Another year older

June 26, 2011

Well, it was a fine birthday, up to and including the Joan Jett concert (“Don’t give a damn about my bad reputation!) last night at Magic Springs. And today has been a perfectly lazy day, with two, count them, two naps, which means I likely won’t sleep tonight.

I cooked my own birthday dinner, though I’d been invited out. But I had a higher priority. I’d been to the Farmers’ Market yesterday morning, and it is PRIME farmers’ market time of the year, I can tell you. I cooked only about half of what I bought, but it was the birthday dinner of my dreams, since I can’t go back to Murphy’s in Atlanta and try their duck confit again, nor to Chicago and get a steak. But I was perfectly happy with fried okra, creamed corn, sliced tomatos, stewed squash and onions, and a barbecued pork chop. Actually, I could’ve done without the pork chop, but NS thinks he must have animal protein or he has not dined.

Said dinner:

You can take the girl out of the country, but...

I’ve detailed okra-frying before — slice it, let it stand for at least 30 minutes, toss with seasoned cornmeal, fry over medium high heat in corn oil. The corn, which was white corn, I just barely shaved off the tips of the kernels, then scraped the cobs with the blade of the knife. Sauteed that in a mix of olive oil and butter, a touch of salt, added about half a cup of heavy cream, and simmered. It was so sweet you’d swear I added sugar. The squash, again, was a very simple prep — an onion, sliced and sauteed, and six small yellow crookneck squash, sliced and added, then the pan covered and the veggies left to stew in the liquid from the squash. It gets a shake of Lawry’s seasoned salt. The pork chops got rubbed down with a barbecue spice, grilled, and glazed with barbecue sauce. And in my attempt to keep learning my grill, I damn near burnt ’em. Close, fortunately, does NOT count in pork chops, as these were nicely seared and still moist and tender inside.

I also got eggplant, butterbeans, more corn, more tomatos, yeast rolls, some PJF beef, some peaches, and I forget what all else at the market. Oh, and fried pies. The fried pie ladies are in fine form, I can tell you. I want one of them to adopt me.

This morning Lucy got me up at 6 a.m., I took a nap about 8, got up at 9:30 and made cheddar cheese biscuits and had those for breakfast with bacon jam. Then I took another nap, and cooked burgers and fried green tomatos (for Child C ) and potato skins for an early dinner, as my weekend guest was headed back to Memphis. And now it’s barely after 8 p.m. and I’m sleepy again. Go figure. I think there must be tsetse flies swarming about, or this birthday hit me all in a rush or something.

About frying green tomatos. I failed to document them, and probably should have. I don’t care all that much for FGT, though many people think they’re the epitome of Southern cookery. Some folks dice them, sprinkle on cornmeal and fry them like okra. I’ve always been of the slice and dredge school. Tonight, I sliced them, let them soak in a milk and egg mixture, then dredged them in cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper. Child C ate a dozen and professed them pretty good. I have enough to do that much more, so I’ll try to take pictures the next time.

Meanwhile, here’s some of the Farmer’s Market shots. And they’ve asked me to be on the market board, which pleases me immensely. So if you and y’mama ‘n ’em ever come to Hot Springs, make sure it’s on a Saturday morning and come to the market.

I get my eggs from this guy. Brown eggs and green eggs. Fascinates the kids.

 

My favorites, the Vietnamese farmers. Love their produce.

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2 Responses to “Another year older”

  1. Pat McDermott Scavo Says:

    Happy Birthday !

  2. Pat McDermott Scavo Says:

    love the menu !


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