Friday, July 22, 2011

It's that time of year again....

 ...and the Dragon Woman has been busy as a bee.

   In spite of the brutal heatwave here in the midwest, my garden is miraculously producing many things, although some have indeed fallen by the wayside. The cucumbers have burnt to a crisp. The squash is suffering, and the summer squash have all but disintegrated. The 'maters have lost a lot of their beauty, but are still putting out enough fruit that I have canned some, eaten a lot and given away a few.  I have enough in there on the counter to make a batch of salsa today. I canned some whole ones, some diced ones and some with okra and onions in them.  The potatoes are looking good, and I stirred the mulch around in the Red Pontiacs and found some really good sized ones.  The basil needs to come out, the second planting of green beans needs to go in, and it is so hot out there that I can't imagine doing either. Today is like the 6th day in a row of dangerous and excessive heat, with no end in sight. For the second time this summer. We got a few days off in between.

I'm just finishing my breakfast/'lunch...that summertime treat of a bacon, mayo and fresh tomato sandwich on good whole grain bread. Oh it the best food on the planet or what? lol  I have some more beans to can in there and salsa to make and then I will call it a day. I've been doing household chores and playing around a lot. Gathered eggs this morning and fed the chooks. Hung laundry on the line, and it is almost dry by the time I get back to the house.

  One of my favorite dishes this time of year is sauteed fresh green beans with garlic. It is easy and delightful. I start with a mess of fresh beans 
 This, of course, is more than one mess. lol  Aren't they beautiful?  You want to leave them whole, and use the youngest beans you can find. I nip the stem end off them and wash them and let them drain a bit. I mince fresh garlic...and I use a lot, because we love it. In a heavy skillet, (I always use cast iron, or my heavy gauge stainless steel wok), I heat enough olive oil to make the skillet good and slippery, but don't overdo it,. You can always put in more oil anytime you need to--can't take it back out!  Put in the beans and turn the heat to medium high. After a bit of swishing the beans back and forth and they start to sizzle, put in the minced garlic.
You want the beans to be bright green and crispy cooked. Don't cook them too long, or you'll have A) Burned garlic--yuck!  and  B)  mushy green beans. When they're done to your taste, grind black pepper and sea salt on them. Serve them hot and enjoy!

  I know this is a short post...but I'm getting back in the water toe at a

Bon Apetit!


  1. OMGosh! You have been sooo busy! And in this heat! Pat yourself on the back for me, Lady.

    The beans sound good with just a titch of garlic. I am not a garlic lover, myself, but I can handle very small amounts. Your beans look marvelous, despite the heat. All your hard work will be worth it this winter. :)

  2. I"m so sick of green bean,...and they just keep coming. What a lot of work you've done. I wish I had your tomatoes for salsa. Looks good.

  3. So glad you're still here Annie and I can see what you do with your summer produce. Out here I have to harvest much earlier because of the heat but in autumn I get olives and process them for jars of cured olives in brine or olive oil as well as tapenade. We make several dozen jars of tomato puree and also bottle peaches and make a kim chi/sauerkraut. Thought about doing loquats in syrup but the starlings have eaten all of them.

    I've been thinking about you a lot lately and also about getting more self-sufficient out here. I might make more herb vinegars and butters this summer but it all takes so much time on top of the writing and editing. We don't have your long snowbound winters so I can plant through our mild winters (Oriental veg and winter savory, Swiss chard etc) but the summer heat is devastating. No luck with butternut, my garden is too hot.

    Love you, wish I could pay a visit --


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