Last weekend it was hot! Well, HOW hot was it? As one ol’ timer put it: “I just saw a hound dog chasing a rabbit and they were both walking.” We did nearly everything that we’d normally do at the farm, we just did it a little slower. We made one concession to the heat. Instead of eating on the north porch, where there’s usually a breeze, we moved indoors.
Less Time Outdoors
With guests in tow, we ambled around the fields for a while early in the day before it got too hot. The chanterelle mushrooms were hanging out in all the old familiar places. The young and hearty among us jumped out of the Jeep to collect the illusive fungi. But I stayed behind, where the ticks, chiggers and poison ivy would have to work harder to find my tightly-clad, heavily-sprayed body.
Some Cool Recipes
That evening, besides cooking up the mushrooms, (with shallots, butter, and wine) we tried several new recipes. The one for Baked Eggplant Parmesan called for slices to be pre-roasted, assembled in a baking dish with a marinara sauce and fresh Mozzarella, then baked again.
How was it? Well, the one-year-old at our dinner table squealed with delight after each bite, until he had eaten the entire helping from his mother’s plate. I think that’s the highest compliment a kid can give to a dish.
Fresh Corn and Green Beans
Fresh green beans are wonderful this time of year. Since I recently got a steamer for the farm kitchen, we threw them in the new pot for a brief steam bath. They came out perfectly done! Not too crispy and not too mushy. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, they were “just right.” Robin topped the beans with a mixture of sauteed shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes and crispy slices of prosciutto. Ohhh, baby!!
Cool, Colorful Salads
Fresh, juicy peaches were a centerpiece of our weekend meals. The ones from Georgia were exceptional good this year. Sadly, I’ve not had any from Campbell or Columbia yet. One guest made a superb Peach-Blueberry Cobbler and brought along enough of the fruit for me to make a salad of Peaches and Garden Greens.
This time of year, I could eat tomatoes for every meal. Since I have an abundance of basil outside my kitchen door, we made a pesto to sprinkle atop these slices. More basil found it’s way into my favorite salad dressing: Basil Vinaigrette.
Burgers on the Grill
I decided to forgo any complicated meat entree to avoid having anyone stand for too long over a hot grill. Instead, we made these simple Steakhouse Burgers. I first found this recipe on the Internet posted by a guy, who made them when he worked at a highly-regarded steakhouse.
There are many variations. We added a handful of raw, chopped bacon (it cooks up as the burgers grill). Just don’t leave out the panade (small amount of milk and bread mashed together). It adds to the juiciness.