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My favorite day. . . Wed, July 2, 2008

I live in superlatives. I have at least a hundred favorite songs and probably 30 favorite movies so, sometimes when I say that something is “my very favorite,” people take it with a grain of salt. But, this time, I really mean it.

I am a child of summer — I love the warm weather and long days. I adore the bounty that the summer garden provides. And, I especially love sweet summer peas. As far back as I can remember, the first peas of summer were reason to celebrate. Every member of my family loves peas — six week peas, crowder peas, pink-eye-purple-hulls, rice peas. . . the list goes on.

So, today is my favorite day this year. The Coon Rock family has produced it’s first batch of peas for the summer. Ours are pink-eye-purple-hulls and they are beautiful. I am going to sit down this afternoon and… read more

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Beets are Better! Mon, June 30, 2008

I often don’t stop to think about how delicious beets are. We grow them pretty much year-round so they are a staple of our diet. And being self-centered, I assumed that most people (at least the ones that like good food) eat beets as regularly as we do. This weekend, we had friends over and I made roasted beets for dinner. Maybe for the second time in a week. It was the first time they had ever eaten beets! Over 30 years and no beets! And according to my two very learned and well travelled friends, there are many others just like them walking the streets everyday! This is just terrible so I am taking in upon myself to start a re-education campaign! Beets are Better! Say it loud! Say it Proud! Roasted, pickled. . . boiled — any way and you’ll feel spoiled!

Seriously, beets are delicious, good for… read more

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You say to-may-to, I say to-ma-to. . . Wed, June 25, 2008

I won my bet! Farmer Richard owes me $1!! We have six beautiful tomatoes — all picked before July 1! I ate one raw right in the garden — still warm from the sun. Life doesn’t get much better.

Tonight we’ll have one of my favorite summer treats — Caprese Salad. A simple salad of tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella.

Easy recipe! Slice tomatoes and combine with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. We use Greek olive oil and mozzarella from Chapel Hill Creamery (that we can buy closer to home now with the opening of the Hillsborough Weaver Street Market!!). Simple and delicious!

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Pesto! Pesto! Sun, June 22, 2008

It’s that time of year. Pesto of all kinds. We have beautiful basil in the garden — traditional sweet basil, lime basil, and even thai basil. We’ve also used the scapes (flower shoots on garlic pods) to make a delicious spicy pesto. My basic pesto recipe is below (I generally make at least a double batch because it freezes so well.). Feel free to substitute other herbs or garlic scapes for the basil or other nuts for the pine nuts. Serve over meats, pastas, potatoes or as a simple dipping sauce for fresh bread. Variety is the spice of life!

 

Basic Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 4 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil and pine nuts and pulse a… read more

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Perfect potatoes! Fri, June 20, 2008

We’re digging potatoes now, too! We planted a United Nations spread of heirloom potatoes — everything from Russian Banana to Peruvian Purple to French Fingerling to Yukon Gold and even King Harry! They are beautiful. The potatoes pictured above are Crimson Reds and All Blues — a perfect combination for a patriotic potato salad.

We’ve been eating potatoes every way imaginable. Sauted with pork fat and onions. Boiled with butter and salt. Roasted with olive oil and rosemary. Boiled and then served cold in salads. The possibilities have so far been endless!

Email if you’d like more specific recipes. . .

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