Monday, August 15, 2011

Shoo! Shoo! Everyone Out of the Kitchen!

Well, all the furry ones that is. Time to do some cooking and take advantage of the glorious bounty of ripe tomatoes before they spoil. The days of August dance along accompanied by the cicada chorus, and before I know it tomatoes are piling up on the countertops. Red ones, yellow ones, little ones, fat ones, funny shaped ones, each delightfully fragrant and full of promise. Wasting even one homegrown tomato must surely be one of life's unforgivable sins, so at some point in mid August everything has to come to a halt for some quality time in the kitchen!

(I always make such a grand mess when I cook!)

Last weekend I used the little yellow pear tomatoes to make a batch of Pico de Gallo that turned out as pretty as it was tasty! Just looking at the photo, I can smell the bright aromas of red onion and cilantro. Cilantro grew well in my garden this year for the first time ever! Maybe it sensed that this was its LAST CHANCE. I'd vowed that if it languished and bolted on me again this year, that was it. Next year, its spot in the garden would go to basil, or some other more appreciative and responsive plant.

(Hmm...note to self:  if sweet talking your plants doesn't work, try threats.)

The first photo in this post is Katie sneaking into the kitchen to grab some bits of chopped red onion that fell on the floor. Aside from the fact that onion is toxic for dogs, what dog in their right mind would want to eat red onion?? I told Katie this, but she still gave me a very glum look when I shooed her away.

I also tried a recipe for gazpacho soup from My Carolina Kitchen. For many years I was under the impression that I didn't like gazpacho. However, when I was served chilled gazpacho as an appetizer once, I recall being surprised at how good it was. Even so, it's not a dish I seek out, and I've never made it myself. So this was a bit of a culinary adventure for me, thanks in no small part to the incredible photos on Sam's blog. She could probably photograph and write about Mud Soup with Chickweed Garnish, and I'd be out back with a pail and shovel digging up the ingredients.

It was easy to make - and delicious! 

(Why, even the bowl of compost scraps look pretty. Isn't summer wonderful?)
Happy August everyone!


  1. Brenda, I'm so glad you liked the gazpacho. Thank you for your kind words too.

    Katie reminds me of our dog Muffin when she was alive. Always on the look-out for things that fall on the floor. She loved ice cubes. I had no idea that red onions were toxic to dogs. I can't imagine why a dog would try a red onion, but then again you never know....

  2. Yum!! Mom loves those plantain chips too
    Benny & Lily

  3. Lovely pictures.

    Thanks for your kind comments about the ice cream shortage in my life. Will check out that video too.

    Love and licks, Winnie

  4. Well, discount countertops with stylish looks are possible if you know how to cut material costs. For example, if you want the stylish look of granite or onyx countertops, you can have it without spending a lot of money. But what you need to know id how to get the price down.

  5. Love the remark about threatening your cilantro. Have you ever read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman? It's a hilarious book if you like quirky humour, but one of the characters in the book has such lush house plants only because he uses threats to keep them growing, occasionally removing any that aren't keeping up and throwing them out so all the other plants can see what fate may await them. I know. It's ridiculous. But you reminded me of it.

    Also.. the tomatoes look delicious!

  6. Never read that book Heather, but it sounds like one I would like. I keep a list of recommended books and am going to add that one! Guess I might as well confess now however, that I'm all bark and no bite when it comes to my plant threats. Even the plants I throw out...well, I almost always end up having mercy and replanting them somewhere else. For example, at this very moment, I have a pail full of discarded moss rose that have spent the last month languishing in the window boxes. I replaced them with celosia last week, and had every intention of throwing them out. But the morning after I dug them up, they opened several happy colored blooms. How can you toss happy blooms into the trash? I can't. So, I guess I'm going to put them somewhere. Maybe I'll plant them around the compost pile, lol!!

  7. Making gazpacho (from Sam's recipe) tomorrow! Love the picture of the compost scraps!

  8. So, I am sure the chicken last night was not part of the August vegetable festival? Haha. :)