“Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.” Oh yes. There is a reward, and a lot of good eating. Stable mind, healthy body.
Fred is the gardener at this house. Its his baby. He loves to plant. He waters, he fertilizes, and he picks it. After all, one of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides! Then ... then ... sweating and dirty, he brings it into the house.
I stare at it in wonder, marveling that little seeds and plants have produced this. We give some away, can some, but mainly just enjoy the fresh garden vegetable dishes
It’s too bad we can’t grow bacon in the garden since we love BLT sandwiches.
Here’s some of my friends’ tried and true summer dishes.
Mabel’s “Garden Stew”
First, slice and quarter yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions. Melt a chunk of butter and a squirt or two of olive oil in the frying pan, Add the squash mixture to the pan and simmer it. Add crushed garlic or powdered garlic, folding it into the simmering stew. A little salt? Why not. Some oregano? You could. When the mixture is bubbling and ready, add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. A loaf of French bread is an ideal accompaniment to this bowl of garden stew.
Lizzie’s Cabbage on the Stove
Slice at least 6 cups of cabbage into a slaw. Add a diced onion to the slaw. Set aside. Fry 4-6 slices bacon, cut into pieces, until they are half-cooked. Now, scoop the raw cabbage-onion mixture into the pan, (over the bacon), medium heat, and simmer, turning it occasionally. The cabbage will shrink considerably, and become very mild in taste. Add salt. Fry the cabbage slowly until it is slightly browned. For variety, I have added ham to the mixture. This is a mild, but tasty dish.
Grilled zucchini is a favorite in Milo and Greta’s family.
Split about 3 zucchinis down the length, and clean out a little boat in the middle of each. You can peel or not peel the zucchini. Fred peels ours. Milo and Greta don’t peel. Lay the halves on a cookie sheet, and drizzle olive oil down each boat. Add garlic, either in the chopped-jar type, or shaker type. Salt. Place each zucchini portion on the grill, boat side up, and cook until the skin side is tender and seared. Turn the boat over face down, and do the same. Yes, the oil will drip some, and so will the garlic. Cook until done, but still crisp, not mushy. Yellow squash works too. Garlic is always a welcome addition to any of these dishes.
Gladys’s Tomato, Cucumber, Onion Salad
Chop up about 5-6 tomatoes in their skins. Peel and cube about 4-5 cucumbers. Slice and dice a large onion. Scoop mixture into a large bowl. (You can always add black olives, or green peppers, if you wish). Pour in a generous amount of bottled Italian dressing or marinade. A large batch won’t require more than 1/4 to 1/3 cup. This salad becomes even better as it sets the flavor in the refrigerator. I add to it daily.
I hope you can try these garden recipes. Keep in mind that these recipes are meals in themselves and don’t need much more with them ... maybe corn on the cob? Oh wow. Let me know how they worked for you.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.