Oh, my goodness! You will not believe the summer I've had. In May, I started a new job in a town that is on the other side of the Mississippi River ... from where I live! You may have read about the Mississippi rising well above flood stage because of all the rain. By the middle of June, in order to get to work, I was driving a highway that was cut down to one lane because the water had backed up over the road. Eventually the road was closed and the bridge over the river was closed. I ended up having a two-hour commute to and from work ... so I was driving 4 hours a day! I did that for almost two months.
Needless to say, that really kept me from doing all the things I love to do in the summer. As I look back, though, there were some great foodie highlights and a few nice family events.
My daughter is doing food demonstrations at the Murphysboro Farmers Market. That is our little hometown and just a few miles from where we live. Check out the videos of her demos on her special blog site Rooted in Foods. Every other Saturday, she spends her morning at the Farmers Market, and she certainly has made new friends!
After all the years I've been cooking, I have actually been introduced to some new things at the little Farmers Market! This cone shaped cabbage is called 'Caraflex". It is also called arrowhead cabbage ... but it doesn't matter what it is called ... it is so good! The cabbage is more loosely packed and more tender than our more familiar cabbage. I think the flavor is a little sweeter, too. It was delicious simply steamed and served with an easy cheese sauce. My favorite cheese sauce remains the one that is a little Velveeta, milk and butter. No need to thicken. I'd love to find one of these cabbages at Christmastime! I can think of all kinds of ways to dress it up to resemble a tree!
I didn't even think about getting out the canner this summer! Everything I have have stored for later use has been put in the freezer! I love beets and I especially love beets that have been intensified with orange! I roasted these beets, added orange juice and orange zest ... ate a few and froze the rest. You can take them right out of the freezer, pop them in the oven (or microwave) and they are delicious!
Everything in this Italian blend of vegetables came from the Farmers Market! Cauliflower, carrots, zucchini and green beans and all the herbs, too! I sprinkled oregano, basil, thyme and some garlic over the veges and roasted them. Into vac packs ... into the freezer ... and I'll have a wonderful combination for Minestrone or any other Italian soup! These vegetables are also delicious in a cream sauce ... mixed with cooked pasta and baked in a yummy casserole!
Miss Phoebe loves hot peppers! When I saw a big bag of jalepenos at a roadside vegetable stand, I grabbed them. We stuffed them with a cheese combination and roasted them on the BBQ grill! They were scrumptious. I mixed cream cheese, goat cheese and cheddar ... stuffed them and placed them in a special pepper rack ... on the grill!
If you have never eaten carrots right out of the ground ... you've missed something. I scrubbed these carrots, but didn't peel them. The flavor is fantastic and we all know that you lose lots of nutrients when you peel them. I roasted the carrots drizzled with olive oil and honey ... and sprinkled with shredded basil. These were so good ... I made a couple more batches and froze them. My plan is to turn them into delicious cream of carrot soup!
This picture of a little tabletop display on my front porch says it all! Families ... Everything I do, I do for my family! I'll share this post with a couple parties! Make sure you click through to see more!