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Monthly Archives: July 2008
I have the loveliest cantaloupe this year. Big juicy melons that smell divine. The problems is, they taste horrible.
And, I think I am the cause of the nastiness.
Earlier in the summer, some creature was beginning to chomp on the young melons. Supposedly, there isn’t much you can do to stop squirrels and other predators from consuming the fruit.
When Poppy was a puppy, she used to eat all my fresh flowers – I have vivid memories of her racing around the yard with a freshly plucked pansy in her mouth – blossom dangling on one side of her mouth and root system on the other.
Our wonderful vet suggested we try McNasty on the plants. It is used with horses to keep them from chewing on their buckets, etc. As far as I could tell, the major ingredient was cayenne, it had a strong odor, but not really unpleasant, and most importantly, it stopped Poppy from grazing on my potted plants.
I decided the McNasty might work ont he melons as well and the rodent, or whatever was beginning to feast, would be stopped by the McNastyness. And, it worked. Nothing has been bothering the melons since I sprayed.
However, I think the melons have absorbed the McNasty. They don’t taste spicy at all, but in your mouth, the flesh is juicy and bitter – Nasty actually.
I had sprayed all the plants and so far, all the ripe melons have been McNastymelons. So this weekend, the cantaloupe plants are going in the compost.
this is McDisappointing.
I have a bunch of tomatoes that need to be eaten – what a lovely problem! So I decided to make gazpacho. Here are the ingredients:
Fresh tomatoes with cores removed
2 small peppers – one yellow and one orange
1/4 red onion
1 cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
2-3 cloves of garlic (raw or lightly roasted)
1 serrano pepper with seeds removed
1 jalapeno pepper with seeds removed
fresh basil and Italian parsey
extra virgin olive oil
fresh lime juice
in food processor put serrano, jalapeno, garlic, onion, basil, parsley, and about 1/4 -1/2 cup of olive oil. Processed until smooth.
(of course, you can limit the amount of chili you add if you don’t like your food spicy)
This mixture will go into a large glass bowl along with chopped tomatoes, yellow peppers, and cucumbers (chopped in the food processor.) You can chop these fine or leave them chunky – I have done both with great results.
Mix everything together and add more olive oil and a bit of balsamic to taste.
I sometimes add fresh lime juice to perk everything up,
Today I also have some cilantro so i’ll toss that in as well.
garnish with croutons – I love the Rothbury Farms croutons
can also add:
***the flavors are smoother and the onion & garlic are more mild on the second day.
Happy mid-July everyone!
On my front porch – just now -
I haven’t ever seen a live porcupine, and never one this big – it looked like a Maine Coon cat – but with prickly spikes all over.
The dogs went nuts, of course, and we all stayed inside until it toddled away.
My adrenaline is way up – knowing that my young dogs don’t know any better than to chase something like that and that they’d be really injured if they met up with him.
Life in the country is never dull.
I am a new Mark Bittman fan.
I have been reading his recipes for a long time, but only recently started trying them out. I like his simple style, and the flavors are really great.
Today’s lunch was Pasta with Eggplant
The recipe notes to use plenty of olive oil and NOT drain the eggplant on paper towels. When the eggplant mixture is combined with the pasta, the oil from the eggplant coats the pasta and helps the flavors meld together.
I used some fresh tomatoes from the garden – so the colors were beautiful and everything tasted fresh.
Just writing about this dish makes me want to go grab a bowl and have a mid-afternoon snack, mmmm.