Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of Beans and Blogs . . . and Zucchini Too

Oh, dear, the beans are in. I picked on Sunday and somehow there were twice as many on Monday.

The slender tender beans on the right got steamed briefly and marinated with red onion slices, to accompany John's homemade pizza. The bigger ones got a three-minute blanching and went into the freezer.

And then there' was the zucchini -- the chickens got the biggest one; I grated two more to freeze for zucchini bread; and blanched some more to freeze for minestrone come winter.

And now, re blogs: Margie, of Margie's Crafts recently gave me the One Lovely Blog award. Check out her blog for great pictures of Ireland . . . and possible the cutest car I've ever seen. And thanks, Margie -- I love this kind of travel!

Closer to home, Sam of My Carolina Kitchen just presented this blog with the SPLASH award. Sam is a foodie and you should avoid her blog if you don't want to be stricken with immediate hunger. Right now she's got a recipe for seared tuna and Asian slaw that has me drooling. And the previous post is of a BLT that is as close to the Platonic ideal as they come. And the corn cakes a while back-- I've made them multiple times now . . . oh boy! Thanks, Sam, for the award and the calories!

And one last thing -- I had an email from 'a leading broker of internet advertising.' They would like, in exchange for an annual fee, to place an advertisement on my blog.

Yikes! I wonder what that annual fee might be? And what they'd be advertising? But I just replied that I wasn't interested. It would feel a bit like tattooing a big logo on my forehead.

Last night's pizza . . . with beans on the side.
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Pat in east TN said...

My beans have come and gone, but a small planting in my fall garden is coming along nicely. We have plenty in the freezer along with zucchini bread and I'm making various zucchini dishes for every day eating. I'll be doing corn today or tomorrow ... have to salvage what is left from the raccoons that raid it nightly!

I'm off to check out the blogs you mentioned.

Vicki Lane said...

Be warned -- Sam's blog is dangerous!

Why don't you share your favorite zucchini recipe with us? Surely you and I aren't the only one with lots o' zukes!

KarenB said...

Oh yes, the beans! We were gone for a week and the beans came in with a vengeance. We had so many I took a huge bag down to the local food pantry as I am not sure they would even have fit in the freezer! No zucchini this year, I'll pick some up as needed from those neighbors who do and put them out by the roadside with plaintive signs asking for a good home. I, too, am off to find the corn cake recipe . . .

willow said...

Oh, those beans look heavenly fresh. And that pizza looks mighty fine, too!

Vicki Lane said...

Karen -- re the corncakes -- I add chopped green onion . . .just because.

Willow -- John's pizzas just get better and better. One was roasted tomatoes, bacon and cheese, the other was spinach, garlic, oil, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese.

Amelia said...

Well, I feel a bit foolish asking this, but what is the advantage of blanching the vegetables prior to freezing them? I am saving veggies for baby food right now and so far I've just been freezing them as you would fruit...sliced and frozen on a cookie sheet before hitting the freezer bag. Have I missed the boat?

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Congratulations on the One Lovely Blog award. You can say that again. Your pictures are always fabulous.

Thank you for your kind words about my blog. I like your idea of adding the green onions to the corn pancakes. Certainly would give it a shot of color as well as taste. By the way, John's two pizzas sound wonderful.

Your zucchini made me think of a clam zucchini soup that we used to make. I'll have to dig out that recipe. It was good (and easy). It was similar to New England clam chowder but it included zucchini.

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Amelia,

Here's a link, http://www.ochef.com/617.htm

that explains about blanching veg. Supposedly the quality and nutrition is higher when blanched. And there are specific times given.

You don't need to blanch onions or green peppers and I didn't blanch my grated zucchini (how much nutrition in a zuke anyway?)

Google Freezing Vegetables and you'll get varying opinions.

Vicki Lane said...

Ooh, clam chowder with zucchini sounds good. I made a cream of yellow squash soup the other day that was tasty but could have used a little something. I was thinking bacon but clams would work. Or clams and bacon. Hmm. (And forget about the squash, my husband would say.)

Any thought on blanching vs not for my niece Amelia in the comment above yours?

KarenB said...

Oh, Vicki! I forgot to ask (as I gaze in wonder at the enormous pile of beans from the garden) what did your marinade for the beans have in it besides red onion? I need some new bean ideas!

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Karen, It was just my usual vinaigrette -- what goes on our salads almost every night. I make it in a pint jar -- two or three crushed garlic cloves, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a half teaspoon sugar, a teaspoon of Jane's Krazy salt, and Basalmic or herbal vinegar -- maybe about an inch in the jar on top of the other stuff and finish off with olive oil -- extra virgin if you have it. Adjust to suit your own tastes, of course.

Works as a steak marinade too!

I added a bit extra salt and some fresh dill weed to the beans with the vinaigrette.

Victoria said...

The marinated beans sound delicious. And John's pizzas look mighty fine, too!

Vicki, do you know if Jane's Crazy Salt is anything like Mrs. Dash? I don't think we have Jane's out here and I was wondering if I could use Mrs. Dash instead.

Vicki Lane said...

Victoria -- Mrs. Dash is salt-free - so it wouldn't be the same. But it would be good, I'm sure.

Without meaning to sound like a commercial, I have to say that Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt is a real staple in my cooking. It's perfect for seasoning so many things. I checked and I believe it's available on line.

A friend introduce us to this salt almost forty years ago as a vital component of a sandwich filling made with cream cheese, mayo, and chopped cucumbers and onions. We were hooked.

Victoria said...

Thanks Vicki, I'll look for it on line.