I got to see my maternal grandparents last weekend, and my grandpa in his 80s still keeps a big garden every year. We've grown up with his incredibly tasty green beans, lovingly called GGBs (Grandpa's Green Beans). Silver queen corn is my absolute favorite, which we get every summer there. And at some point in the last few years of my life of not liking raw tomatoes, my tastes have changed and I can now be guaranteed as much tomato as I can possibly handle at their house, as well as a bagfull to come home with me for continued enjoyment. We got to enjoy a seemingly unending supply of all 3 of those things last weekend at their house, along with some tasty roast and my personal favorite... fried okra. I don't think I could ever, ever get tired of fried okra. However, I could do without the itchiness that comes with raw okra... but that's another fun story.
So I came home with the aforementioned supply of extra homegrown garden food. I haven't had a chance all week to enjoy any of it - it's just been sitting on my counter. Two squash, 3 ears of corn, and a big back of tomatoes have been waiting and beckoning me. So last night, I got in the kitchen and set to making myself a yummy meal of fresh-from-the-garden food. The first thing I started was a plate of fried squash. I grew up eating that at the grandparents' house probably every time we were there, and I haven't had it in years and years. I couldn't even remember the taste of it, but I could remember how much yummy goodness was involved. I used safflower oil, which we use around here instead of vegetable oil, and a little cornmeal, salt, and pepper. I think I probably ate 10 or 15 pieces just during the cooking process between frying rounds. And I think I melted with the first bite - so good.
Next was cooking an ear of corn, and last was making a tomato sandwich. Now I am seriously not a fan of mayonnaise - but I don't think I've always had this strong of a dislike for it. Somewhere along the line, the consistency, smell, and taste began to make me queasy. To this day I shudder when I have to cook with it. And I still did when I got it out last night. However, you absolutely can't have a true tomato sandwich without it. So I did put a thin layer on the bread (as I still shuddered at the nasty glopp-i-ness of it). I can't even taste it, but it really does make the sandwich, along with a little pepper of course! When I finished getting everything ready, I showed it all to J, who wasn't in the mood for any of that food that night, but actually said it looked reeeeally good.
So here is evidence of the incredible yummy goodness of a home-grown and home-prepared meal. I may or may not have eaten an entire squash and an entire tomato all by myself. That's ok, right? Right??
Also, more evidence of the goodness of homegrown food: the peach. You can buy canned peaches all day long, but nothing will ever, ever, ever compare to the incredible taste of a fresh peach right off the tree. We had 3 right off the farm, and I ate them 3 different ways. Observe...
Whole, of course
Freshly sliced for an easy snack at work
(Anyone else see mandarin oranges here?)
My personal favorite, freshly sliced in a bowl of plain cheerios - I know Dad favors this too, because he's the one that used to make it for me!
I didn't try it with the skin on, because for some reason that's not very appetizing to me. And coincidentally, smoothies have been on my mind this afternoon. I suppose I could have made myself a nice peach smoothie too, but it didn't occur to me then. Guess I just need to find me some more fresh peaches!
So here's to homegrown food. We had a small garden in our backyard growing up too, and I always thought that was a really special thing. Hopefully, one day I can be one of the people cooking from my own garden and handing out extra vegetables and fruit to folks.