Tag Archives: fresh vegetables

What a Blessing to Have Fare so Simple Yet so Good and Good for You

If you’re a lover of fresh vegetables and you enjoy growing your own, then you know it’s time to begin prepping for your summertime garden. I suppose millions of crunching, munching, connoisseurs literally chomping at the bit to get a fresh tomato, breathe a sigh of relief after suffering through winter’s fare.

Now, if you’re a fan of beginning your own starter plants from seeds, that’s a process you would initiate in the month of February, readying the young plants to move outside after the danger of frost has past.

As much as I love meat, I tend to lean toward vegetarianism during the summer months. Sliced tomatoes, spring onions, and hot peppers are a staple at each evening meal. I love hot peppers, within reason. I’m a big fan of the Cayenne which rate at about 30,000 scoville units. With the practice of trying to develop hotter peppers, we’ve exceeded the Habanero, 300,000 units and ended with the Trinidad Scorpion and the Carolina Reaper both topping out over 2,000,000 scoville units.

When my mouth cools down, I’ll continue with sweet corn covered in butter. Fried squash with onions and potatoes, butter beans, green beans, new potatoes, I could almost make out of a meal, and if that’s not enough, there’s always dessert. Watermelon, cantaloupe and trees baring luscious fruit that would rival the most decadent baked goods available.

Occasionally, when writing I have the pleasure of creating an exotic form of plant or fruit upon which the characters dine. Sometimes these fruits are unbelievably pleasurable and then there are times when one bite means death.

Not exactly the best way to end a blog that speaks of an abundance of fresh vegetables . . . but you know what I mean.

See ya next week!

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Year After Year Some Foods Never Grow Old

The Autumnal Equinox, marking the first day of fall, landed on September 23 this year. In my autumn blog, I normally talk of all the beautiful colors in the changing leaves that grace us as the greenery of summer takes its first steps to becoming dormant during the winter months.

This year, I believe I’ll commiserate regarding the last of the summer vegetable bounty. I don’t plant a large garden as I did in years gone by. Canning and freezing vegetables for the winter was a part of my summertime ritual. Not to save money, for if anything, it was more expensive to buy the seeds or the starter plants, prepare the soil, drop the seeds, set the plants, fertilize and weed the garden plot til harvest.

After all the love and care you show your back yard babies, they begin to ripen at different rates for the next month or two.

This confirms why you spend this massive amount of time and money on green plants with multiple colors and sizes of fruits and vegetables hanging from the stalks or sitting on the ground.

The unbelievable taste of the vine-ripened tomato, whether eaten just after being picked or two thick slices lying majestically between two pieces of bread to form the perfect B.L.T. makes the work all worth it.

Or perhaps your thing is a fresh ear of sweet corn . . . Wait, no one can eat just one ear of freshly shucked corn . . . I’ll start that again. Or, perhaps your thing is fresh ears of sweet corn. Butter the ears generously, apply salt and pepper, then perform your finest typewriter imitation swooning as the butter runs down your chin.

I’ll finish with a couple friends of mine. The first being Watermelon and the second Cantaloupe. Imagine a piece of red ambrosia placed inside of your mouth, so sweet that it seems to form a syrup, satisfying beyond belief.

Then, do the same with a piece of orange lusciousness (occasionally green) unbelievably sweet and most certainly a nectar of the gods. Do you see it?

These days we’re a bit too busy to plant a large garden and bother with the winter preservation of our summertime favorites.

We still get our fingers dirty with a few of our favorites, mine being hot peppers and heirloom tomatoes. We have a few cherry tomatoes and jalapeños left on the vines; however, soon we’ll have to purchase all we eat from our local grocer. No worries, there are plenty of root vegetables and some above ground salads that will thrive for a time after the frost comes. So once again, take good care of yourself, and I’ll be in touch next week.      

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When it Rains, Sometimes it Rains and Rains and Rains, Then it Pours

Even if I wanted to take a break from writing and go outside to play, it would be impossible. You see, I live in the Mid-Atlantic States about ninety miles from the coast. We have received thirty inches of rain this summer, with more in the forecast. I’ve always been fascinated by weather, and the wet season we’re experiencing is fraught with good and bad. The driveway is full of ruts and there is standing water in the back yard. The grass grows faster than we can cut it and the mold spores are off the charts.

When I weigh the good against the bad, there is no comparison. We have a bumper crop of fresh vegetables, surrounded by beautiful green trees and foliage. The water table hasn’t been this high in years. The items we reckoned as bad were nothing at all.  

 A bounty of water for all to use, made this summer’s rain a blessing.

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Mosquitoes, Vacations, Heat Waves, Meat on the Grill, Tornadoes, Swimming…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Summer Has it All!

I’m sure you already know summer’s back in town. It goes without saying, this particular season of heat comes around each year. I think what we all take for granted are the creature comforts that not so long ago was unavailable to the average homeowner. Air conditioning makes life bearable, especially for those who live in our southern cities from one end of the country to the other.

I can’t imagine writing on an ancient typewriter instead of the modern computer I’m able to use as I pen this blog.

Simple things like indoor plumbing allow us to take frequent showers so that others can stand to be around us. When I watch television and a show I have chosen is a western or something from an earlier time period, I often wonder about the odor in a room full of unbathed people dressed in wool clothing in the middle of the summer; not to mention the saloon girls engaging in their chosen profession. Kind of makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

The season we will officially embark upon June 21st is the summer solstice. It’s the time of year when kids are out of school, vacations begin, fresh vegetables grace our tables and grills throughout the neighborhood pummel our senses with enticing aromas.  All in all, summer is a wonderful time of year; just don’t forget to indulge in indoor water and a bar of Irish Spring.

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Burn Baby Burn!

I live in Virginia where our growing season runs from April to October. I’ve already enjoyed a bounty of spinach, kale, beets, onions and hot peppers. Soon my favorites will ripen, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green peppers and melons of all types. I am telling you this because my passion as an author is equal to my passion for food.

One vegetable I am particularly partial to is the hot pepper. I’m not into the melt-your-face type such as the ghost or Carolina Reaper which edges out The Trinidad Scorpion as the hottest pepper in the world. I’m more suited for the Cayenne which I can happily munch away on while eating lunch or supper. I will admit that I want my eyes to water, my nose to run and my forehead to sweat whilst I’m masticating these capsaicin packed capsules.

In case you’re wondering why an individual will put themselves through such a painful experience just to ingest a small explosive vegetable, allow me to tell you as I understand it. When we eat the active ingredient in a hot pepper (capsaicin), it releases endorphins. This release gives us a sense of well-being. It’s one of those cases of “hurts so good.” So my suggestion to you would be start with a pepper low in Scoville units (which is the scale used to measure the heat in a pepper) such as a Jalapeno. Take a bite and enjoy the burn!

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