Sunday, July 27, 2008

There's nothing for dinner...

Do you ever have those days when you've spent so much time working on a project in the kitchen (homemade bread, a cake, jam, etc.) that you're too tired to cook dinner? I've had a few of those lately. I've had some serious fun making jam, baking for other folks, and gardening, but sometime after all that I just want to order pizza. And since I'm still taking the Eat Local America challenge, I should really focus on making practical meals.

Yesterday I realized that we had a TON of cucumbers. I pick 2-3 per day and we only eat 1 every few days. So it was time to make pickles. This time I used this recipe and added some chili peppers and grape leaves (to keep the pickles crisp). I'm always on a hunt for the perfect pickle recipe. Today after weeding the garden, I found another quart's worth of cucumbers. Of course- AFTER- I make pickles I find the hiding cukes.
Amazingly enough, I still cooked some actual meals after making the pickles.

So here are some of the foods I've enjoyed in the last 2 days. Yesterday the kids and I went to the Farmer's Market and found some really awesome stuff. Perhaps our favorite thing to get is garlic bread from some folks that use local, organic flour. We sliced it up with some Veganaise, fresh local tomatoes, and basil from the garden to make some super good tomato sandwiches. I love that lettuce-leaf basil.

Last night I wanted soup for some reason (maybe because it was nearly 90 in our house and, like, 100% humidity). So here are the local veggies I rounded up for the soup:

Carrots from the farmer's market (hooray for local carrots!)
The first sweet corn of the season
local purple scallions from the co-op
Garlic from the backyard
local shell peas from the co-op
pasilla chilies from the garden

I just simmered this up in a soup pot with a vegan bouillon cube. It sure was tasty.
This morning I got to spend some quality time with the boys. We had tofu scramble with the aforementioned veggies, sesame semolina bread from the farmer's market, and "apple dippers" as mcdonald's would call it: Early crop tart apples dipped in wildwood plain yogurt with maple syrup and cinnamon. Plus some local raspberries.

So I didn't feel tempted to order pizza today- Mission accomplished.


Sarah Elise said...

Those pickles are beautiful. You are going to be ready for winter with all the canning you have been doing!

erin rs said...

Dunno if you're still working on ways to use up those cukes, but here's a simple cuke salad recipe that folks seem to like:

Cucumber Salad
2 medium cucumbers, peeled (if the peel is bitter; if not, you can skip this step) and sliced very thin (very thin!)
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 small Vidalia or other sweet onion or 1 small yellow onion, sliced *very* thin (I use red onions, 'cause they're pretty)
4 tsp. red-wine vinegar
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. snipped fresh dill (must be fresh; dried won't work)
how to make

Put the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with about 1-1/2 tsp. of the salt, tossing to distribute evenly. Put the onion in a small bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1-1/2 tsp. salt, adding about 1 tsp. of the vinegar as well -- the salt and vinegar will mellow the bite of the raw onion. Let the vegetables stand for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes and then rinse them in cool water and gently squeeze out excess moisture, blotting with paper towels if necessary.

Mix the cucumbers and onions. Add the oil, the remaining 1 Tbs. vinegar and a good grind of fresh pepper. Taste and add more vinegar if you like. Toss well with the dill. Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve chilled as a condiment-type salad with the chicken.

From Fine Cooking 43, pp. 32-37

BTW, the pb cheesecake was a total hit! AWESOME! Thank you again!

erin sr said...

Those pickles look effin' yummy, too. And obviously, you don't have to serve the above cuke salad with chicken (though it can be a condiment-type salad to a spicy main dish.)

Erin said...

The tomato basil sandwiches on garlic bread sound so good. And the pickles and soup look great!