Category Archives: food porn

GrowDammit Tomatoes are Poppin’

We are starting to harvest some cherry and pear.  What have we been doing with them?

getting ready to grill some veggies

Grilling them for fajitas.

blt salad

And putting them in a BLT salad.

yellow zebra tomato

And in the case of the lonely yellow zebra tomato, slicing it up and stuffing it in our pieholes.

The yellow zebra was interesting, sweet with just a hint of tart.  It would make a nice fried tomato – not as tangy as a plain green one.

Stay tuned for more heirloom news from GrowDammit Central.

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It turns out that we are condiment whores.

We had burger sliders for supper tonight, and I pulled out a bunch of different condiments and fixin’s so that everyone could mix and match.  When I went to put everything away, I realized we have a bit of a problem.

condiments

An entire shelf of the refrigerator dedicated to condiments.

A whole shelf!  Full of mostly homemade (some store bought) jams, jellies, spreads, dipping sauces, bbq sauces and pickled stuff.  This is in addition to…

condiments

The entire refrigerator door.

There are no less than seven different types of mustard here and two different Sriracha.  There are steak sauces and salad dressings, as well as all manner of Asian sauces with a healthy dose of Mexican.  Does anyone else have a fridge where almost half of it is dominated by stuff to dip and/or cover other stuff in?

I’m kind of scared to show you our pantry at this point.  We also have a bit of a spice habit.

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I’m probably raising a couple of racists. And, you might be too.

Because, come to find out, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is racist.  At least according to the Principal of a school district in Portland it is.

I apologize in advance people.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  Nor did I get the “Courageous Conversations” memo.  I don’t live in, nor have I ever been to Portland.  And, I’ve never really even considered that it would by any stretch of the imagination be considered white privilege.  Does this mean it is only offensive if it is on white bread?  Could we all have been spared if we had just chosen wheat?  I am hesitant to denounce peanut butter because according to this Wikipedia article, peanuts are found all over the world and in all types of cuisine.  I suppose then that jelly is in cahoots with white bread?  Wikipedia indicates that while some sort of jellyish type of substances are found multi-culturally, only the US, Canada and Europe actually regulates its production.

The eldest spawn is doomed.  He takes a PB&J to school everyday for lunch.  And since he is 18, I can’t really make him not eat them anymore.  He wouldn’t touch wheat bread with a 10 foot pole.  Maybe a sandwich intervention is in order?  Does ANYONE have any experience with this type of thing?  I could use some advice.

The youngest spawn might be okay.  He used to eat peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, but that ended around the age of 6.  I’d like to think that he found out about the nefariousness of it all, and that is why he ended the insanity.  Not because he is picky and stubborn.  And, he never really did jelly.

Rufus Dragon has been spared.  To my knowledge he has never had a PB&J.  Unless he stole it from one of the spawn.  Then he would be a biggot and a thief.

Farmer Ted has been known to snack on the vileness, but rarely.  Does this mean he is only a sometimes racist?

I, like the youngest spawn, am more than likely a reformed racist.  I used to eat them, but stopped sometime around my freshman year of high school.  I blame my parents, because with 7 children peanut butter and jelly is truly the most economical solution to school lunches.  Way to go parental units.  Way. To. Go.

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Adventures in Canning

A couple of weeks ago, Farmer Ted and I harvested all of the tomatoes we had left on our dying vines and made green tomato chow-chow.  If you don’t remember that, click here.  Then, a week later, I used some of our remaining peppers to make spicy pepper chow-chow.  Since we only had about 12 jars worth of ingredients, I attempted it by myself and things went fairly well.  This past week, a hard frost was in our forecast so Ted picked all of the remaining peppers and broke down the garden.  Instead of making more chow-chow, I decided to try my hand at hot pepper jelly.  Since Ted had to work, I figured once again I would just do it myself.  The recipe looked fairly simple.  Pureed peppers, apple cider vinegar, sugar and pectin.  Bring the first 3 to a boil, add the pectin, return to a boil for a minute and remove from heat.  Pour in jars, process in the bath for 10 minutes and Voila…hot pepper jelly.  Piece of cake.

Here is how it really went…

I prepped the peppers and got all of the other ingredients and canning utensils together.  I washed and sterilized a dozen jars.  I started 2 large pots of boiling water to use for the bath.  I mixed the peppers, vinegar and sugar together and set it to boil.  No worries.

Then, I realized that 12 jars weren’t going to be enough…

So, I turned the pepper mixture down to low, ran to the basement for more jars, washed them, threw them in the oven to sterilize and turned the pepper mix back up to high.  It boiled, and I added pectin.   I’ve totally got this.

Then, I realized that I forgot to grab clean dish rags to be able to handle the hot jars…

So I ran down to the basement to grab some and ran back up to the kitchen.  Just in time to see the pepper jelly boil over.  And by that, I mean it geysered out of the pot like Old Faithful.  There was pepper jelly all over the stove.  Burning.  There was pepper jelly all over the counter from when I yanked it off to remove it from the heat.  There was pepper jelly all over the floor.  There was pepper jelly all over me.  This might remind our loyal readers about how I’m a hazard in the kitchen.  It was a hot mess.  Literally.  That shit was hot.

Once I realized that I didn’t have any third degree burns…

I started canning the jelly.  I got the first batch in the bath, and started to clean up some of the mess.  Rufus Dragon wanted to help, so he licked the floor.  Once.  Then he whimpered and  headed straight for his water bowl and drank a gallon.  Thankfully the rest of the exercise went well, and I celebrated a battle well fought with a glass or two of wine.

Then, I realized I might have to wait up to 48 hours for the pectin to set up to see if I had actually won the war.

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GrowDammit Green Tomato Chow-Chow

I realize that we didn’t blog about our garden this year at all, and I am blaming the shitty weather we had up here in Yankeeland this summer.  We had so much rain that nothing thrived.  Our tomatoes did okay, but we had many vines that never even bore fruit or if they did they didn’t ripen before they burst open or rotted on the vine.  Bambi and Thumper didn’t help matters by munching on our okra and sweet peppers.  The birds ate our raspberries.  Every last one of them.  Sometimes, you just can’t win.   We’ll chalk this up to yet another learning experience.

tomatoes from the GrowDammit gardens

Fortunately, we were able to harvest 20 pounds of green tomatoes this past week.

Ted had the past two days off, so I took a couple of vacation days.  He was looking forward to some quality nap time.  I had other ideas.

Chopped veggies for green tomato chow chow.

Yesterday was spent chopping veggies…

mixed veggies for green tomato chow chow

And prepping them for the pickling process.

green tomato chow chow

Today was spent pickling and canning them.

48 jars of GrowDammit green tomato chow chow

48 jars of them.

I’m pretty proud of us.  This is our most ambitious canning endeavor yet, since I realized I was indeed turning into my mother.  She’s the plant whisperer, who coincidentally had a birthday yesterday.  Click here to read about how she totally kicks our gardening asses.

I’m especially proud of Farmer Ted the Chef, who spent his time off cooking and didn’t even complain about it.  Much.

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Fresh from the GrowDammit Gardens…

growdammit tomato sauce

Red sauce made from GrowDammit tomatoes and herbs.

These are the last of the ripe tomatoes people.  I think it’s gotten to chilly up here at GrowDammit Central, so we will be pulling the vines out of the ground and harvesting the green tomatoes for chow-chow.  Of course, we will have to reserve a few for fried green tomato and pimento cheese sandwiches.  *drool*

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Fallout

Dealing with the leftovers.  What do you do on Day 3?  Turkey Tetrazzini?  Turkey Stroganoff?  Turkey Soup?  Turkey Pot Pie?  Not us.  We make Thanksgiving Garbage Plate.  Which is to say, we take all of the leftovers and make them into a glorious leftover casserole.  We don’t even try to disguise the fact that you are eating the same meal all over again.

garbageplate1

First, line your pie plate with leftover stuffing. In our case cornbread sausage stuffing.

garbageplate2

Then, we layer on leftover mashed po’s and gravy.

garbageplate3

Or, with leftover jalapeno cheese grits casserole.

garbageplate4

Top with chopped collards, turkey and more gravy.

garbageplate5

Really, you can layer it anyway you want.

Throw it in the oven at 350 until it is bubbly.  Then enjoy your feast.  This is the spawn’s preferred method because there is nothing like carbs on bread…

garbageplate6

On a sandwich. With a layer of greenbean casserole on bottom and cranberry sauce on top for condiments.

Tonight is the Clemson-Carolina game.  Go Cocks.  I’ll be watching and decorating.

 

 

 

 

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Go Big or Go Home

We have an 18 1/2 pound turkey.  For two.  That’s right folks, it will be only Farmer Ted and I for tomorrow night’s feast as the spawn will be elsewhere (don’t worry we will send them off with a Thanksgiving breakfast).  I present The Feast, which thus far consists of…

Thanksgiving Menu

This.

And, depending on my mood tomorrow there may be an addition.  What can I say?  We like leftovers.

If you read the blog last year and are astute, then you will notice the one dish that is missing from the menu which makes a hypocrite of me.  If you didn’t read the blog last year, or you are not astute, then you can read about what is missing here.

Since we don’t have a shitton of family descending upon us this year, maybe we will get some pictures of the food.

Also, only one of my neighbors has Christmas lights up and lit this year.  I can’t stand when people jump the gun on holidays and decorating.  One at a time people is my motto.It’s like my prayers to the holiday gods were answered.  I’m not sure if I should be impressed or scared.

Happy Turkey Day Y’all!

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Feeling Crabby

We had some leftover crab from the eldest spawn’s birthday, so we made crab salad.

Crab Salad Stuffed Tomato

And, we stuffed it into a GrowDammit tomato. Because they are coming out of our ears.

I know, I know.  We just stuffed shrimp salad into some cherry toms for appetizers, so this might not be the most exciting thing, but the picture turned out rather nice and we had to brag.

We did use a yellow bell pepper from our garden in the crab salad.  Instead of mayo, we re-used the lemon-dijon vinaigrette from our Steakhouse Cobb Salad the other night.

GrowDammit Crab Salad

  • lump crab
  • lemon dijon vinaigrette
  • spicy pepper chow-show
  • yellow bell pepper, finely minced
  • white onion, finely minced
  • minced chives for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix it all up.  Stuff it into a hollowed out tomato if you have one handy.  Much better the next day.

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It’s too damn hot to cook, so what do we do?

Cook.

But, we did it very minimalistic.  We are having our bazillionth heat wave of this Summer, so I thought a nice light, cold picnic type supper would be perfect.  Also ever since watching the Food Network’s Special The Big Waste, we try to empty the fridge of leftovers when they start to pile up before we have to throw stuff away.  Rufus Dragon likes it, as he often gets a little something extra in his food bowl at the end of the day.

If you tuned in yesterday, you know we harvested a shitton of tomatoes and used some of them to make Shrimp Creole.  We have even more tomatoes ripening every second, and we had a few shrimp that we didn’t use b/c it was more than we could eat.  We also had some flank steak leftover from Friday night’s meal, and some hard boiled eggs that really needed some attention.

Without further ado, we present our Leftover Picnic…

A GrowDammit Picnic

A GrowDammit Picnic

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed w/ Shrimp Salad, GrowDammit Deviled Eggs (featured last in our Steakhouse Cobb Salad) and a Flank Steak Sandwich w/ caramelized onions, ancho-tomato jam and dijon mustard on a mini-croissant.

Of course, we had to eat it indoors because a round of severe thunderstorms rolled through.  It’s been a really crappy Summer weather wise up here in Yankee land.

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