Cook-a-lot, eat-a-lot

I’ve been very lazy about cooking this summer, even though this is when we have the most bounty from our garden and the most varied produce at farmer’s market. I bought some okra last Sunday to make gumbo . . . and didn’t get around to it until yesterday, where I finally kicked myself into gear and cooked up a storm that’ll last us half a week of dinners and lunches.

Shrimp and okra gumbo: Used our own garlic and tomatoes; home made chicken stock; bought the celery and onion and shrimp. I always make this dish at least once every summer, to take advantage of okra in season.

Green bean and tomato salad: A happy accidental discovery. Steam green beans from garden, set timer for 5 minutes. Phone rings 2.5 minutes into the 5 minutes, switch off the heat. Forget about beans because someone’s invited you for a hike. Come back, and the beans have actually cooked themselves perrfectly in the residual heat; although they’re turned into that somewhat unappealing brownish green, but at least they still taste snappy. Halve some yellow and Christmas cherry tomatoes (from garden) , toss with olive oil/vinegar/salt/pepper dressing and garnish with basil leaves (from garden). It actually tastes better after overnight refrigeration.

Zucchini, shrimp and fresh shitake stir-fry: Because we can only stand ratatouille every other week. From garden (zucchini and garlic) and farmer’s market (shrimp and shitake).

Kale and chard cooked down with leftover pork chop bone: We made our friend do the really tacky thing: take the the smoked pork chop bone leftover from her entree for previous’s night’s dinner at Lalime’s in a ‘doggy bag.’ I couldn’t really taste the pork flavor, but Joe and she could. (Kale and chard still producing in our garden.)

Caprese salad: tomatoes, basil and little balls of mozzarella type cheese, salt and olive oil. Actually I did this tonight, because I had forgotten to buy cheese.

The tomato plants we got as seedlings from M. The bean seeds I got from Anne. They’re a sort of green bean, but not Blue Lake. Someone asked me what the difference was between our green beans and the Blue Lakes. I’d be able to tell and taste, but not describe the difference!

I don’t think we’ll make much pesto this year; fewer basil plants and lots left in the freezer from last year still!

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