Harry and I have different points of view about vegetables. There's a very rare vegetable that Harry will eat cooked, and I grew up eating religious veggies - turn the heat up and boil the hell out of 'em!
We're reaching a compromise. Fortunately, both of us will eat about anything raw. We cook the sweet corn just a few minutes to warm it up. He will tolerate sauteed green beans and permit me to indulge in my Southern-Fried favorites - green tomatoes and okra. We also use a lot of veggies, chopped fine, as filler for other things. Last night was "supposed" to be Vietnamese. Vietnamese egg rolls and a Garlic Beef Pan-Fried Noodle with a simple cucumber salad.
As always happens, the conversation and enjoyment of each other was a much higher priority than the actual food prep and cooking! So, we did finish the Vietnamese Egg Rolls, I made an awesome Spicy Lemongrass Dipping Sauce and Harry's Nuoc Cham has been perfected - recipes coming soon.
We collected quite a haul of veggies this weekend, between Dad's ninja raids of gardens, a generous donation of zucchini for The Wright Taste (Thanks Dr. Skip!) and some bartering at the farmers markets. We spent less than $15 on fresh veggies this week. I couldn't fit everything in one picture, but I got close:
A dozen ears of yellow corn from Richard and some long sweet peppers for roasting and a pint of jalapenos from my friend Brian in Mount Vernon (he also threw in a few tomatillos and some hot peppers). I have to go to Mount Vernon to pick up what was referred to as "scads" of Candy Onions from Brian - he can't sell them fast enough and they are absolutely delicious! I will start chopping and freezing them for winter.
The yellow watermelon (I shared half of it with Mom & Dad) is so sweet - the vendor shoved a piece in my mouth to taste and I was hooked! Also, the Yukon Gold potatoes and the two bowls of organic tomatoes, plus a couple of zucchini and the fresh garlic are from Delaware. I've never cooked with leeks before, so I bought one to try.
Dad raided his garden and my cousin's garden - zucchini, okra and tomatoes. The cucumbers are from our "garden". And, Harry got most of the red tomatoes in Pataskala on Friday night.
I'm a little excited about being able to take pictures again. Yes, I still suck as a photographer. Harry had a couple of studio lights and a tripod from his days of intense photography and video work. We've had them at the flea market and they hadn't sold and I realized HEY! We could use them to brighten up the kitchen to help with the pictures until I can afford a better camera (to replace the one that the thieving bastards stole in December!)
I've definitely got salsa on the brain with all the tomatoes and peppers.
That pile of okra will be tossed in a mixture of cornmeal, flour and seasoning and I'll "fry up a mess of okra" (Miss you, Gramma!) The little tiny yellow tomatoes - sweet like candy! - are about the size of Texas caviar. I'm thinking a cucumber, tomato and onion relish-ish type thing.
The long peppers are going to be stuffed with a Sweet-Italian Sausage/Rice/Tomato blend, then grill-roasted just until the peppers are perfect. We've had requests for Jalepeno/Cheese bread - I didn't quite get enough peppers in it last week, but now I've got plenty!
The Farmer's Market Book is a great guide to the history of local farmers markets. Robinson says it best when she describe farmers markets as "the other homeland security" - the sense of community that comes from shopping or participating in a farmers market can't be matched.