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Dinner on the Patio

Wednesday night we picked up our farm share in the evening, and I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, so we winged it.  We have been eating Food for Life gluten free, dairy free, egg free breads that you can find in the frozen section of Whole Foods and other stores.  It’s actually not bad, especially if you toast it, and I have been keeping a loaf in the freezer for when we run out of the homemade variety.

Our crop share Wednesday night included chard, tomatoes, corn on the cob, peppers, cucumbers, squash, peaches, and plums.  We have eaten a lot of chard this year, and Jeremy really doesn’t care for it at all, so every time we get it we have to figure out what to do with the chard.

My friend Daphne, recommended just sauteing some garlic in olive oil with the chard and then adding some red pepper.   I did that plus added some onion and a bit of cider vinegar at the end.  I thought maybe if I turned the chard into more of a bruschetta Jeremy would eat it, so we had the chard on top of toast, topped with a couple of leaves of basil, and a tomato, then drizzled just a bit of balsamic vinegar on it.

chard-bruschetta

Success!  Jake only ate a tomato off of his, but Jeremy ate his pieces and even went back for the leftover chard (although did not finish that).  I think this would be really good if it had a piece of cheese melted on top. :)

We also grilled two corn on the cobs each for Jeremy and I, Jake ate a little off of mine…  or at least ate the fake butter off the corn kernels.

grilled-corn

Some of our corn was eaten by worms and caterpillars, we opened one up and a giant caterpillar was crawling around and had eaten almost half of a cob!  We’ve been grilling our corn directly on the grill, and turning it every few minutes when some of the kernels are browning.  It is really tasty like this, especially if you grill it the day you get it, it’s nice and sweet.

We love eating outside in our backyard now, thanks mostly to the people who lived here before us, who were real gardeners.  We have a lot of beautiful flowers, and about 10 tomato plants they left for us.

backyard

They really planned flowers for everyone season too.  We have just had our asters bloom.  I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen these flowers before, but they are beautiful.  They almost look fake, they are so colorful and candy-like.

asters

asters2

I looked up asters online, and apparently they are a fall flower that is a perennial so we get to look forward to these every year!

Pickles!

Jake and I have been busy in the kitchen making pickles!  We got out a little step stool for him and he LOVES to stand on it and help when he can.  It is making cooking a lot more enjoyable for both of us.  And he is actually excited to eat the food when we finish cooking, which is a huge plus.

jake-in-the-kitchen

We tried a couple of different pickle recipes.  Jeremy is not a fan of dill pickles but really likes bread and butter pickles.  I like pretty much any kind of pickles, but we made bread and butter pickles this time.  We only had two cucumbers and I had read that you can use zucchini or squash in place of cucumbers, so we pickled two cucumbers and two zucchini.

bread-and-butter-pickles

I just made refrigerator pickles since we didn’t have enough to warrant actual canning, which I still haven’t tried.  They weren’t too hard to make,  I used the recipe from the cooking website Simply Recipes.  I’ve tried a few recipes from the site lately and I’ve got to say, so far they are great!  The zucchinis are hard to distinguish from the cucumbers unless you are really paying attention

We also tried a pickled beet recipe, which was from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  I honestly didn’t think I’d like it much, but we have had so many beets this year I wanted to try something different.  They are actually really good, they taste kind of like pickles, but are also sweet and spiced with cinnamon and cloves.  I really like them on salads, or just as a side or snack.

Enjoy your Friday!    We’re having grass-fed beef burgers with homemade (from a mix) gluten free bread for dinner tonight… and pickles! :)