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Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Love Your Fruits and Veggies!

My mom grew up with fruit and vegetable gardens.  She put vegetables into every meal she prepared, making huge pots of bean soups, casseroles, stews and pasta dishes featuring fresh vegetables.  What she couldn’t use, she canned, pickled or made jams and butters.  Nothing went to waste.

Top: pickled lemon cucumber
Lower right:  Apple/ pear butter (freezer canned)
Lower left:  Wild blackberry jam

Randy harvesting green beans for our dinner.

For years, Randy and I have had a fruit and vegetable garden.  Unfortunately, we’ve wasted lots of veggies because we didn’t know what the heck to do with the never-ending supply of zucchini, peppers and tomatoes.  I finally learned the art of canning and love the flavors or summer’s warmth in the winter!  (You can go online and Google “canning” or more specific, “canning tomatoes” and you will find a bunch of easy to follow instructions.)  If you don’t grow your own veggies, I am sure you know a few people who do.  Or go to the local farmer’s markets and co-ops. 

Our wonderful lettuce!

You should wash and dry most vegetables right away and store in well sealed bags to be used as soon as possible.  Don’t think about the time it takes to prepare, just clean, cut, saut√©, steam or grill with whatever lean protein, legume or whole grain you desire. Make a salad using fresh chilled veggies and create delicious dressings.  Sit, eat slowly and nurture with all those amazing nutrients!

Get creative and have fun!  I truly believe there is a lost art of domestic joy.  I really enjoy my garden and preparing foods from it.  This is not about being domesticated, this is about enjoying one's HOME!

 Zucchini flowers are so nutritious and so beautiful to see on your plate.  This simple recipe is to heat olive oil in a frying pan.  Add one clove of finely minced garlic and one small yellow or white onion diced.  Add flowers after removing stems and the stuff inside the flower.  Saute' gently for a few minutes or until flower has wilted.  Add fresh grated parmesan cheese. 

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