Tag Archives: Cooking

Harvesting and Processing Herbs

Mortar and Pestle with Thyme

Autumn is a flurry of chores to wind up the growing season. There was putting the vegetable garden to bed and now I am processing herbs that I recently harvested. I cut and dried thyme, oregano, and chives. These are perennials. Once they are dried, I strip the leaves off the stems and grind them up with my mortar and pestle. I store them for use throughout the winter.

Basil is an annual plant. I grow several of them. Just before frost I pull the entire plant up by the roots and hang them on the porch to dry. Then I follow the same procedure as above.

This year I think I will give some as gifts. It is easy to grow them yourself and reassuring to know they are all organic.

On Not Lounging

Well, today I was NOT sitting in a lounge chair enjoying the patio. And not just because it was so hot.

First I helped tie up some loose ends from a construction project. Then I picked up nails from said project. After that it was time to pick green beans. Picking beans seems to be my new hobby. Either that or cleaning and snapping them.

This afternoon consisted of making rice pudding for this evening’s dessert and then working on cleaning up the office. I never did get around to writing which was the whole point of cleaning up the office.

Oh well, as a line from a great movie says (in a wispy southern accent), “Tomorrow is another day. “

Veggie Season

It’s that time!

We get this many cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash every three days.

We also have more than sufficient amounts of green beans, Roma beans, turnips, snow peas, and tomatoes.

I am trying all kinds of new veggie recipes looking for some variety. We have had Mediterranean pickled turnips, Thai cucumbers, old fashioned refrigerator pickles, zucchini fritters, and all the usual standbys too.

We can only eat so much. Time to freeze veggies!


Vegetables in the garden are ripening at an increasing rate.

Each meal now we must make the choice between turnips, beets, Romano beans, Slenderette green beans, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini, or yellow crook neck squash. Sometimes we have multiple vegetables.

This evening it was green beans pan fried with minced garlic and a dash of sea salt.

And none of our six kinds of tomatoes are even ripe yet. Summer can be glorious.

Ovenless Dessert!

It is so hot!

  • Ninety-five I do not like,
  • I do not like it in the sun,
  • I do not like it for a hike,
    I do not like it anywhere.

So, I found a recipe for a dessert that does not require using the oven. Pictured above is Stuffed Sweet Focaccia Bread.

It is cooked in a pan on the stovetop. Recommended fillings are peanut butter, chocolate, or Nutella. I improvised and used apricot preserves, walnuts, and brown sugar. It came out quite well. I will be making it again.

If you would like to try it as well, I found the recipe on Pinterest at the link below.


Garden Dinner

This evening’s supper included beets and a turnip from the garden. I don’t know the particular kind of beets, because we planted a pack that was a mixture. The red one on the left was long and skinny. The candy cane striped one was red on the outside peel. And on the right is the turnip.

I sautéed them all together in some avocado oil and threw in the greens from all three as well. The only other addition was a little salt.

I topped some freshly made polenta with a fried egg and some cheddar cheese. Then I spooned the beet, turnip, and greens mixture over the top.

It was a fine repast.

What’s For Dinner?

What to do when you don’t know what’s for dinner. Grab something out of the freezer and add a side.

Lightly breaded perch, and polenta with mushroom gravy, peas, and Parmesan cheese. I also keep an all purpose breading in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Usually 3/4 flour, 1/4 cornmeal, salt, garlic & onion powder, and a little dill. The spices may vary.

The breading is suitable for fish or chicken. Keeping it in the freezer let’s you reuse it a few times.

Pizza, pizza!

Homemade pizza is always a hit.

I make my own dough which provides enough for two pizzas. I make one and save the other half of the dough in the refrigerator for another day. That way, you get fresh pizza two times. Or you can make both at once and have leftovers. I just use the dough recipe in my bread maker cookbook.

This pizza has garlic & herb spaghetti sauce. The toppings are black olives, diced red pepper, mushrooms, freshly grated Asiago cheese, and white cheddar. Baked at 400 degrees for 17 minutes.

I was out of red sauce when I made the second pizza so made it mushroom and spinach Alfredo. I used a half can of cream of mushroom soup for the sauce and gave it a sprinkle of Old Bay Seasoning to spice it up. It was delicious.

I find that you can make pizza with just about anything you have on hand. If you don’t have anything to use for sauce, some olive oil and freshly minced or sliced garlic work just fine. Give it a try!

Baking & Cooking

I have been doing lots of baking and cooking recently. That seems to be the new trend since people are home so much of the time. I enjoy it. Baking is a fine art.

This morning I baked orange chocolate chip scones and orange blueberry scones. Fresh scones are so tender that they melt in your mouth. Mmmmm!

I baked bread yesterday since we were completely out. This batch is with half whole wheat and half white flour.

For supper I used the fresh bread for fried egg and cheese sandwiches along with polenta topped with sautéed spinach and garlic. This was accomplished by asparagus directly from the garden. It made a fine repast.

Steel Cut Oats

This morning I made a nutritious breakfast that I really enjoyed. Quick cooking steel cut oats with raisins, chocolate chips, and pumpkin seeds. I put some unsweetened vanilla almond milk on top. Very tasty.

This is substantial enough to keep my blood sugar from crashing before lunch and it gives me energy to get some work done in the morning. If only the oats came with a side of motivation, I would be all set.