Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dog (and cat) days of summer

The hot and humid weather that is typical of southern summers has been hard to adjust to after spending June and 1/2 of July in cool (50-60's in Scotland) and pleasant (70s-80s in London and Italy) conditions in Europe.

The animals are feeling the effects, too. This picture was taken yesterday afternoon. Rosco and Fatty McL were (im)patiently waiting for dinner.

Sunday sunrise as viewed from our backyard. One of the adjustments I have not made is sleeping in. I am up by 5:30 every morning and trying to harness the extra time.

Our coneflowers are going gangbusters. Can you believe these are the offspring of two small plants that a colleague gave me Easter weekend of 2006?

While we have plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes in our garden, I have been yearning to make some of the dishes we had in Italy. Rosco and I made a trip to the Farmer's Market this morning. I was surprised and pleased to see that the market is as big, if not bigger, than last year, and the ethnic diversity of those selling has increased. My favorite Mexican family was there...they have the best produce at oh so reasonable prices. I bought the okra and squash from them, and had to stand in a bit of line to buy from them. I am glad business is going! I bought the potatoes from an older nearly toothless gentleman. He had several varieties, all freshly dug within 24 hours. They are not organic, though. The fella' that sells the organic potatoes only had tomatoes and cukes for sale, and well, I have plenty of them! I bought all of this for less than $7, I even came home with money in my pocket!

I will be back there on Friday, and hopefully will make a venture to get some peaches from Garrad's. Love them peaches!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cucumber Recipes

My sister found this website that has lots of cucumber recipes. I haven't tried any, but am intrigued by:

"Chicken in Cucumber and Lemons Sauce"...of course I would sub tofu for the chicken
Ginger Peanut Pasta Salad
Cucumber Granita
Cucumber Limeade

amongst others.

If anyone tries out any of the recipes from the website I want to hear your reviews!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We're back and they are huge!

We returned on Wed. July 11th, in the evening. We were exhausted as we had been up and moving for almost 21 hours. Needless to say, I could barely put two words together and was ready for a shower and bed. However, we did take a quick peek at the garden. Our friends and neighbors did a nice job of picking tomatoes and keeping them under control, however, some cucumbers were overlooked and now we have these mammoth english cucumbers. The picture on the left shows them alongside regular-sized salad cucumbers and a variety of tomatoes.

This picture at left shows the two biggest with the pepper grinder for scale.

What am I supposed to do with all of these cucumbers? I have cut up one big one and it was okay, drier than a regular sized one. I have been searching for recipes that use cukes in baking, much like zucchinis or green tomatoes. No luck. So, if anyone out there has a recipe using cucumbers in something other than cold soup, tzatziki, or any version of marinated salad, please direct me to it!

I am going to make a cold cucumber soup...the weather is perfect for that. I wonder how a cucumber gelato would taste?

Look for a link to our trip photos soon!