Thursday, July 04, 2013

Summer Eats

 In the summer there is an abundance of fresh produce, and lots of extra time that doesn't come with the school year. Last fall I fell in love with brussell sprouts. I love to roast them in the oven with some olive oil, sea salt, and a bit of pepper. Yum. Last Sunday we headed to Trader Joes after church and they had some yummy brussell sprouts, and while not in season, I thought they would go great with some corn and fresh peppers I had on hand.  I also picked up a bag of quinoa, which was a new ingredient for me. I'm a lover of Pinterest of recipes, and the site didn't disappoint. I decided on one and this was the result.  I could only get my kids to take a bite, but I think Scott liked it.

Let me back up on that for a quick aside. 

Scott never really says he "likes" anything. When he thinks something could be improved, lacks salt, or something he gently offers his opinion. However, he is never quite willing to out and out say he "really likes" anything that I make. That would be too easy. His response that lets me know it was yummy is always the same. He smirks and says, "It would taste better with Frank's Red Hot on it." He doesn't actually put the Franks on it, but just gives me a hard time. Lovely. 

Another great item on the menu this week was fresh picked blackberries. My family and I love to pick fresh produce. We go to Pomeria to pick strawberries every April, blackberries in June, blueberries in mid-July, and apples in the fall. Another aside.

A few years ago before the twins were born, my grandparents came to visit. We decided to drive up to Hendersonville for the day to pick apples. The trees were turning and it was a beautiful drive and a fabulous time. However, on the way home my grandfather joked sarcastically with me about how "fun" it was to go out and pick fruit just like he did as a farm labor worker when just a boy. I felt horrible. Can you imagine? Come on guys, let's go pick some fruit! What a fabulous time! I had totally forgotten that as a child in California my grandfather lived in a mobile dirt-floor tent community where they picked fruit from a very young age. Luckily he thought it was funny, and didn't even mention that until the drive home. Thank goodness for his grace. 

Anyhow, for us, fruit picking is fun. The kids picked these blackberries with Grandpa Paul and Grandma Mary Monday while Scott and I unpacked the suitcases from the beach trip. In just an hour they came home with a few pounds of beautiful berries. The berries were far too bitter to eat by themselves, but tasted great in this cobbler. This is my all-time favorite cobbler recipe because its awesomely easy, and tastes great. Just ignore the part about the stick of butter! 

Creeping Crust Cobbler
1 1/4 C flour
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 t. baking powder
1 t salt
1 C milk
3 C fresh fruit

Place butter in 13X9 pan and place in oven while preheating to 350. Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and stir. When butter is melted, pull from oven and pour batter on top of butter. Add fruit directly on top. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until golden. 

Hopefully this week we will head out to Red Bank to pick blueberries! Last year I think we picked over twelve pounds. I just finished the last bag in my freezer last month. You can catch an earlier rendition of blueberry picking here

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