Monthly Archives: July 2012

Gettin’ Our Grill On

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin & GrowDammit Veggies

Grilled Okra

GrowDammit Okra

Grilled Tomatoes

GrowDammit Tomatoes

We sliced up the pork and put it on some Mojo refried pinto beans.  Topped it with a puree we made from the grilled tomatoes, charred jalapenos and a little salt.  Added a dollop of guacamole to offset the heat of the puree.  And, chowed down on the okra like they were a side of fries.

We were too hungry by the time the food was done to bother plating it nice for pics.  Maybe next time.

 

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Rufus Dragon Has the Gold

In Food Coma…

 

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Steakhouse Cobb Salad

Tonight, we came up with a riff on the traditional Cobb…

Steakhouse Cobb

Not chicken, not ham, but NY Strip. Oh, and deviled eggs.

You heard that right,

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs. And, not just any deviled eggs…Growdammit Deviled Eggs.

What makes ours special?  Instead of adding relish, like many people do, we add our homemade Hot Pepper Chow-Chow.

Steakhouse Cobb Salad

I totally forgot the avacado slices to place between the steak.

I didn’t forget the blue cheese.  I don’t like blue cheese  We felt the decadence of having the deviled eggs more than made up for the absence of cheese.  We also made a dijon vinaigrette.

Steakhouse Cobb

Accompanied by Growdammit veggie & herb art by Chef Ted.

I was kind of hoping the pictures would suck, so we could make it again tomorrow night.

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Operation Spawn

You may, or may not, know that Farmer Ted and I are from the coast of South Carolina.

Right now, we are temporary Yankees.  Because of Ted’s job, we couldn’t manage a trip home this summer.  However, Bob Smith had his grandspawn down for a week.  They did all sorts of fun things…

Fishing on the Isle of Palms

Youngest Spawn Fishing on the Isle of Palms

Eldest Spawn Fishing on the IOP

Eldest Spawn Fishing on the IOP

Spawn on Beach

Spawn on Beach w/ dawg

Spawn w/ Gigi at the Aquarium

Spawn w/ Gigi at the Aquarium

Spawn w/ Aunt Angel

Spawn w/ Aunt Angel

Spawn w/ Cousin Spawnette

Spawn w/ Cousin Spawnette

Spawn Again w/ GiGi on Beach

Spawn Again w/ GiGi on Beach & Dawg

Almost all of the GrandSpawn

Almost all of the GrandSpawn

Random GrandSpawn

Random GrandSpawn

 

And then, the spawn came home.  Bob Smith texted me from the airport that they were off and on their way winging home to me.  He said upon their departure, “I shed a tear when they left my sight.  Wonderful young men.”

I can’t think of a greater compliment from a parent to their grown child, and my heart grew 3 times its size.  Yes, they are wonderful young men.  Despite ourselves, we are doing something right.

Thank you to all of our Chucktown family who made their visit special!  We love you Bob & GiGi!

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Fried Green Tomato Pimento Cheese Burgers

Is what this blog post is supposed to be about.  Instead, just as we sat down on the back deck to chow down, something way cooler happened.

Cooler than Monarch Butterfly Porn.

Cooler than when Farmer Ted saw not one, but two, squirrels fall out of the sycamore tree.  (I’ll let him tell you all about that.)

Almost as exciting as when Farmer Ted demanded to see the White House Garden.

And, it involves our

Hummingbird

our elusive hummer.

Like I said we were getting ready to eat, when all of the sudden right over the Growdammit veggie garden, something started raising a ruckus and flying back and forth like a pendulum from pretty high in the sky and diving low.  The whole thing lasted about 20 seconds, and the damn thing must have flown back and forth at least 10 times.

Ted:  What the fuck is that?

Me:  I don’t know.  What the fuck IS that?

Ted:  I think it’s a hummingbird.

Me:  There are two of them.  Do you think they are fighting?

Ted:  I think they’re mating?

Me:  While flying around like that?

Ted:  I dunno.  I do know I’ve never seen anything like that.

Turns out the chattering was the female who was somewhere in the garden, and the male was performing his courtship dive.  According to eHow…

“The courtship dive is a display of strength and endurance that is performed by male hummingbirds. At the beginning of the mating season, males climb upwards of 60 feet or more, according to the How to Enjoy Hummingbirds website. They dive back toward the earth reaching top speeds of 50 miles per hour, averaging 30 miles per hour. The hummingbirds fly in a U-shaped arc, pulling out of the dive as they get near the female. This is done several times in succession.”

 

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GrowDammit BLTGB Salad

We had a few more goodies ready in addition to yesterday’s harvest.

GrowDammit Garden

What to do with all of this?

Growdammit Garden

Why this, of course.

What the hell is that you ask?  THAT y’all is The Shit.

GD Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Green Bean Salad

  • tomatoes – we had red cherries, orange cherries and a yellow heirloom ripen for today’s version
  • minced hot pepper – we had a jalapeno
  • blanched green beans – we had lovely rattlesnake beans (a bit sweeter than your average green bean)
  • chopped cilantro – we cut some of our greek cilantro leaves and cut them into ribbons
  • chipotle ranch dressing (a little of this goes a long way)
  • whatever greens are available – we happened to have a little romaine and red oak leaf (a nice bitter kick) left from our final GD harvest last week
  • leftover bacon crumbles from breakfast

In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the lettuce and bacon.  To plate, pour this over a bed of lettuce and sprinkle with bacon.

It was delicious.  So delicious in fact that we inhaled it before we even touched our steak.

On a side note.  Our lettuce did not do too well this year.  We had an early heat wave, which caused most of it to bolt.  The only advantage to this was that the heirloom arugula flowered and went to seed.  I harvested the seed pods and dried them.  I think I’ll dedicate a whole two or three rows just to arugula next year.  It’s peppery flavor really brightens up a salad or sandwich.

Always learning!

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GrowDammit Bounty

Yummy things are ready to harvest…

GrowDammit Bounty

…rattlesnake beans, cherry toms, bell peppers, hot peppers, okra and hungarian wax peppers.

Because we only had 4, we grilled the okra.  And, then we had to fight over them.  *drool*  I love me some fried okra, but it is really good grilled.  The only other way I like okra is in okra rice.  Okay, so that’s a lie.  I also like it in a gumbo.  I do not like it stewed with tomatoes.

We also had to take care of a small garden emergency.  Because the ground up here is so saturated, all of our tomato cages had fallen over under the weight of the fruiting vines.  It was a mess.  We had to stake up all of the cages.  This would have been no big deal, except the mandibles with wings had a field day with my ankles.  Despite the bug spray.  I probably have West Nile now.  Thanks garden.

Aly’s Okra Rice

  • sliced okra
  • rice cooked in chicken broth
  • cooked bacon, crumbled (reserve the bacon fat)

Heat up a little of your bacon fat in a skillet and saute your okra in that.  Stir the okra into the rice and cook it in the oven At 350 in a casserole dish for 15-20 minutes.  Stir in your crumbled bacon.

I think I got that right.  Aly is my sister.  Hopefully she’ll chime in if I screwed it up.

 

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Ted Terrific

We had supper with the youngest spawn tonight out on the deck.  Somehow, the following conversation occurred:

Me (to Ted):  You know, your chest hair grows in the shape of a T.  Like for Super Ted.

Spawn:  We noticed that too.  He says it’s for Terrific.

Me:  Really now?  Maybe we should shape it up with the clippers.

Ted:  We could shape into a naked lady with an anchor.

Me:  I thought more like shape it up to better define the T.

Ted:  I thought naked lady.

Me:  I don’t think I can be that creative with the clippers.

Ted:  The Spawn here is pretty artistic.

Me (to Spawn):  Do you want to shave Ted’s chest?

Spawn:  Thanks.  I’ve lost my appetite, and wish I had lost my hearing.

Me:  I take that as a no?

Spawn:  May I be excused?

Ted:  I have hair on my butt too.

This is why we rarely sit down to a family meal.

And if it is possible to slam a sliding glass door, the youngest Spawn did.  The eldest spawn is probably grateful to be hiking out West right about now.

I swear when I was driving home tonight, I promised myself this would be about the garden.

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Happy Day After Independence Day, Part 2

If you missed Part I, click here.

I know y’all are waiting on baited breath from yesterday’s cliffhanger.  I also know that the title of this post makes no sense, sort of.

We made it to Havre de Grace, and our hopes were high.  It was a cute, if small, town.  Some of the shops/antique stores were open for business so we browsed.  Ted found a cool Freemason mug from the 1950’s.

Jesus Saves

I found this gem.

We were told that the best place for crabs was a seafood place across town, and off we went.  We pulled up and parked beside what appeared to be a dive.  That’s okay by us.  You can find some great food in a dive.  We got a table, placed our beer order and asked about the price of crabs.  And, we were quickly disappointed when the waitress informed us that you have to have a reservation to get crabs?  What?  I guess we weren’t far enough south of the Mason Dixon. Since, we were starving we ordered a few appetizers.  Ted went to use the Men’s Room, and that ended our disappointment.  Apparently the facilities were filthy.  It probably ended up a good thing we were denied our crabs.  The dive was not a dive, but a dump.  We prayed to the No Food Poisoning Please gods, ate our overpriced, mediocre crab fritters, frozen onion rings and under seasoned coleslaw and got the hell out of dodge hoping to find another place on the way home where we could find some crabs.  Which we didn’t.

What we did find was…

Moonshine

Maryland’s Motto should be “The State with a Discount Liquor Store on Every Corner.” They are everywhere. There was another across the intersection from this one.  The next time we want to celebrate something, we know where we can’t get crabs. But, we know where we can get some Moonshine.

Pit Beef

We found where we can get some probably decent pit beef. We’re just not sure when. Havre de Grace apparently has an 8th day. Or, Harry has some kind of weird space time continuum thing going on. Yes, it was spelled the same on both sides of the sign.

Hummingbird Feeder

Where we can find some inappropriate hummingbird feeders.  As if the whole anatomically correct sock monkey thing isn’t disturbing enough.  This was a mouse. They also had a chicken.

Hatem

The answer to the our question about “Hatem, hate who?” The “em” would be unsuspecting tourists. Why? We can only surmise they hate us to leave. How did we draw this conclusion? By paying the whopping $6 toll they charged us to leave.

See ya’ Havre de Grace.  If we had gotten our hands on some celebratory crabs, it would probably be worth paying $6 to leave.

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Happy Independence Day, Part I

Since Farmer Ted and I were independent of the spawn today, and since we have spent the last two days trying to get stuff done around the house and not die of heatstroke, we decided today we’d mix it up.  We started our morning at Longwood Gardens, where we have a membership.  The membership is nice because we can walk in anytime and not feel the need to see everything before we leave.  It sure came in handy today.  We took a brief hike in the meadow, and ended up seeking relief from the sun in the forest.  Seeking further relief, we decided over a beer at the cafe to take an impromptu road trip.  For blue crabs and a Bloody Mary to sort of celebrate the 4th Southern style.

Why you ask?  I’ll tell you why.  I was good and pissed off.  There was a chef on the morning news today, some local who decided he was going to bring Philadelphia “Frogmore Stew” right from the Lowcountry.  Which is, coincidentally,  exactly where Ted and I are from.  He had his potatoes, corn, onion and your preferred cooked sausage going.  All good.  He added shrimp.  Still good.  Then he added clams and mussels.  WTF?  Clams, I can see the mistake.  They are indigenous to the Lowcountry, even though they are more of a New England/Northeastern USA staple.  Down in the Lowcountry, we prefer our bivalves to be of the oyster variety.  And, never in Frogmore stew.  Mussels?  Found primarily in Canade and Europe? Absofuckinglutely not.  I am all about bringing the people up here food from the Lowcountry, but please get it right.  To add insult to injury, this moron was serving it in bowls with the pot water.  Ugh.  This is how it is served.  Not, in water primarily used to boil potatoes.

Frogmore Stew

Frogmore Stew the Right Way. No Clams. No Mussels.  No starchy water.

So, I was pissed and missing home on the holiday and Farmer Ted and I decided to take a trip to somewhere below the Mason Dixon line.  For blue crabs and a Bloody Mary to sort of celebrate the 4th Southern style.  Sort of you ask?  Sort of because the only day trip possibility would be somewhere in Maryland, and those people absolutely ruin a good crab by boiling it in 50 pounds of Old Bay.  This is an abomination y’all.  Blue crab has a beautiful sweet flavor.  When you smother it in Old Bay, all you taste is Old Bay.    Boil it naked, and then have the spices or sauces or melted garlic butter on the side.   Anywho, we set our course for Havre De Grace, Maryland.  It’s only an hour drive, and I had heard somewhere we could get some blue crab and hopefully be able to request it minus the seasoning.

Tune in tomorrow to find out if we got crabs…

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