During the summer months when tomatoes are in season, we look for practically any excuse to use our garden tomatoes. The basil plant that we frantically try to keep from completely going to seed, also beckons. ”The time is NOW,” the garden seems to say, “take advantage of us while you can!” Here’s a quick and easy pasta side to help lighten the garden guilt, if only by a couple tomatoes and a handful of basil. It’s another favorite of my friend Heidi H (thanks Heidi!). This pasta dish uses bits of melty brie to bring it all together – the tomatoes, pasta, basil, garlic, and baby spinach, and is tossed with Parmesan before serving. Yum!
Every year in August and September our garden is awash in green chiles— poblanos and Anaheims. Every few days we’ll pick several and take them into the kitchen to roast. Our favorite way to eat them? Marinated with a little olive oil, vinegar, and salt. That’s all. Sort of like the traditional preparation of roasted red bell peppers, but with green chiles instead. Both Anaheim chiles (similar to New Mexico or Hatch green chiles) and poblanos are relatively mild chiles so they can usually be eaten straight as described below. Though once in a while you will get a HOT one. Best to save those for salsa. Those of us who are more adventurous chile eaters will roast the jalapeños growing in the garden and prepare them the same way. If you have a gas stove, the easiest way to roast the chiles is directly over the flame of a gas stove burner. We’ve prepared the following video to show you how.
Looking out my living room window one afternoon I saw the strangest sight, a squirrel, about 8 feet off the ground, upside down, with his tail sticking straight up in the air. Quietly walking closer to investigate, I found that the squirrel had climbed up one of my tall sunflower plants, the top of which was bending over due to the weight of the squirrel, who, clutching the plant stalk with his hind legs, now greedily was digging into the sunflower flower to eat the ripening seeds. Oh, where is the camera when you need it? By the time I had retrieved mine, the squirrel was already heading down the plant.