Monday, August 20, 2007

The South, week 8

This is the time of year when my garden turns into a Little Shop of Horrors and I just stop giving a darn. But I have to admit the food is good. We are taking special note of the vegetables that are surviving the drought and heat wave. (For those keeping score at home: Green Zebra and Sungold tomatoes; Fairytale eggplants; and all the hot peppers.)

E-mailer Molly and I are in the same boat: Both cooking a lot of local food, but too frazzled to keep track. “I don't even know what week it is now!” she laments. But she managed to make a delectable tomato pie, with sides of edamame (ooh, my favorite!), mashed potatoes (my other favorite!), and vegetable sauté.

Meanwhile, I copped out big time and only made peel-and-eat shrimp, which I ate messily while watching an episode of CSI. But you should go read about the shrimp; they’re pretty special.

Gazpacho, grouper fritters, and apple crisp with local ice cream? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to Amy’s house.

Jasmine used an astonishing array of local produce in “a meal that is in [her] regular rotation”: the filling for roasted vegetable enchiladas. What would we do without local feta cheese, eh, Jasmine?

Joyce, not wanting to continue her summer Tacopalooza, went rummaging in the freezer and found a forgotten package of stew beef. With summer vegetables and Southern Biscuit flour, it became a beef pie that fed her and Jeff for two whole meals.

The Purloined Letter is back from North Carolina, and has made two OLS meals. I love the idea of cooking banana peppers into hamburgers. I’m going to have to try that as soon as humanly possible.

Maggie’s ducks are laying! She used one of the eggs to bind the meatballs in this week’s spaghetti dinner.

Laurie continues to cook with the most intriguing heirloom tomatoes. This time it’s Pineapple toms, which accompanied pan-fried pork chops and her own homegrown butterbeans and field peas.

Lucky Lastewie happened upon an untended fig tree--which, to me, ranks as one of the all-time great local eating pleasures. The figs were dessert after a meal of pork chops, stuffing, long beans, and summer squash.

Paulette notes, “I know it seems that our One Local Summer meals always center around some form of our beef.” Well, when you have your own herd, that’s fair enough! This time it was T-bone steaks with peppers and onions, cucumber salad, and vegetable fritters.

And last, but perhaps most beautiful and haunting, Pattie’s eggplant parmigiana with orange cherry tomatoes evoked memories from her childhood.

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