My daughter, granddaughter and I visited the farmer's market last week and found it was hard to choose which fruits and veggies we wanted. On sale were varieties of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, green beans and new potatoes to name a few. It was still too early for butter beans, peas and okra. Some of the farmers said okra was coming in late this season.
Tomatoes and eggplant caught my eye. There were baskets of the tiniest tomatoes that I had ever seen.
I asked grower Pat Scrimsher if she served them in salads or what.
"I like to roast them in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper," she said. "They burst open and are so flavorful."
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Thinking of my daughter's herb garden, I suggested that fresh basil and fresh oregano would be good added to the tomatoes while roasting.
It was. I roasted tomatoes, cooked with olive oil, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh oregano and basil, salt and pepper, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so. I kept a close eye on them. When they began to burst, I mashed some to make a sauce to which I added angel hair pasta, pasta water and mozzarella pearls to make an awesome main dish.
To accompany the fresh tomato pasta, I used Japanese eggplants that I also purchased. These I peeled and cut into thin strips and sautéed in a mixture of olive oil and butter and minced garlic until soft. I add a little salt and pepper. I could have eaten the eggplant by itself, it was so sweet and flavorful.
We also bought garlic and herb flatbread and hummus that I served with the meal. A profitable trip, I would say.
I love shopping for fruits and veggies and turning around and using them in that night's dinner. Fresh is definitely better in my book.
I also bought green tomatoes. My family likes them fried with or without Hollandaise sauce
and crabmeat or shrimp. I turned these tomatoes into an entrée, too. I topped them with Hollandaise and spicy boiled shrimp. Can I say, "yum" again?
I use a dredging mix of corn meal and flour and a batter mix of milk, egg, flour, salt and Cajun seasoning. I slice the tomatoes about1/4-inch and dredge, dip in batter and dredge again and fry in hot canola oil. I take an easy way out on the Hollandaise and make it in the blender. The shrimp I simply boil in crab boil.
My granddaughter preferred the blueberries, which she liked just out of hand. The morning at the market was a fun family time. Later, Lilly helped me make the batter for the berry cobbler, but she had to don her chef's hat first.
Janet Johansen of Bradenton answered the call for favorite Father's Day favorite recipes.
"I saw your request for Father's Day favorites," she said. "I have several of my husband's, but will provide the easiest and quickest one, so delicious. This has to be at least five decades old; he always asks for it."
Pour 1 can of cherry pie filling in bottom of ungreased 8-by-8-inch pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon lemon juice over.
In separate bowl, combine 1 box white or yellow cake mix, 1 stick melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until top is just golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Yum!
-- Submitted by Janet Johansen
"The recipe for the frozen strawberry salad does not say what to do with the strawberry gelatin," said Becky Rogers. "Do you make it my package direction or put dry gelatin in Cool Whip or what? I would like to try but not sure what to do. Thanks for your help."
Sometimes cooks assume folks know what to do with a recipe and do not give clear directions. Such is this recipe for strawberry salad that appeared a couple of weeks ago.
It should read:
FROZEN STRAWBERRY SALAD
8 ounces cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar or sugar-substitute
3 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
16 ounces fresh or frozen strawberries sliced
1 large container of frozen whipped topping, regular or fat-free
2 small packages strawberry gelatin or sugar-free strawberry gelatin
Cream sugar and cheese, add bananas, nuts, pineapple and strawberries. Mix well. Make gelatin according to package directions and add frozen whipped topping. Add gelatin and frozen whipped topping to strawberry mixture. Pour in 9-by-13-inch dish. Freeze. Remove from freezer and slice.
-- From "Fruit of the Spirit"
Lost a favorite recipe?
If you have misplaced a favorite recipe or need a certain recipe, please send me your requests. Fellow readers and I will try to find answers.
Andrea Yeager, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and takes requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.