All day on Thursday I was convinced it was Friday. Normally, my days go so fast that Saturday feels like it should be Thursday... Friday morning I was ready to go to the Farmers Market - the Saturday Farmers Market. I guess that's what happens when a long weekend is in the works :-)
Last weekend at the market I bought the first real tomato of the season. They had little slices out for us to sample so I knew it'd be a decent tomato. Not great but decent. Caprese salad was the goal. My friend, Donna, had a balsamic glaze on a caprese salad at a restaurant in Lafayette. She tried to make it at home by reducing balsamic vinegar. All she got was a house that reeked of vinegar. So, she bought a bottle of the glaze. I followed suit. All I can say is it was beautiful!!
My friend Dori stopped by the office with a bag of herbs - mint and dill. I don't know how she knew my dill had bolted and I needed more but she picked exactly what I needed! Thanks, Dori :-) The mint was going to go to Canton Ginger Mojitos but last night I saw a recipe for a mint chimichurri. Hmmm. The dill is going to more Egyptian Salad.
Our tomatoes are getting close to being ready. Patty at the Garden Center ordered some Black Brandywine seeds this year. I had them years ago and my dog, Sallie, loved to snatch them at their peak. I'd go out to the garden and see a tomato that'd be perfect the next day. The next day Sallie would beat me to the garden, snatch the tomato and lie down in the grass to munch away. We found a Black Brandywine plant from Mother Earth News a few years ago. That gave us volunteers for a bit but I didn't want to risk relying on volunteers this year. Ergo, my plea to Patty. So, that's what I've got - three Black Brandywines, a Sweet 100 cherry and another whose name I can't remember. The peppers are producing like crazy but thus far only a banana pepper has been ready to pick. Otherwise, we failed miserably at getting more goodies planted. All I can hope is that the CSA has some wonderful green beans this year!
We saw a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode where a guy made a pesto out of mint and pistachios. He used it in a salmon burger. The same episode someone put brie on a burger. Got us to thinking. Lamb burger plus brie plus mint pistachio pesto. Absolutely a five. The leftovers were just as good. I used the basil that was left from the CSA plus about a third as much mint, a huge dollop of garlic about half of cup of shelled pistachios and a good pour of olive oil. Now, I wish I'd measured :-)
A bag of fantastic potatoes has been in our CSA share recently. Last week I took all the babies out and tossed them with some chopped shitakes (also from the CSA) and some porcini mushroom salt and a good pour of olive oil. I remember Daddy making fried potatoes when I was a kid. We'd go visit him down in Orlando for a couple of weeks during the summer. He was an awesome cook. Flank steak with blue cheese, barbecued chicken, chicken with lemon and oh, those wonderful fried potatoes. He'd cook them low and slow and use bacon fat (oh, I wish I could now!) These were equally as good. The shitakes were pretty dried out and they looked like little burnt nubs. But, they exploded with flavor on our tongues.
I've been part of a networking group that the Chamber of Commerce puts on. We've taken turns bringing in breakfast. This week was my turn. I made quiche fillings the night before and baked them the morning of the meeting. I also made orange muffins. If you were reading this way back when you probably remember me gushing over the lemon blueberry muffins. These orange muffins were a major disappointment. Very dry. No flavor. I wound up making a honey orange butter to go with them. I was bummed. But, that's all part of cooking, isn't it? Not everything will be great. There'll be those recipes like the spinach lasagna that you just toss the rest into the trash. And, there'll be those like the Egyptian Salad that are so good you make them again in a few days.
This is the weekend I say a special thank you to a special guy. His name is John Hart. He was my 7-great's grandfather. He was one of the brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence. I've tried to find more info about him but he's not one of the well known signers. All I can say is I'm very greatful!
Ok, time to get on with the weekend. Off to the farmers market then to the office. Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!