The Fruits and Veggies of Summer

weekly CSA produce share
We can hardly wait to crack open that watermelon!

It’s been three weeks since we picked up produce at the CSA because of our most recent trip, so we’re excited to get such a great share this week. How can you go wrong with corn, okra, and watermelon? But, really, we should mention the onions, as they’re quite special. Sure, they might look like ordinary yellow onions, but these are an heirloom variety that, as far as we know, only our farmer grows. Farmer Frank calls these Glendale Gold Little Sweetie Onions and we’re lucky to get them!

This week’s share:

  • Watermelon (1)
  • Basil (1 bag)
  • Amaranth greens (1 bunch) — traded for more basil
  • Okra (1 basket)
  • Glendale Gold Little Sweetie Onions (3)
  • Corn (3 ears)
  • Red creamer potatoes (1 basket)
  • Pinto beans (1 bag)

Pistachio Ameretti

pistachio ameretti
pistachio ameretti
Sorry we didn’t get a final photo; we had to run.

As regular readers know, we make small treats to bring down to our Monday evening walk on the nights we volunteer. It gives us the chance to try new recipes and see how the other volunteers like them. But, we often feel badly because there are a few people who don’t eat anything with gluten, and almost everything we make involves flour. Now, we could get gluten-free all-purpose flour, but we prefer finding recipes that are naturally gluten-free, at least when we can. So, when we saw this recipe in Ciao Biscotti, by Domenica Marchetti, we figured we’d give it a whirl.

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The Lee Brothers’ Pimento Cheese

Lee brother's pimento cheese
Lee brother's pimento cheese
Quick and Tasty!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to feed about 35 four- to twelve-year old kids a light lunch or snack. And, it’ll be scheduled for two days after you return from a trip. That’s sort of the deal we accepted when we signed up to be snack chefs for one day at Vacation Bible School. So, before reading on, what would you have made?

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The Best Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

oatmeal raisin cookies
oatmeal raisin cookies
The best cookies!

Oatmeal-raisin cookies are my favorite; they always have been. I like them better than chocolate chip, better than peanut butter, better than ginger snaps, better than macaroons, better than any other cookie. But, perhaps surprisingly, we generally don’t make them, simply because I’m happy to have a single cookie and let it go at that. And, what do you do with all those other cookies? Freeze them, perhaps? Maybe, but that’s still a lot of cookies.

Soon we’ll be putting together a small snack for children going to Vacation Bible School. Nothing elaborate, a sandwich or two, some carrot sticks and hummus dip, some sort of fruit, lemonade, and cookies to finish up. We decided on Oatmeal-Raisin (plus a couple other kinds), and went with the best recipe we know for Oatmeal-Raisin cookies.

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One Reason for Our Trips

squirrel sign
There’s nothing quite like living life on the edge!

We’ll be the first to admit that we love taking trips around the country (and elsewhere), mainly because you’ll see and learn about new places. On our most recent trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains, we learned that squirrels in the area are quite vicious. Fortunately we survived, probably because we weren’t carrying any food; otherwise, well, we hate to think what might have happened.

Our trip was excellent: we drove over Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park, then down to Mono Lake, which is just amazing; after that,  we went to see the oldest trees in the world, bristlecone pines, up in the mountains near Bishop, CA, on to Pinnacles National Park, and, finally, up the California coast on Highway 1. Whew! It was great!

Smoky, Cheesy, Polenta Wedges

smokey cheesy polenta wedges
smokey cheesy polenta wedges
Smokey. Cheesy. Polenta!

It’s been a while since we had polenta. And we love polenta. Sure, it’s a bit time-consuming to make, but it’s so delicious and versatile that we could eat it on a regular basis. After all, you can eat it as soft polenta, or chill and shape it, then fry it, or grill it, or broil it, eat it plain, or with butter, or a sauce. It seems to be the perfect food. All from just a couple of ingredients, too. What to scratch up a batch? Follow along.

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Smoky Bacon(less) Chive Dip

smoky bacon(less) chive dip
smoky bacon(less) chive dip
Five minutes! Five!

When we make things for church coffee hour, we like to mix it up a bit and have something nutritious, and something perhaps not so nutritious. This week, our mix consisted of brownies (with and without nuts) for the not so nutritious part, carrot sticks and grapes for the healthier choices, and, right in the middle on the health-o-meter (well, maybe on the low side of the health-o-meter), was this dip we made for the carrots.

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