The last of my cherry tomatoes had finally ripened. Did you know that if you bring your green tomatoes in at the end of the growing season they will most likely continue to ripen? They in no way compare to the luscious orbs you get during the summer but they will be at least as good if not better than the kind you find in the grocery store this time of year.
I kept just a few this year, my harvest wasn’t very good, but it’s entirely possible to keep quite a few. I’ve layered them in boxes with newspaper before and it worked great. Every so often you need to go through and pick out the ones that are ripe or have decided to give up and rot.
So, what to do with these last reminders of the summer harvest? Well it just so happens that I had an avocado just sitting around waiting to be used. Bacon was a natural next step, I find it to be a natural next step to many things. This salad feels both rich and not rich at the same time, it’s hard to explain. I had it with a baked potato but it would be lovely with a big crusty piece of bread. You could also serve it as a side salad, it would go particularly well with steak. Continue reading →
It’s almost November but I’m still trying to hang onto the coattails of late summer and autumn. I know that the rains are here, I can feel it on my head and the dog and I often come back soaked from our walks. I know how cold it gets at night since I’ve resisted turning on the heat and have instead resorted to sweats, sweaters, and blankets. I did turn the pilot light on for the gas fireplace and have used it several times; I’m not completely off my rocker. But one of these days very soon I’ll be turning the thermostat back on. But I have resisted embracing autumn’s and winter’s foods. Late summer and early fall were just so hectic that I didn’t really get a chance to indulge in the orgy of fresh veggies available. I resist the comforts of squash, greens, apples, and pears no matter how beautiful and tempting they may be. I know that I will be eating them for months and months…and months.
Luckily you can still find the remnants of the summer harvest. I’m not militantly local but I do prefer some items in season. Vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers, not to mention berries and fruits, always taste so much better when in season and local. They are allowed to ripen to their full potential and I can no longer bring myself to buy them out of season. Okay, so lettuce doesn’t really have a season and I break down and end up buying it from wherever on occasion but I really do prefer the taste when it’s local and I’m pretty firm about the other items.
The rains have started and we here in the Valley may not see the sun again until late January or early February. But you can gather together the last vestiges of your summer harvest and conjure a little make believe on your plate. Continue reading →
Long holiday weekends always mess with my sense of time, not that it isn’t slightly off anyway. I’ll be puttering around the house, getting everything ready for another work week when, damn!, I realize I’m supposed to be posting something on the blog. Luckily I found the following that should have been posted a couple of weeks ago. Where the heck did August go anyway? The whole month was a blur of crazy heat, work, and family and now it’s September. That’s okay, everything in the post still applies, so here you go!
It’s the middle of August and about the last thing I want to do is cook a meal. Whatever hot mess I’m making in the kitchen these days usually involves canning, who has time or energy to fix anything else? However, I don’t want to be hitting up the deli or a restaurant to much either. It makes my bank account shrink and my waistline grow.
I have to admit I’m a little shy of bean dishes. They don’t usually satisfy me. I’m used to eating meat and/or cheese with a meal. Most of the members of my family don’t recognize something as an entrée unless it contains meat; it’s obviously a side dish if it’s meatless. But the combination of the beans with the avocado has the mouth feel that I’m used to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s like eating meat, just that I didn’t miss animal protein in this dish. In fact, adding meat or cheese would have felt over the top (not that I’m generally opposed to over the top, bacon crumbles would be an interesting idea, but see the above “growing waistline” comment).
So here it is; quick, easy, healthy, and just a few minutes on your ovens small burner. You could always break out the camp stove and not heat the kitchen at all. Just cook the dressing on the patio.
You can actually make the salad ahead; I’ve taken this dish to work for lunch. Make the dressing and refrigerate it. Put the salad ingredients in a separate bowl. When ready to serve, heat the dressing on the stove or in a microwave to the boiling point and then serve as directed. Continue reading →