April 15, 2017
With apologies, of course, to Andy Williams. Christmas is wonderful, too, but Lord help me, how I DO love spring. Not least because of all the food-related bonuses it brings. Gardening, strawberries, salad greens, fresh asparagus, grilling out, draft beer and a cheese-and-sausage plate at the ballpark…
…and farmers’ markets!
Which I love as much as I love spring. Or maybe it’s because I love spring. More likely, it’s because I love to eat. And a trip to the farmers’ market means there’s some good eating to be done, either there, or when you get home, or over the course of the next several days.
I made my first market of the year back last month, when we’d gone to Hot Springs for a weekend. Had some time to kill, and our hotel was just down the street, so I walked down. Saw some old friends, bought herbs, and oh my God, there were the first strawberries of the season! I grabbed some. Back to the hotel, stashed them in the fridge, set the herbs on the desk. One of our traveling companions came in, was checking out the herbs, and wanted to go. So we went back. I bought honey that time.
October 18, 2016
That was all I was going to get at the international market in Memphis, on my way back from Jackson and delivering two monkey children, aka Amazing Grandchildren 1 and 3, back to their mama, who had been out of town.
Which is why, as a matter of fact, I haven’t been cooking, or, to tell the truth, eating any heckuva lot for the past few days. Since Thursday, I’ve spent 19 hours in the car and the rest of the time doing what I was told by two preschoolers. Well, except for two superb concerts in between. And not a lot of sleep.
But they’re such CUTE little critters!
August 26, 2016
As a matter of fact, in about 18 minutes, here, I’m about to declare my home in the Eastern Time Zone and pour myself a glass of wine, because it has been a WEEK, can I just tell you? Following close upon the heels of the WEEK before that.
And I still have a powerpoint presentation I need to finish this evening because it’s due by close of business Wednesday, and I am going to be gone Monday and Tuesday. I hate to wait until Wednesday to finish it, but I may wind up doing so.
Because I would rather write about food and such.
July 2, 2016
Had pork chops thawed. Didn’t cook ’em. Didn’t want ’em. Didn’t need ’em.
Because the above, you see is the first farmers market dinner of the season, two or three weeks late because today was the first day I’ve been able to GET to the farmers market since I’ve been hobbled by this damn ankle.
And tomatoes by God and me. Out of my very own, terribly grassed-over, garden. That was possibly the best tomato I ever ate in my life. Seriously. Perfection in a tomato.
June 21, 2016
Stuff I can do in the kitchen, in my currently handicapped state:
- Scramble eggs
- Make a sandwich
- Direct the preparation of dinner
- Fix my yogurt, granola and fruit for breakfast
- Prep veggies
- Empty and reload dishwasher
- Make granola
- Make coffee
These are all critical things, and not to be taken lightly. However, there are also things I CANNOT do, that just aggravate the living hell out of me, such as:
- Gather the goodies from my garden. Fortunately, I have a friend who loves fresh veggies like I do, and is sharecropping the harvest for me.
- Get stuff out of the freezer or the outside fridge. There is most of a chicken out there that I need to get Child A to bring in so I can make chicken salad, as well as some veggies I want to cook this evening. If I want something to thaw for dinner tonight, I needed to think of it last night so I could ask for it to be brought in.
- Easily navigate from the stove to the sink to the counter to the fridge in the course of cooking. You just don’t realize how much you move around, even in a little kitchen like mine.
May 28, 2016
Lord help me, I love summer. I especially love it from the middle of May through the middle of July, when gardens and farmers’ markets are bringing forth some new delight every week. No accident my birthday falls right in the middle of that period, I’ve always thought.
Witness this morning at the market. I had to make two — TWO!! — trips to the car, because I filled my basket up before I got through. Read the rest of this entry »
May 8, 2016
Besides Mothers’ Day and stunningly gorgeous weather, this past weekend was noteworthy for being the first Farmers’ Market of the season.
It brought both delight and complete disappointment.
I was thrilled to see that there was an exceptionally large variety of produce available for this early in the season. I got tomatoes, both ripe and green; zucchini; cucumbers; green beans (I have NEVER seen green beans this early in the season; the Amish couple started seedlings indoors, and then planted them in a hoop house for an early start); the best radishes I think I ever ate; and snow peas.
I was crushed to find no asparagus. (What you see in the photo is from the grocery, because, by God, I was going to HAVE asparagus, no matter if the grocery store stuff is a pale imitation of the fresh local thing.) In fact, my Whitton Farm vendor wasn’t even at the market. Memphis Guinea Pig, who goes to the Memphis market, said they were there (generally, she goes to Memphis and he comes to J’boro), but had no asparagus there, either.
I would have been hacked if he got asparagus and I did not, I can tell you.
Part of this bounty has already gone into spring pickles, which I mentioned yesterday. To reiterate, slice up all kinds of fresh veggies; I used the cucumbers and radishes, along with some carrots and cauliflower I already had. Make a brine of a cup of cider vinegar, a half cup of water, three-quarters of a cup of sugar or Stevia (I used Stevia, which has the added benefit of dissolving much easier, thus not requiring you to heat it), a quarter teaspoon of white pepper, a quarter teaspoon of dry mustard, a half-teaspoon of celery seed. Pour that over the veggies (I had a quart-plus size Gladware container, the one labeled “large deep-dish” or some such, and it was overfilled) and stash them in the fridge.