I love food. I really do, and the food that excites me most (besides dessert) is the seasonal local food that you just can’t get everyday of the year. It is so packed with flavor. I was very excited then, when my father-in-law gave me the bucket of food up there the other day. You see, this was the first harvest of the season from here…
his vegetable garden.
He is a retired farmer but still keeps up this place each summer and deals with the ever persistent drought.
We like to debate the qualities of corn varieties. For many years, he was a die hard Silver Queen fan – and he converted me to being one. Then the traitor went off and left me for another – Ambrosia. Ambrosia is a mix of yellow and white kernels, and yes, it is sweet, but I still love me some Silver Queen.
The other evening we were talking about the vegetables, and I lamented that he had not planted any of my favorite this year. Well lo and behold, the next morning he went over to his garden and planted a few rows of it for me! Sooo, I will be enjoying some wonderfully sweet Silver Queen corn later in the summer! Bless his heart!
When I was a little girl, my father had a small farm, and we always had a big vegetable garden. Like most young children I hated working in it – especially in the heat of a Georgia summer….swatting gnats, pulling weeds, getting your arms scratched by the rough leaves of the plants. So I do appreciate all that goes into tending a garden of this nature.
When you have this kind of bounty knocking at your door, meal planning is easy. You just take this….
Shuck it; clean it, and boil it in a combination of water and milk. (I’ve read that the milk makes it sweeter, but I really don’t know if that is true.)
Then you peel, slice, and cube the eggplant.
Salt it, and let it rest on paper towels a while before you bathe it in an egg-milk bath. Then take it straight from its bath into a coat of flour with some salt sprinkled in. A lot of people use cornmeal, but I like the taste of the flour coating better – and yes, I know I could put the flour in a zip lock bag, and it would be less messy – but I enjoy my title of “Queen of the Flour Mess Maker.” (That’s precisely why I wear an apron when I cook.)
Paula Deen eat your heart out.
I do love the corn and eggplant, but my heart is really smitten with the first summer tomatoes. They are almost as good as chocolate to me! So when the first ones are ready on the vine, I make what I call Caprese salad - Southern style. First I slice those beautiful tomatoes. (I had an heirloom one to mix in.) Then I layer them with fresh mozzarella slices and a few basil leaves from my herb garden. To make them Southern, I put in some rings of sweet Vidalia onion, then drizzle olive oil over it all. The final touch is a dusting of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Doesn’t that look delicious? Here is the final plate all ready to be enjoyed.
Yes, there is fried chicken on this plate too – but it wan’t prepared by me. I don’t like to fry more than one thing at a time, so it was brought home in a box (just being honest with you here.)
My oldest son would fuss at me about the unhealthy-ness of this meal, and he would be correct. I do have my veggies, but since they have either been fried in hot oil or baptized in butter they have lost some of their good-for-you-ness. He would also be quick to point out the lack of green in this meal – and again, he would be correct.
Well look what just arrived at the door….
Now we will have something green at our next meal.