Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Vegetable Dishes

When I came home from a weekend away I had three green peppers and 6 cucumbers. It didn't take us long to eat those, but we picked more cucumbers this afternoon. I grew three plants up a wire fence piece, and they are doing wonderfully. I thought I'd share fresh vegetable recipes today. I'm only growing tomatoes, green peppers and cumcumbers this year, but we have three farmer's markets within a half hour of our house that I can visit to buy fresh produce.

Green Beans With Tomato

1 pound fresh green beans
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. minced green pepper
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook the beans in salted water until just tender. Drain. Heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and green pepper. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add tomato, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add beans and heat through. 6 servings.

Tomato Cabbage Stir Fry

1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 cups finely cut cabbage, chopped or cut into strips
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet; saute the onion for a minute or so. Add the other ingredients and cook covered for 8-10 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid uncover and cook for a few minutes to reduce.

Cucumbers with Sour Cream

5-6 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. vinegar, lemon juice or juice from pickles
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. grated or finely minced onion

Combine the salt, sour cream, onion and vinegar. Stir in the sliced cucumbers. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Marinated Tomatoes

5 large tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. or so of chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Slice the tomatoes. Combine the other ingredients and drizzle over the tomatoes.
You can chill them, or serve room temperature.

Sweet Corn Stir Fry

2 tbsp. butter or margarine
3 cups fresh corn, cut from cob
1/2 cup light cream
2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Optional: Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a skillet. Add the other ingredients. Cover and simmer until the corn is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over the top before servings. 6 servings.

On OFL we have harvesting and cooking tips from Green Bell Peppers:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Great Grandmothers in the Garden

Last week I didn't post because my husband's grandmother passed away, and we were staying with his parents for the funeral and afterwards. She was 88 years old, loved to cook, garden and read, which meant we had a lot in common. We didn't always agree on things, but after I got to know her, I was able to tease her about it rather than feel insulted or hurt. She gave me one of my first herb plants and told me it was chamomile. Later, I figured out it was feverfew, but I could never convince her of that. She loved her spearmint, and let it run wild by her back door. She also loved Tall Phlox, which she grew on one entire side of her garage.

The day after the funeral, I was given one of her old garden books that she kept on a side table in her living room. It's well worn with use, and I'm sure she picked it up at a thrift store because she loved finding bargains. The book is The Old Dirt Dobber's Garden Book by Thomas A. Williams, copyright 1944. I wanted to share a few of the tips today in honor of Grandma Dorothy. I will miss our garden talks more than anything else. These are from a chapter entitled Just Rambling Around.

In spite of good care, an occasional arborvitae, juniper, pine or cedar will become so ragged and ill-shaped that it destroys the beauty of planting. These trees are not generally pruned severely, but in cases like this a drastic treatment is the only recourse. If you decide to prune these, don't stop half-way; cut the top on-third out and prune the side growth at least half way back.

Irises Indoors
Any of the dwarf or intermediate bearded irises may be dug in late winter when the ground is frozen hard, put into pots and brought into excellent bloom in the window garden. Pack the soil well into the pot when it thaws out indoors, put them in a sunny window and water well every three days. One gardener wrote that by following this method she had twelve kinds in bloom at Easter.

Many reports have come from different parts of the country telling how gardeners protect the plants of snapdragons during the winter so that they will bloom much earlier the next year. In the south and midsouth a heavy covering of leaves is piled over the pruned plants and left until late spring. In colder sections, a box, basket or hamper in turned over the plants, stuffed with leaves and soil and then hilled around with a mound of soil to keep the air from getting underneath. This protection if taken off in early spring. A few degrees of frost do not damage the plants.

Morning Glories in Winter
Every window gardens needs trailing vines, and the regular morning glories may be brought into fine bloom during winter. Plant the seeds in pots of good soil during late summer. Given them plenty of moisture and heat and they will come up in a few days. Set the pots in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden, where they will continue to grow until time to take them indoors. Don't wait too long; carry them in a week or two before frost is expected.

Years ago I had asked Grandma Dorothy if I could share a few of her recipes on OFL, and she agreed. These were the only ones she could give me exact measurements on: