Tag Archives: corn

Peaches and Zucchini and Corn…Oh My!

And tomatoes, too!
Summers’ bounty is keeping me busy, but I’m not complaining. I love it! To me, there are few things more satisfying than produce that comes straight from the farm, or better yet, my own garden. This year’s strawberry crop was lacking, to say the least. The weather was too cool and rainy for sun-loving strawberries, but all that rain set the stage for a splendid summer season.

I don’t grow my own peaches, but we are fortunate enough to have a peach orchard not too far from here. You can’t buy peaches much fresher than that unless you pick them yourself! Luckily, when you purchase a large basket of peaches not all of them ripen at the same rate. That gives me time to relish a variety of peachy desserts. I always prepare some of our old favorites like Fresh Fruit Cobbler and Fresh Fruit Custard Ice Cream.  Try the two of those together…warm juicy cobbler topped with cool creamy ice cream melting down the sides. That’s a bowl full of summer!

 

There are many more peach recipes on the Desserts page of this site if you’d like to check them out.  My newest is Peachy Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. I find it hard to let this decadent caramel sauce cool enough not to scorch my tongue, but trust me, it’s worth the wait. If you’re short on time though, purchased caramel sauce will work.  Warm it a bit in the microwave if you like.

 

While you’re on the Dessert page, check out my Chocolate Zucchini Cake . I like to make cupcakes and freeze a few for later. As good as these are, Michael and I can’t eat our way through all 24 before they go bad.  I have shared these with Kaij and Kelton.  I just don’t mention the zucchini and they don’t seem to notice.

If you go to the box on the right hand side of this page and do a search for “zucchini” you’ll find a wide range of recipes.  There’s everything from Apple Zucchini Bread to Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini and more.  It takes a lot of recipes to use up all that squash!  I just keep on cooking.

My Roasted Vegetable Medley takes advantage of everything growing in the garden, plus a little more. It’s good served over any kind of pasta or Cheese Grits, but I especially like it paired with Ricotta Gnocchi.  Top it all with a little Homemade Marinara and Meatless Monday’s dinner is ready.

It’s corn season, too! We go to Brown Farms for that every year. I buy a couple dozen ears and we spend an afternoon putting up Cream-Style Corn to enjoy all winter. This years’ crop was sweet and juicy thanks to all those spring rains. In fact, that corn is so sweet you’d swear I added sugar to the pot but I didn’t. It’s the best corn I’ve gotten in several years.

And then there’s the tomatoes.  We’re fighting that pesky squirrel again and I’m afraid it’s a losing battle.  Michael surrounded the garden with chicken wire and then put bird netting over the top of it all, but that darned squirrel gets in anyway.  I don’t know how he does it.  He only takes the ripe tomatoes, so Michael has been picking them just as they start to turn.  I wish we could leave them on the vines a little longer, but thanks to our “friend” that’s not an option.  Too bad he won’t try the jalapenos!

I’ve been making a couple of kinds of Homemade Marinara Sauce and freezing that as well. Some sauce is plain and some is thickened with our eggplant. I sometimes blend the Eggplant Marinara till its smooth. There’s another veggie the kids don’t know they are eating.
While I’m at it, I’ll turn some of the tomatoes into Pizza Sauce and I can’t forget Michael’s favorite Fresh Tomato Soup. I freeze the soup as a concentrate and add milk or broth when I cook it. Forget that stuff in the red and white can. This is so much better, either served as soup or in a recipe. Try Fresh Tomato, Spinach, and Tortellini Soup if you’d like a little variety in your lunch menu.  Of course, there’s still nothing better than a good old summer tomato sliced up and sprinkled with a little salt.

 

I almost forgot the peppers!  We grew two kinds this year, jalapenos and cowhorns. The cowhorns are a little spicier than the jalapenos. I combined the two, added a red bell pepper for color, and made a few jars of Pepper Jelly. The pepper jelly is good served over a block of cream cheese to spread on crackers.

Well, that’s about it for the produce patch this year. Now I just have to stop myself from going to buy out the farmer’s market. There’s no telling what kind of trouble I could get myself into there. Hmmm…some pink eyed peas might be nice!

Be thankful for what life gives you.

Think I’ve gone AWOL?

Nope! I haven’t been absent without leave, I’ve been putting up Cream-Style Corn for Freezing, and lots of it! This is an old fashioned recipe that came from my good friend Carol. For years, we would park our children out under the willow tree with baskets of corn and make them shuck it and pull out all the silks. Now, the kids are grown and Carol and I are no longer neighbors, so the work fell to Michael and I, and it takes a while. We didn’t mind though. That sweet summer corn will taste pretty darned good this winter. Leave that runny canned stuff to the grocery store. I can add milk to this if I like, but I’ll know I’m eating corn.
DSCN1303 (2) DSCN1372 (2)
We did take one day off from putting up the corn and the last of our tomatoes to go visit Carol and her husband, Randy, in their new lake home. Can you see the horns of envy sprouting from my head? While we were there they gave us a big bag of garlic they had harvested before moving from their old house. Every once in a while I do something smart. This time I had the presence of mind to have Michael take the toaster oven out to the screened porch so I could roast some of that garlic. Now the neighborhood is perfumed by roasted garlic, but not my whole house! I have a full pound of delicious roasted garlic butter in the freezer, along with a bag of roasted cloves and a cup of puree. I think I’m set in the roasted garlic department for a while and I still have some fresh, too. Oh, and I planted some. A gift that keeps on giving.
DSCN1328 DSCN1342 (2)
Peaches are still in season in Alabama, and almost every time I go into our little independent grocery store a basket of them seem to jump into my cart. Did you know peaches have legs? Well, it seems that around here they do! They keep jumping in my grocery cart, and I keep having to find new things to do with them. Well, this is another old family recipe for Peaches and Cream Pie. Of course, I changed it just a bit. I can’t help myself.
I’m still learning to use my pressure cooker. This week’s experimental recipe was Mexican Barbecued Chicken.  It doesn’t look like much in this picture, but it was very flavorful. I learned that with a pressure cooker, much like a slow cooker, you don’t need to add extra liquids. I corrected this recipe to reflect that fact. The leftover chicken wound up in the freezer instead of on a sandwich as intended. That was the evening we went to visit Carol and Randy. What kind of hard choice was that?
DSCN1355 (2) DSCN1242 (2)
Thursday evening’s Grilled Veggie Skewers went well with Quick Brined Pork Chops.  I just wish I had prepped extra vegetables for Friday’s Spicy BBQ Shrimp. We wound up playing “clean out the fridge” for sides, which really didn’t do justice to those yummy shrimp at all. I could have at least thrown a potato in the oven to bake! Call me “Lazy”! Sometimes I deserve it!
Be thankful for what life gives you.