DID SOMEONE SAY #TBT?

Nobody uses it.  Everybody loves it.

tshirt

 

Kodachrome is the stuff of dreams. It’s a day at the beach, that glorious prom dress, a backyard BBQ, the big-number-ending-in-zero birthday, all captured and lived over and over in slide shows we never tire of watching.

Kodachrome ~ the Queen of Film ~ gave us snapshots of our lives for years. A small family-owned business in Kansas, Dwayne Steinie’s Photo, used its meagre stash of Kodak chemicals to process the last roll of film on December 30, 2010.

 

There are no more yellow boxes.

No more cans of film.

Backyard BBQ
Backyard BBQ

Just a mother lode of memories.

Thanks, Kodak. ♥

Toni 9/8/16

 

TENNESSEE BRADLEY, MEET JESUS

Whether you say ‘tomato’ or ‘tomahto’, what passes for Lycopersicon esculentum in stores these days is a mad huge disappointment. Unless the genetic engineers fix the tomato they have broken, I say let’s call the whole thing off.

sn-tomatoes

 

The supermarket faux-tomato is crossbred for resistance to pests and diseases, to have firm flesh and thick skin. It’s picked when it’s green and ripened in a warehouse with ethylene gas. Flavor? It tastes more like cardboard than fruit. Researchers have discovered one reason why: a genetic mutation, common in store-bought tomatoes, that reduces the amount of sugar and other tasty compounds.

The Dunn Farmers Market is open every Saturday during the summer to offer fresh, locally grown produce.

I grow my own tomatoes and vegetables and shop the farmers’ markets for berries. I visit farm-to-table cafes and talk to locavore chefs who love to share their newfangled takes on classic, and not-so-classic, vegetables. I cannot tell a lie ~ I’m a gawker who trolls the glossy pages of seed catalogs. And quirky garden websites.

 

Got a culinary obsession? I do. Tomatoes that taste like, well, tomatoes.

redbrandy1Humble heirlooms grown without crossbreeding. And, if they happen to look like Jesus, it just might be a sign.

 

 

Singer/songwriter Kate Campbell thought so when she saw this on a roadside in North Carolina.

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I bought a pack of seeds
Tennessee Bradleys
The best homegrown you’ll find
How it happened I don’t know
Must’ve been the Miracle-Gro
Oh, I could not believe my eyes
In my tomato bed
A holy image blood red.

Have a listen.

Click on playlist in the upper left hand corner, then click on the third song down, Jesus and Tomatoes Coming Soon.

The Tennessee Bradley tomato in Campbell’s song was released in 1961 by Dr. Joe McFerran of the University of Arkansas.

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Dr. Joe named this tomato in honor of his father, Bradley. It’s perfect for a ‘mater sandwich.

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Farming is no romp ~ it’s a sweat job to take care of the land, plant the right seeds in the right places, and be the engine for the delicious revolution going on. Farmers constantly tinker with plants to improve the taste and nutrition of what we pluck from store shelves. Organically. Responsibly.

corn-farm-robert-harmon

Love corn? Right this minute, they’re stalking the perfect ear, the best homegrown from heaven what rises up from the dirt.

tomatoes-vine

 

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

-Lewis Grizzard

 

 

Toni 7/16/15

OFF THE STALK, INTO THE KITCHEN

Heavenly peas, devotion-worthy lettuce, let-it-be-praised asparagus

Stop and smell the garlic! That’s all you have to do.

– William Shatner

welcome, garlic scapes!

In season and delicious, these little wispies are swellegant.

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The scape is the stalk, the thin green curlicue, produced by hard-neck garlic. It’s just the sweetest breath of yumness ~ not garlicky, but merely a subtle hint of what’s to come, a super-fresh cross between bulb garlic and scallions.

So, now what? Here are a few ideas~

Oil the whole scapes lightly, then cook them quickly on the grill or roast them at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt until crispy.

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I learned that garlic scapes make great pickles, too.  Who knew?

Or just cut the scapes into inch-long pieces, steam or saute in olive oil, then toss with pasta, veggies, or rice.  Add some grated cheese or, if you like it pyrotechnically spiced, a dash of red-pepper flakes.

garlic-scape-pesto

I love to make pesto, and scapes are a swashbuckling addition to the usual basil, parsley, and herb pesto crew. Stir into hummus or butter and spread on your favorite veggies or sandwich.

So hit the farmer’s market or stop by my garden.  And put scapes on your menu with help from those Fabulous Beekman Boys.

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Well we bought our farm in 2007. And we call ourselves accidental farmers because we were Manhattanites, obnoxious Manhattanites, who would drive up to upstate New York and bother all the locals and buy their apples on the weekends. And we found this farm and we fell in love with it and purchased it thinking it would be a nice weekend place. And then we got a letter in our mailbox from a man named Farmer John who was losing his farm and he said, “I’ve got 80 goats and can I come put them on your farm?” And we thought, still obnoxious Manhattanites at that time, we thought “Oh great! We’ve got a petting zoo.” So he came in with his goats. So that was 2007. In 2008 us obnoxious Manhattanites lost our fancy-pants Manhattan jobs; both within 30 days of each other. And when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Life gives you goats you make goat milk soap, goat milk cheese and goat milk whatever you can make. That’s how we became accidental farmers”

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Shrimp and garlic Scapes Scampi

Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook

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Serves 4
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
5 garlic scapes, thinly sliced (½ cup)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
½ teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up

..
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic scapes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Add the shrimp, sugar snaps, salt, and lemon zest and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, remove the pan from the heat, and swirl in the butter until creamy.

 

Got a summer bucket list? Pencil in a trip to the Beekman 1802 Mercantile store in upstate NY.

1811a878520fe48e09c38d65ebd3c7f7The Immutable law of gardeners 🙂

Are you drowning in lolla rossa?  orgies of kale? bushels of beans?

Are you a gardener too? do share.

 

Toni 6/28/15