to the market this morning to see what is in season. So that may also spark some ideas.
GG - What kind of zuchinni are you trying this year and would you let me know how it goes. BTW - We've had a couple of years where the flea beattles went after our tomato leaves. They were at opposite ends of the garden. So I'm not sure how well planting the two together will go.
It's suppose to be 102 here tomorrow. I've not had heat like that in this area this early before. Looks like it's going to be a rough year temp wise plus we're in a drought.
Susan, I've got Partenon and Cavilli this year, both from Gourmet Seed International. They had the best prices, as I recall. The zucchini are looking good under their tent, and there are a few fruits starting. It's a bit hard to monitor since I want to keep them shut up as tight as possible. I also have some Greyzini growing outside the tent; it too is a hybrid, but it's very prolific and it's done fairly well for me in the past because of that.
I've got some potato beetle larvae on a few of my tomato plants, but I just squashed them this morning. I usually leave the remains on the plant to deter their friends and relatives. The eggplant actually still look pretty good.
It was over 100 here the last two days but we had thunderstorms last night and got almost an inch of rain. Everything looks happy this morning. It's a bit cooler, too.
I've been nibbling on peaches that drop because they have some brown rot spots. Much of the flesh is ripe and very sweet, so I've been enjoying that part. It seems awfully early for them to be ripening, though!
I scored local sweet cherries, blueberries & peaches (well... not sure if those were local actually). And a Georgia watermelon.
I'm cooking for my dad this weekend. It will clear out the freezer and get him a new stock of good food. My roo is bubbling away for chicken noodle soup and am soaking the beans for a big pot of chili. I've also got the last of the roasted tomatoe sauce thawing to make some goulash.
I checked my garden - its doing pretty well. The winter squash leaves are being eaten but otherwise things look pretty good. I've harvested some garlic & there's plenty more coming along. Shallots & onions are doing well, there's plenty of swiss chard to harvest. The green beans are flowering, the tomatoeys are ripening, the summer squash looks like its about to take off... yep. I think my pessimist of a hubby was just seeing the garden through is black-tinted glasses. :-)
We had a huge lunch out so I just had a nice green salad for dinner.
Susan, the early Florida Natives used to call the Florida avocados an alligator pear. They are quite different than the Haas avocados from California, both in size and taste.
There's one variety called 'Pollock' that originated in the West Indies. It grows as large as a football, and can weigh up to 5 pounds. They used to be found in roadside stands in South Florida when I was growing up but it's not grown commercially, nor does it ship well. I don't remember the variety we grew in our yard; they were tasty but not as good as a Pollock nor as large.
I'm sorta recovering from the RU we hosted yesterday. That is, if planting my haul in the blistering heat is recovering. Make Terry tell you her traffic control story. Straight out of Woody Allen's "Bananas" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y16HUOAmT0 Haha!
Darius, my dad always called avocados alligator pears. We had several trees of Florida avocados in our yard. I love avocados and like Hass (note spelling) a lot. I also like th black skinned Mexicana. There are new avocados that are very large and marketed as very low fat that I don't think are flavorful.
We are having pulled smoked chicken thighs in red beans as a topper to a taco salad.
I'm not telling that story. I just learned that I was not destined to be a traffic controller - for planes, trains or automobiles. Ahem. I'm hoping to get my plants set in tomorrow, then water, water, water. Spent an hour or two watering today. I seriously doubt I'm cooking anything today and with the forecast I've seen, I think we'll be grilling out all week. Ugh. Wish my laptop were waterproof; if it were I might just spend every day in a pool.
I like the small (I think they're Hass or Haas or something like that) better.
Baked veggie "chimichangas" made with grilled onions, zucchini, mushrooms, poblanos, red pepper, and serranos. I added spinach and a little bit of cheese to the filling, baked till the tortilla crisps up. Lettuce, tomato, chopped cabbage, cilantro on the side.
No ripe tomatoes here yet but plenty on the vine. Hopefully we’ll have some soon.
Dinner was at friends last night. The menu was eggplant parmesan, watercress salad, smoked salmon, goat cheese, pesto, crackers, and apple tarte tatin. The watercress salad was a struggle to put together but I finally used toasted sliced almonds, green apples, and sugared ginger with a red verjus, grapeseed oil, and mustard dressing. Everyone seemed happy with it. It went well with the tomato sauce on the eggplant.
We had fresh sungolds too, although I was quite surprised to find them. I was showing a friend our gardens and there were three of them nestled at the very bottom of one plant. If I hadn't been showing her what we were growing, I wouldn't have seen them at all.
I have 10qts of chicken noodle soup, 6qts each pork chili & goulash in serving-size containers freezing for delivery to my dad & step mom. For me... a big green salad with goat cheese & watermelon for dessert.
Celene, when you made the faux (zucchini) crab cakes, how finely did you grate the zucchini? The recipe I copied said to use the finest side of a box grater, which is what I use for grating ginger. (Actually I have a ceramic ginger grater, but the texture is the same.)
I just scored some organic pork from a local farmer and I'm going to be on the lookout for some good recipes for it. I'm sure it's leaner than the meat you'd buy in the supermarket, but he says it's very tender.
Tonight we had leftover hamburgers with baked beans and potato salad, with cantaloupe for first.
Leslie, if it's heritage pork it will have more fat and be tastier. Commercial pork is bred super lean which is why it dries out so badly.
We went out to Tin Can Fish House last night. The kids left directly after for the airport. We shared an Old Bay peel and eat shrimp bowl and a pot of mussels in white wine and roasted garlic, then each had a po' boy. Mine and DD's was shrimp & oyster, SO's blackened grouper, FSIL's catfish. They came with a terrific jalapeno slaw and house cut string fries. We'll have salad tonight to counter the carbfest.
I think it's a mixture of Landrace and one other type. But we got some pork through friends from a farmer who raised his pigs humanely on a farm, and it was very lean and lacked the fat that gives it flavor. I don't know what kind of pigs they were, though.
I'm back in Atlanta and hit the ground running. Bought most of the beer and wine for the wedding weekend today. That's my aerobic workout for the week. Any idea what forty two bottles of wine and one hundred and eight bottles of beer weigh? We decided to put the money into premium wines, a huge variety of crafted ciders and beers and punt the bartender and full bar. I bought four big orange/red flower pots to ice down beer and white wines instead of galvanized tubs. They match the trim on Maypop cottage and I can plant them after the event.
We picked Soyu cukes before leaving the garden. I'm going to make a batch refrigerator pickles tonight for the wedding weekend if I don't succumb to exhaustion first. Love their fluted edges.
Tam, glad you finally have a chance to land and nest for a few weeks what with the hectic travel schedule.
Susan, we are indeed counting down. I'm settled with the Friday night menu plan but Saturday night is still a moving target. Sunday will be a bagel and lox brunch for early arrivals and leftovers from Fri./Sat. later in the day.
We went to Smithgall on Monday to strategize guest arrangements for the fourteen rooms reserved there and the Friday reception party. We learned that we will need to have a driver ferry guests staying outside the compound from a central parking area to our venue because they limit vehicles on site to guests only. They will cut the meadow area the day before our guests arrive so golfers can putt or people can toss Frisbees. We will bring over our croquet set over. I scoped out the two catering kitchens and was greatly relieved to see a huge, commercial Hobart refrigerator to contain the weekend feast. While shopping for booze and running around today I found these cool Chinese take out boxes http://www.emilyschocolates.com/Chocolate-Covered-Fortunes-s/45.htm What's cool is that DD's name is Emily! BTW, I meant one hundred eighty bottles of beer, not one hundred eight. There were four shopping carts filled a foot over the top with wine and beer. Okay, just slap me if I get (have gotten?) too obnoxious with wedding planning. I know you all well enough to handle it (though I might pout).
Laurel, I don't know how you are managing to balance everything for the wedding, but I'm sure it will go off great and everything will be wonderful (and hopefully appreciated by the guests). I'm sure your daughter knows and appreciates the effort!
Darius, the secret is one Ferragamo clad foot in front of the other. Okay, maybe it's only a Croc. Our daughter calls to relay how we are the best parents ever. She even asks for, and follows, our advice. Must have been switched at birth. Now I need to get up and make pickles! Forward ho!
Terry got to see the quilt face table toppers while she was RUing with us. We went into my bedroom and locked the door. We both laughed when I discovered there is a lock on the bedroom door at Maypop after only twenty years. The toppers are hidden in SO's closet because DD is always going into mine to borrow. I've been wanting to post photos but time is getting scarce. Eight are finished and two need borders. More guests are RSVPing so I might need plan "B". Amazing... that some are bringing their extensions who were not invited. Is it worth bad air? No. I'll call the caterer and order more food. :>) We drew the line at the two added dog guests. That was touchy considering they belong to the other MIL.
Wow - that is early, especially for the eggplant! I've started harvesting garlic and the shallots will be ready soon.
I'll be hoping you ladies have some good kohrabi recipes to share - I planted seed this year but have never eaten one. They are bulbing up already. The seed seller said the ones I bought do not get woody when they get larger but I figure I'll be trying my first one in a week or so.
Yum on the kohlrabi. I mostly eat them raw like carrots. Peal the outside and eat. They can be sliced like water chestnuts and used for stirfries. I also used the Kohlrabi greens for salads. Rule on kohlrabi is the larger they are the woodier they are likely to be. So pick early on size if you want them tender.
Eggplants are in containers. I find they do better here in containers then in the ground. Sweet peppers are also early. I've been picking them for about a month. They are all in the raised beds this year.
LAS, if you didn't post for a while the problem may be because the thread moved on to a new edition and you were left at the old one. You will not see the new thread on your home page and need to follow the old threads to the bottom to see if we've moved on. Once you make a post you will be included. Terry usually moves us on to a new thread after the old one gets cumbersome, especially for dial up folks.
Thanks, Tam. Thrilled about the find. Are you kicking back a little now that you are home?
Got the first batch of two varieties of garden beans pickled today. The mix is classic garlic/dill and will become a three or four bean salad event. Not the usual three bean varieties, they are super wide heirloom Italian Romano and Italian flat podded wax (yellow) beans. Thinking I'll add red beans and garbanzos made from dried closer to the date. While slicing Soyu cukes for pickles at six this morning (didn't get it done last night) I decided to go Asian since they are an Asian cuke. Along with red onions, they are soaking in rice vinegar, garlic, salt, Thai chilies, Thai basil, tad of sugar, and peppercorns.Georgia peaches are coming in. I just finished making a peach chutney with mint and hot peppers canned last year. There's also sweet red pepper, onion, fresh grated ginger (lots), whole cloves, crushed allspice berries and whole cinnamon sticks. It's going to be drizzled over a big platter of goat cheese rounds and topped with candied pecans. Served with local artisan bread. An homage to Georgia.
I'm enjoying being home but "kickin back" doesn't quite fit. Too busy with work and chores to relax a lot. And cooking up a bunch of meals for my dad. (That was mostly fun - I enjoy cooking and it feels good knowing he'll have good food to eat whenever he needs it).
I had my first kohlrabi! I had dinner at a friends house. We made omelets w/my ladies' eggs, the gardens' garlic, shallots, swiss chard & kale. And a green salad with the kohlrabi sliced up raw. Was good & I'm glad I tried it this year - I have quite a few more coming along.
A few questions - can you eat the leaves? I tasted one and it was alot like cabbage. And if I have too many coming in, what's the best way to keep the kohlrabi? Blanch & freeze?
It makes great slaw, either alone or mixed with cabbage, carrots, etc.. It will store for a long time in the fridge. I have cooked the leaves with other greens but prefer the bulbs raw. Oh, and if you eat cheese, it makes a neat salad when cut into small pieces or sliced thinly and tossed with tomatoes, fresh parsley, cubes of cheddar, orSwiss or fresh mozz. Dress liberally with lemon and a light garlic vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Then, at the last minute, add big, chunky homemade croutons (pan toast) for a great bread salad.
Tammy, way back in the middle of June, you posted this. I'm always looking for kale/collards/chard recipes. Could you tell how you made this? Especially how long each ingredient was cooked?
"We had wild alaskan salmon w/a medley of mushroom, kale, onion & red pepper."
You said you were looking for yellow squash recipes. I hit upon a winner. Actually I made it up. I call it "mushroom soup," because my son and daughter-in-law won't eat squash.
Slice enough squash and onions very thin, enough to fill your favorite frying pan.
Cover the bottom of the pan with canola oil, add veggies, cover and cook a very long time, until volume is reduced at least by half and the sugars are released.
Fill a blender with the mixture and add chicken boullion and cream, enough to produce the soup consistency you prefer. You may need to process several blender's worth.
While the veggies are cooking down, chop a package of mushrooms very small. Saute them and add them to the blended soup. Then, the magic secret, add a tablespoon or so of Heartland Farms Powdered Mushrooms. Look for it on the internet. I've never seent it in stores. It's a magic ingredient for anything with a lot of mushrooms in it.
I make quart batches of this to freeze all summer and feed it confidently to guests all winter. Of course the more heavy cream you use, the more confidence you have. :-) :-)
Thank Laurel! The salad with cheese etc sounds delicious!!!
LAS - I don't typically use boullion but I bet that recipe would work with other spicing. Thanks - will put it on my roster to try!
I cut up the veggies into bite sized pieces. I saute the onions & mushrooms a little first and then add the red peppers. (I don't know how long - 'til the onions are slightly browned and the mushrooms melted down a bit). I set this aside and then add a little more oil & add finely chopped garlic for just a little time (maybe 30sec) and then add the chopped kale (& swiss chard if I have it) I toss the greens in the garlic-flavored oil and cook 'til they brighten up to a darker green and then add back in the onion, mushroom & red peppers to get it all warmed up again. I tend to add some ground cumin, black & cayenne pepper & salt as seasoning.
Susan, you know I mostly cook by vision so no recipe. Since it's freshly on my mind I can relay approximate instructions. Start with about three pounds of peaches (of course I used Georgia peaches) and blanch approximately five minutes to remove skins. That's about eight large peaches. While peaches are blanching bring two cups of cider vinegar to a simmer in a medium sauce pan and add a medium onion (any color, I used red) diced in one quarter inch pieces and half a cup of similarly diced red pepper, two cinnamon sticks, five crushed allspice berries, one teaspoon white pepper, one teaspoon salt and six to ten whole cloves, not crushed. Add one half to three quarters cup raisins, currants or dried cranberries. Add pitted and chopped peaches, leaving peaches chunky so some texture is retained. Add one quarter cup or more of grated ginger. I freeze fresh ginger and use a microplane to grate. I used about a quarter cup of dried garden mint that I crushed by rolling between my palms but have used fresh mint on the stem, removing the entire stem and leaves and discarding afterwards. Guess you could use mint extract. Add about one tablespoon of chopped jalapeno. We grow our own and they are hotter than the canned ones. Don't make adjustments for heat or sweet or sour or salt at this time. Simmer for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, to soften onions and peppers. Add one cup of brown sugar. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly to a burble, approximately twenty more minutes. Make adjustments to taste now and be watchful of the pot with the sugar reducing. This made about five pints. I can't advise you about the safety of this as a caned product since it's not a tested recipe, rather my creation. Use your own judgement. It should store in the fridge for a very long while. We tasted it this morning and the flavor was heavenly after spending a night chilling. I'm going to dress the the goat cheese lightly with the pint portion, topping it with homemade candied rosemary pecans and then put the remaining amount in a dish for people to top their cheese as desired.
Better copy this "recipe" in case I ever need it. lol
We will hopefully have what was supposed to be last night's dinner tonight...grilled lamburgers, salad and grilled squashes. The heat is absolutely withering! It was one hundred and five in Atlanta when we left and one hundred and three out of the city. Once we hit our wooded, private road the temp dropped to a frigid ninety nine. I kept asking myself why anyone would live in the S.W.. Sorry, Mary. There were lots of records broken today.
It's very hot here today, so I made a pasta salad, with cannellini beans, tuna, a chiffonade of basil and spinach leaves, minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives and a dash of Thai fish sauce, plus a few red pepper flakes. After I drained the pasta I put it, still warm, in the bowl over the beans, greens and other ingredients so that the basil and spinach were wilted. It was really good. Ice cream for dessert!
Leslie- that pasta sounds good. I'll have to remember that.
I made a Thai pork curry with the left over pork loin from dad's chili. It used the last of the corn I had in my freezer and fresh cilantro & basil from the garden. Was very good - had that over rice & a big slice of watermelon for dessert.
LAS - I used this same basic recipe from the beginning of harvest to the last leaves at the end of the year last year. I don't know how much more it softens with longer cooking so perhaps I'm not cooking it "lightly"? I make sure its wilted down and turns bright green. I also cut it into smallish peices (mostly 'cause DH prefers it this way).
edited to correct my brain dead mistake on who made the pasta.
No. It was from the KC, MO Farmer's Market. Three types we've not tried before. This one was a Persimmon tomato. It was okay. DH didn't think it was worth repeating. The Kellogg’s Breakfast is way better. http://store.tomatofest.com/Persimmon_p/tf-0379.htm
We have a ways to go on the tomatoes. They've been green for a while but not ripening.
We have no power. It went out for a few hours Friday morning due to a severe thunderstorm but that was purely local. Friday night, however, we had another very severe thunderstorm with hurricane force winds, and our power has been out since then. We have a generator, but it's fueled with propane so it won't run forever, and our a/c quit yesterday morning. That might be helping to save propane, but it's going up to 97 here today - again. Over 100,000 people are out of electricity in several counties, so it's going to be a while before they get to us.
Last night we went to a cooking class at Sur la Table; I had signed ourselves up for it for DH's birthday. Luckily that area was untouched by the storm. What I was really looking for was a class in baguette-making for him, but this looked good: it was described as A Night on the Riviera, and the menu was pissaladière, seared duck breast with lavender and honey, and an almond cake with citrus glaze. It was nice to be back in the normal world for an evening, and it was a neat experience, but they really had you oversalt the duck, which was a shame.
Driving up to the cooking class I could see how devastated the area was. Where the roads were lined with trees many of them had crashed down, taking spaghetti-like strands of electric lines with them. Often the trees were at least partially across roads. Police were manning traffic intersections where lights weren't working, and some roads were closed due to downed wires and trees. I can see why it will take a long time to put the world back to rights. I have never seen this much damage even after a hurricane!
GG - Sorry to hear about the storm damage and you are out of power plus ac. I hope they get it fixed soon. It was good timing to have a cooking class with ac. The meal sounds lovely except for the over salted part. We don't cook with salt so it really is noticable when we get something heavily salted.
Its just baffling (and much appreciated) that we did not get a hint of the storms that have caused so much damage in NJ. I hope the AC is repaired soon & your propane outlasts the power outage.
The cooking class does sound well timed. We're salt eaters so the seasoning would probably be fine for my DH & I. (He actually worries me with how much salt he consumes but his blood pressure & all other health indicators are good so I don't fight it).
I've got my eye on a couple of little summer squash for harvest today. I'm planning to make a little veggie boat - stuffing them with the first of my sungold cherry tomatoes.
SusanKC - you got us onto the Kellogs Breakfast and its definitely top of my list for flavor, productivity and for vigor. I planted 4 this year and gave plants to lots of friends and the middle school garden I help support.
Sounds like you'll have plenty of sources for the KB. I think it was one of the tomatoes listed on either Smith & Hawken: 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden by Carolyn Male or The Tomato Festival Cookbook: 150 Recipes that Make the Most of Your Crop of Lush, Vine-Ripened, Sun-Warmed, Fat, Juicy, Ready-to-Burst Heirloom Tomatoes by Lawrence Davis-Hollander.
Are you using row covers on the squash? I let go of growing the summer squash this year because of cucumber beetles and squash bores. Someone on DG mentioned they were using netting instead of row covers. I'm thinking about that one for next year.
I meant to say above that our dinner at The Chateau Morrisette on The Blue Ridge Parkway was a bit of a disappointment. The food was merely okay IMO. On the other hand, I made another big pot (7 qts.) of corn chowder for last night's supper for the 5 of us at the cabin. It was a BIG hit even though everyone thought a hot soup wouldn't be appropriate on a hot day, and even with 2nds and an occasional 3rd serving, there was enough for everyone else to have some to take home. Crusty bread and a fresh garden salad made it a great meal. One of the gals brought fresh LOCAL corn from eastern NC; we had some boiled on the cob with our pot-luck lunch at the RU, and the rest went in the chowder.
The consensus was that if I put out a roadside stand, and tiny paper cups of the chowder to sample, I could make a mint! Of course, I can't take credit for the recipe... it came from The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten).
I cooked 2 batches of custard Friday afternoon for vanilla ice cream, and we hand-churned one batch yesterday at the RU. There were fewer attendees than last year (103º probably had a bearing on that) so one batch was enough. I brought the other batch back to the cabin, and then home today because we were too tired to churn it last night. I'll churn it later today and freeze it in pints.
We had really bad storms both nights at the cabin, but no real damage where we were other than big tree limbs down and noisy hail on the metal roof (although there were 3 reported tornadoes in the county). However, just as I was getting home today, a bad storm hit here and I couldn't get to my house due to a tree across the road 200 feet before my driveway. I had to go halfway back to town to come in from the other direction, and then I found the power was off at home. Neighbors brought chain saws and cleared the road soon after the storm moved on.
Thanks to all for birthday wishes. I spent the day in a sauna. It was one hundred five here. We have to get things done for the wedding weekend meaning only brief breaks indoors to cool off. I was finishing beaded pine paneling at eight o'clock last night and then cooked dinner. Wish they had food delivery of some sort up here.
I hope no one incurred too much damage to their property and everyone's power is quickly restored. DD said they are fine and never lost power while neighbors two doors down still have no power and their yard is a mess. Sounds like what tornadoes do. We certainly could use some rain. We have lost any grass we had a week ago and are struggling with 24 hour soaker hoses in the garden. Many seedlings fried the past few days.
I discovered a quart of roasted tomato sauce from last September's garden in the freezer. Will make chicken thighs cacciatore for dinner. We are picking first squash since I waited until after prime borer season to plant. The plants look great. Our many varieties of beans are needing picking every few days. We are one step short of drowning in cucumbers.
Finally some rain. It rained gently most of the night. Looks like we got close to an inch. It's cooled down because it is overcast though it's still supposed to be in the nineties today. We broke records for four straight days. We will return to Atlanta in the evening so that we may get in a full day here. I'm going over to the hall to take measurements this afternoon. A salad topped with previously cooked chicken is on the menu. There was a roadside melon stand set up down the street. I bought two giant cantaloupes for $4. Each weighs over five pounds. Quick and cool.
As fierce as the storm was here yesterday as I got home, we barely got ⅛" of rain along with the winds, so I'm watering today because it's still hot and dry! Conversely, at the cabin this weekend we got 2⅞" in about an hour, up where there were no gardens. Go figure.
I just harvested my shallots. I didn't get as many as I hoped (and some are small), mainly because when I first planted them last fall, something kept digging them up. As many times as I replanted them, many simply didn't survive.
SusanKC, I posted above (along with the photo) that the lemon squash was lemon only in size and shape.
When the tops start to brown/yellow, I wait about 10 days more to harvest. After the tops have started to decline, they usually won't grow any more, so you might as well harvest. I just leave them a few more days to partially cure since by then the bulbs are above ground.
Long story short, we are a family of accounting and finance majors: Mr. Official has his CPA and has worked in private accounting his entire career. I have degrees in accounting and finance, and used them briefly before moving into HR/benefits for a large oil/gas company for almost a decade, before landing here...where I've been for more than a decade now. (Time flies :-)
Oldest son has his accounting degree and works for a healthcare company's accounting department. Middle son will soon graduate with his finance degree, but he's been a little fuzzy on exactly what he wants to do with it - he's more engineer than salesman, so cold calling leaves him cold. Which rules out the typical entry level finance jobs in insurance and financial planning. A friend of ours is finishing up his MBA and actuarial licensing; I've pushed middle son to seek his advice (they are very similar in their demeanor), but in the meantime, this position presented itself. I'm happy for him and hope it works out. The pay will be pretty low while he gets started since he isn't bonded and all of his work will have to be closely supervised. But I can see the research and analysis being more "up his alley" than many of the career paths available to finance majors.
Our dinnertable conversations have always been incredibly scintillating, as you might imagine. Swimmer girl has her sights set on pre-med. Somebody has to be the "black sheep", right? *grin*
It'll be interesting to hear how it works out. A lot of engineers in my house and family so understand the conversation issue. Although we think we have pretty good conversations. An engineering or manufacturing company would need an accountant that is more engineer orientated.
Interesting swimmer girl wants to pre-med. Any idea what event brought that about?
Susan, she's just built that way. When she was six, she saw the swim team practicing at the Y and said she wanted to try it the next summer, even though she could barely dogpaddle a few feet. She nearly drowned in her first IM a year later, but she's been swimming on a team ever since. Zero plans to pursue an athletic scholarship; she swims simply because she loves the sport.
She decided in middle school she wanted to go into orthopedics/sports medicine (not as a surgeon though). She's tackled all the medical subjects they will let you take in High School, starts her clinicals in the fall (a shadowing program), and has sat in on an A&P class with a nursing student friend of ours over at MTSU. She has aspirations of doing medical missionary work when all is said and done. Her fallback plan, if med school doesn't pan out, is psychiatry. At this point, we just stand back and cheer her on. She can be flighty and fidgety, but also extremely focused and tenacious. (The same could be said of all lthree of them, I guess...it's just that her interests in life are on a different path than the boys.)
Dinner tonight is tentative at best. Swimmer Girl just left with some other seniors and recent grads; they're heading up to Crossville to visit our youth group at church camp. They'll spend the afternoon and early evening with them, then get back sometime late tonight. Mr. Official is on Day 2 of the monthly closing schedule, so he may or may not be home at a reasonable hour. Middle Son is working and I'm not sure what time he'll be home - if the weather is nice, he will probably hit the disc golf course for whatever daylight hours are left. I'm working and I need to run some errands after I finish...my laptop is back from its second round at Dell, I need some stuff from Home Depot and Staples, AND we need some groceries :-) Sooo...what's everyone else having?
Don't know yet,DH is golfing this afternoon in the 100+ heat, so perhaps a taco salad, or something simple with watermelon for dessert. Our community is having their fireworks display tonight ( so I guess that means the 4th of July is on the 3rd?),
Terry, I can see middle son fitting into the job quite well, by the way, give him a hug for us.
Does anyone have a special menu for the 4th? I'm looking for inspiration.
GG, you're right -I've always tangled those two up. I keep telling her med school is the way to go so she can take care of her parents in their final years. She promises to put us in the best home money can buy. Always thinking, that one...
I think we're going traditional tomorrow - handpatted hamburgers and probably a few brats or dogs for anyone who wants one. Maybe somethin s'mor-ish for dessert. We may or may not it make it a traveling feast and hit MIL's pool...I just go with the flow.
We usually stock up on fireworks too since we have a large piece of property, but not this year. It's so dry, even a sparkler can set off a grass fire. It won't be quiet though...whole tribe is coming over.
I had cooked 2 big batches of vanilla custard for ice cream for our RU on Saturday, but with fewer attendees in the heat, we only churned one batch. Late this afternoon I churned the 2nd batch (3/4 gallon) and parceled it into small portions for the freezer, so at least I'll have a cold dessert tonight and for some nights to follow.
I had intended to make several quiche this afternoon, one for supper and some to freeze. By the time I baked a few pie shells, blanched broccoli, haricot verts, squash and some corn... plus cranking the ice cream churn, I was over any thoughts of actually baking quiche. I probably ought to get back to it after I have a short rest, since the shells are now baked. I just need to dice and sauté onions and bacon, and shred cheese. Mixing the eggs and cream and then throwing them in the oven is easy-peasy.
Yep - prep work is usually 90% of the job, isn't it?
Terry - we're a family of nerds. Math, statistics, computer science, engineering. Even in the spouses of brother & sister. My neice is going into Virology (PhD). She has wanted to be a doctor since she was 6 but after an internship in a hospital, she decided she'd prefer a purely lab-oriented research career. Oh well... virology is at least a science. :-) Congrat's to your middle child!
I made omelets with the kohlrabi greens, garden shallots, store bought onion, red pepper, garlic... and added lemon thyme & basil from the herb garden. Definitely one of my best omelets!
We haven't been eating all the eggs. Four babies now.
An omelet sounds very good. How were the kohlrabi greens in it?
Dinner turned out to be out. DH had a stress day at work and needed to go someplace. So we went to a local place called BRGR aka an upscale burger, shake, and fry place. In other words, they sell things like sweet potato tater tots, three cheese macaroni, and grilled salmon sandwiches.
We split a green salad. DH had the C2 which is chicken patty with watercress. I had a burger with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomatoes.
I forgot to mention we have a few scientists in the family also. DH also has three male cousins from the same family that are engineers (mechanical, electrical, and civil). DH is a software engineer. I don;t know if they divided up who got what engineering degree when they were younger or what but I find it interesting none of them do the samething.
I bought a very large flat of strawberries and twenty pounds of peaches at the farmer's mkt. yesterday. Will have a busy day making two not too sweet fillings for the layered dessert trifles. They will go in squat, pint Ball jars. I'm going to cap and freeze them, then defrost and add fresh whipped cream and berries right before service. Also smoking the tomatoes and sauce for the BBQ sauce that will go with the almost forty pounds of brisket purchased yesterday.
Terry, your kids are winners! What would we expect?
We will be tasting some of the smoked brisket for dinner tonight. Maybe some oven fries and homemade pickles.
Is it just me, or is this mid-week holiday kind of a non-holiday? So far I haven't done anything I really intended to - we slept in (until 7:30, so no early run); I threw together some sausage and biscuits for everyone, but didn't take advantage of the day off to make a big breakfast.
We decided over morning coffee to put off going to my MIL's until this weekend, because of too many things to do around here, and with it being Wednesday, I've got stuff to do tonight at church. Mr. Official is currently at our old house, running the sprinkler system and pulling a few weeds so we can get it ready to rent again. Swimmer Girl and I watered everything around here and I pulled weeds.
It's afternoon, but it's not looking promising for a cookout - Middle Son headed to a friend's for dinner, and Swimmer Girl is working this afternoon/evening.
I think we should get a do-over on Friday and make it a long holiday weekend for all.
I agree; it doesn't feel like the Fourth. It's too hot to go to the lake, with its shadeless decks, and DS and DGD went to the beach, anyway. They'll come here afterwards and we'll have hamburgers and hot dogs and corn on the cob, with maybe a big salad, and ice cream for dessert. We'll probably see and hear the fireworks over the river later tonight.
We're still dry and no rain in sight, so no fireworks here (they've banned all personal fireworks, although I'm sure there are some who will shoot them off regardless.) I doubt we'll even go watch the display over at MTSU. Just a weird holiday :-)
We're going to be eating inside, too. We just shut the house down and cranked up the air. DH is outside doing the late afternoon chores and then we're staying in. We're not going to fire up the Big Green Egg, either; I'll cook inside.
I've made several quiche today. They are to freeze for winter meals. So far today: ➀ zucchini w/onions, bacon and cheddar; ➀ haricot verts w/bacon and cheddar; ➀ broccoli w/onions and cheddar, and lastly ➀ Quiche Lorraine... only with Irish cheddar instead of Gruyere because that's what I have. And of course, the custard for all of them is fresh eggs mixed with half 'n half, plus seasonings.
I have enough zucchini to make faux crab cakes (thanks Celene!) but not the energy. Maybe tomorrow. I may make more quiche as the yellow lemon squash ripen, but from here on out most of the summer squash will be shredded and frozen except for what I eat fresh.
This is the longest my summer squash have grown without the dreaded squash borers in the stems!
Lots of work on putting up the quiche. Do you cook them and then freeze them?
Any ideas on if I can freeze eggplant for use later this year? We have a bumper crop of eggplants this year. We tried Oriental Express this year. I'm getting a clue as to why they call it that.
101 here. We have been doing chores today. Just finished dinner. Combined cooking effort of hamburgers on multigrained buns with green salad, watermelon, and sliced peaches. Watermelon and peaches are from the farmer's market.
No outside partying for us tonight. We're going to be home with the ac on. If we start missing the fireworks we'll channel surf until we find some.
I freeze eggplant. I cut it in circles crossways, put it in the oven on cookie sheets with a little EVOO, bake until just slightly soft, put the sheet in the freezer, and once the eggplant is frozen solid I peel it off and put it in freezer bags in layers, with waxed paper between them. When I need eggplant I just take them out of the bag. Or you could cook them down with tomatoes; that makes a nice winter casserole with bread crumbs and basil and some brown sugar added.
Susan, I bake the quiche until the custard is set but not quite browned, and then cool and freeze them. Later I thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before re-heating. Keeps the texture better that way. Right now farm eggs are abundant and so are veggies from the garden, so it's a relatively cheap winter dish.
I'm dead on my feet (feat?). So tired I had to correct several emails with the word "weeding" instead of "wedding". Snore. What 4th of July?
The dessert is an experimental cross between a trifle and berry tiramisu that can be made and frozen in advance, then defrosted. Maybe best called a "custom creation" than experiment. You know how expensive mascarpone is? Well I created mascarphony several years ago. It's eight ounces of cream cheese and an equal amount of whole milk ricotta run through the food processor. For use as a filling, such as in tiramisu, I add one teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 C sugar, one third lemon, zested and juiced. I've done this here too. This is to replace the traditional custard filling in trifles since custard separates when frozen.
Twenty pounds (1/2) the brisket is smoked, sliced and stored. I've got an electric slicer but wanted to angle the meat so it was cut by hand. Thanks to Mom, no longer here, for my now vintage Sabatier slicing knife. I'm the Zorro of brisket! The remaining twenty pounds will be finished around ten and need an hour before slicing. SO smoked San Marzano tomatoes for my BBQ sauce, a Georgia sweet and vinegar style with a little heat. It's done. Smoked brisket sandwiches are on the menu for the Friday night dinner along with chicken and vegan Brunswick stew. Wish I could send out samples to all of you.
Laurel, Samples sound wonderful, loving your food "picture". The weekend should also be a gastronomic treat as well as the wedding. Hope you are still able to enjoy after all your efforts..
Supper tonight in the 100+ temps will be grilled fresh Keta Salmon (or as fresh as it comes in Kansas), grilled sweet potato slices and chilled cucumber soup. Perhaps an ear of fresh sweet corn between the two of us. Seems we eat less and still have left-overs.
If I were more proficient, Celene, I'd be documenting and posting as I go. Is there a way to do that directly from a smart phone without downloading into the computer? That would be great; to snap and send photos.
I finished sixty six trifles an hour ago and then canned a gallon of the BBQ sauce for easy storage and service. The trifles were started at 6:45 this morning. I'm pooped. Based on the funky country theme the BBQ sauce can be served right out of the Mason jars. While hunting tomatoes in the pantry for this sauce I ran across four quarts of home canned tomato juice from last July. I've been thinking of non-alcohol beverages and will flavor this up for service. Also, while prepping the peaches for the trifles (blanching to slip the skins) they gave off a half gallon of peach nectar. It's lovely as is. I'm freezing it and will serve. Costco is featuring mixed twelve packs of classic vintage sodas http://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Variety-American-Classic-Sodas/dp/B002D03DZO Perfect with DD's American Studies degrees!
Eden's, hope to post menus when time allows. Thank you for tasting vicariously. :)
Another hot day yesterday; I made Tortellini Salad with Artichokes for dinner. You just add artichoke hearts, sliced salami, black olives, and green onions to the cooked, cooled pasta. The recipe called for Caesar salad dressing, which I didn't have, so I used creamy balsamic instead and served it with grated cheese for sprinkling. It was really good. We had melon for first.
The other day I cut up some of the peaches that were partially spoiled by brown rot and used them to make a cobbler, but I still can't find a good, easy topping that I like. I hate to fall back on Bisquick... Any tried and true recipes out there?
I just picked a quart or so of thornless blackberries from the garden, and there must be several gallons more just beginning to ripen on the canes. I'm thinking a blackberry and chèvre salad later today.
I need to dig out my recipe for blackberry savory, which is much better tasting made with wild blackberries. The hill behind the house is covered with wild blackberries (and a few black raspberries). The spiced vinegar for the savory needs to be made a week or two ahead for the flavors to mingle, so I guess I'd better get that in the works.
Right now I'm dripping wet and an icy blackberry-lime spritzer (non-alcoholic) would hit the spot!
Just chèvre and blackberries with perhaps some greens? I do that with figs but never with blackberries, and with figs I add walnuts. I have some blackberries coming too. The raspberries are quite thin this year - maybe the canes needed replacing, but they are sparse. I just found a nice recipe for blackberry cobbler that I'm going to try.
That sounds both elegant and delicious! I wouldn't know how to make a mango-lime dressing but I'll bet it's lovely.
We went out for dinner and I had shrimp stuffed with crabmeat at our favorite little waterside restaurant. Served with mixed yellow and green zucchini and mashed potatoes, it was excellent, AND I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.