Sherry Young: Gardening takes a good strong back, and using up the produce takes ingenuity
Another summer is nearly history. That means until frost hits, there is a good supply of garden produce available from your garden, the neighbors or in the many fruit stands around town.
Since Grit continues to enjoy growing his overabundant garden, at the Youngs' house there are lots of his favorite tomatoes and also peppers, cucumbers and zucchini. He even planted some red and white potatoes, and who would believe they could taste so much better straight out of the ground?
The drawback is I fret. A man named Charles Dudley Warner, who was a good friend of Mark Twain, once said, “What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.” Grit so enjoys playing the farmer, but how many years can this go on?
Oh, well, until that hinge wears out, there sure are good veggies to eat.
My neighbor Elouise Jensen makes a peach pie about every other day. She keeps supplying us with peaches in exchange for our tomatoes, so we have enough of that delicious fruit as well.
All the abundant produce makes for some very good eating but also requires ingenuity. I have found new favorites to use up this largesse and want to share three recipes. The first one is a delicious way to serve zucchini.
Slice as many zucchini in half as you need, cutting a bit off the bottom if they are tippy. Brush the tops with olive oil or butter and sprinkle garlic or garlic powder. The toppings are of your preference and imagination:
Sliced tomatoes or tomato sauce, salt and pepper. The zucchini are delicious just topped with cheese and some basil, but here is where imagination comes in. You could add pepperoni, bacon bits or whatever you like on pizza (except pineapple, of course). Top with Parmesan cheese, mozzarella or your favorite cheese. The cheese is important. If you have fresh basil, crumble over or even use spices. If you like what you put on it, you will find it delicious and perhaps the kids will even eat it if you label it pizza.
Bake for 20 minutes, or if zucchini are large, cook longer until soft
Funny where you can get good ideas to help make eating more interesting these days. Another favorite was on my friend Elle Curran’s Facebook page. She got the recipe from https://www.facebook.com/NaturalSafeWeightLoss. Now it is a much used standby.
This recipe will feed eight people easily. For the two of us, I fourth the recipe and it serves a hearty portion. Don’t over-stir or the avocados get mushy.
Cherry Tomato Avocado Salad
4 cups avocados, diced medium
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes cut bite size
2 cups cucumbers, peeled and diced medium
1 cup red onion, diced small
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper
Add lettuce, as desired
Gently toss ingredients together and serve on bibb lettuce. The final recipe makes a large pie that serves six to eight people. It is simple to make and very delicious. Be sure to stir the juice mixture constantly or it will be lumpy.
Elouise Jensen’s Peach Pie
8 large peaches
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice
Let above stand one hour, draining in a colander
To drained juice, add enough water to make 1 cup
½ cup sugar
3½ heaping tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond flavoring (I omit and use more lemon juice on peaches)
Cook filling until thick, stirring constantly. Pour over cut-up peaches and mix together. Pour into 9-inch crumb crust or cooked pie crust. Serve with whipped cream. Serves six to eight
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