Fast Food Done Right

Who needs a quick meal!? We all do now and then. Yesterday found me with a way lot to do and only so many hours to do it all. I never pass the opportunity to serve what is coming in from the garden and being short on time brought this beautiful, filling meal to the table.

Colorful tomatoes all in a bowl.

Colorful tomatoes all in a bowl

Smooth creamy dressing

Smooth creamy dressing

And a hearty classic with an old fashion twist

And a hearty classic with an old fashion twist

Several varieties and colors of fresh tomatoes created the delicious salad.

about 2 C rough chopped tomatoes

2 medium cucumbers, sliced

1/4 medium red onion, slivered

Gently stir all together and let stand for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.

 

The Dressing

3 Tbls. mayonaise

2 Tbls. sour cream

2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and minced

1/8 tsp. black pepper or to taste

Mix all together and serve on the side

 

The Main Dish

Prepare one box of organic macaroni and cheese according to package directions. While the macaroni is cooking drain one or two cans of your favorite tuna. Cook about 3/4 to 1 C. fresh or frozen peas just till barely tender and drain. When macaroni and cheese is prepared and hot, add the tuna and peas, stir well.

This meal was a delight to look at and tasty and filling! It took me about thirty minutes to prepare it. Now that is fast food!

signature, Sarah

 

 

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Spent and More Beautiful

An old spent bloom is often the most beautiful form a flower takes. There are several other things in the world whose beauty increases with age – women come to my mind. Here we have a spent Queen Annes Lace.

This is for you Mom, more beautiful every day.

IMG_4947signature, Sarah

 

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A Sunday Drive

Sunday drives are going the way of a rotary phone – nearly nonexistent. When I was a kid we would often go for a Sunday afternoon drive, stop at the local ice cream drive in and have an ice cream sunday with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry. Time constraints and gas prices have all but put a stop to the activity for most people.

This past weekend found Gene and myself going for a spontaneous Sunday drive to explore a couple places that have caught our eye as we passed by. We made the circuit from Moonmooring to Bexar and across to Highway 9 to Oxford and Brockwell then all the way to the big city of Batesville for a near missed dinner at the local Japanese steak house. One expects more from a college town than chains and mediocre Japanese food but that is all our search turned up. It was well prepared and filling. Most places were closed on Sunday evening. Batesville, home of Lyon College – the second oldest college in Arkansas is in turn home to the Arkansas Scottish Festival and certainly a great spring destination.

A few photos from our dirt road travels.

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wild poppies

asd

spent clover

asd

A classic single pen log house with a shed add on in back. Between Bexar and Oxford on Union Road / Highway 18.

Near Greasy Creek

Near Greasy Creek

Coriopsis

oxeye daisy

Sprawling oak

Sprawling oak

The spiderwort is blooming today  but I couldn't seem to get a clear shot of it.

The spiderwort is blooming today but I couldn’t seem to get a clear shot of it.

signature, Sarah

 

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It’s a Mini Garden Year

The Moonmooring garden many years ago.

Moonmooring garden many years ago.

It’s been many years since my garden has been small. It was probably in the mid 80’s when I had a little space about 14 X 14 feet roughly cut out of the woods with a jalopied fence around it. In the middle of that space was a big stump that we had not the tools or knowledge of how to get rid of. You see we were city kids at the time and trying to learn how to be country kids – in our late 20’s. It was a long learning curve.

The garden got a little bigger each year and the stump 

Year of the Cushaw. Marideth and I harvested over 350 pounds from one hill of Cushaw.

Year of the Cushaw. Marideth and I harvested over 350 pounds from one hill.

finally rotted out. I learned to make compost and amended the soil with it and fifty pound bags of composted manure from Wal Mart. Times have changed since then.

After a divorce new friends taught me how to really plant and care for tomatoes, how to mulch with six inches of straw and what to do with the alien looking rhubarb. I remember that first garden and the bounty of tomatoes throughout the summer and into the fall. I remember the first hard freeze coming and recalled helping my mother pull her tomato plants up by the

roots – in the dark, drag them into the garage and cover the whole mess with old blankets

My favorite - snow peas.

My favorite – snow peas.

so we could pick them at our leisure the next day. I’ve done that, but this year around ’93 or so I had time to take a wheelbarrow to the garden and pick them all from the vine, green, red and in-between, before the sun went down. That year I ate my last ripe tomato on Christmas day and it was good.

Let me tell you a bit more about that tomato year. Marideth Sisco taught me how to mulch the garden heavy with straw early in the fall and let the straw

compost down over the winter. We turned every square of that stuff when it started to

Only in the fall for me - broccoli.

Only in the fall for me – broccoli.

sprout so the seed would all die out. Come spring I had a plethora of warm dark dirt underneath the straw and teaming with earthworms. About every foot we parted the earthy straw and planted each of the dozen leggy tomato plants as deep as we could along a hog wire fence. A big handful of compost and some fish emulsion went in each hole. We pulled the thick layer of rotting straw up close to the tender plants and wished them well. I learned to make this great foliar feed and diligently sprayed them once a week. There was a bumper crop of

Squash

Squash

tomatoes that year and when the frost was coming the plants were still loaded with beauties in all stages of ripeness.

I filled that wheelbarrow as the sun was setting and the cold set in. I brought that wheelbarrow right into the kitchen and it stayed there until it was empty of tomatoes just before Christmas. Every day I would pick through the ‘barrow and lift out any near ripe ones to set in the window sill and remove any that obviously weren’t going to make it. The lost ones were few and far

beans

Baby bean plants

between. I made spaghetti sauce, and fried green tomatoes, and tuna fish sandwiches and ate tomatoes every day that Fall and winter.

The garden got bigger every year after that.

This year finds me back at Moonmooring enough days of the week to miss the garden here.    Having not been worked in several years and the weeds gone to seed and quite a few trees needing to come down in the area it seemed an insurmountable task to rejuvenate the old garden spot this year.

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Cucumber!

Hence the mini garden of Moonmooring! Twelve large tires with the sidewalls cut out and laid out next to the patio just outside the kitchen I have a couple Celebrity tomatoes, lemon drop peppers, a yellow bell and a pablano, a mess of basil tucked in around everything along with onions, three Ping Tung eggplants, a mess of cilantro and parsley (for all the tabouli we plan on eating this summer), a four foot row of cucumbers, and a six foot row of rattlesnake pole beans. Gene has graciously caged the tomatoes and fenced the tiny

- less than two hundred square feet – garden. Now I find

lettuce

lettuce

myself with a fence line and nothing growing on it. Ok three earth boxes got moved into the space today and I broke out the flower seeds. Seems a good year to plant the zinnias I have always wanted.

With just an ounce of luck, a lot of mulch and the magic foliar feed this space will put some food on the table every day all season once it starts to produce. And I will post pictures of the garden and the food we make out of it and share recipes right here. 

The 2014 little garden.

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Bonnie appetite!

signature, Sarah

Some of the many harvests last year.

Some of the many harvests last year.

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A Morning View

My view this morning from the north window.

IMG_4502signature, Sarah

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Spring Has Arrived!

Along with it the storms, the flowers and the brush piles burning.

Pink blossoms of what tree I know not.

Pink blossoms of what tree I know not.

The storm rolling in last Sunday afternoon.

The storm rolling in last Sunday afternoon.

Monarch and jonquils

Monarch and jonquils

Marideth Sisco OR cucumber water. A sure sign of spring.

Marideth Sisco OR cucumber water. A sure sign of spring.

Saturday's flowers. Every day there is a different arrangement.

Saturday’s flowers. Every day there is a different arrangement.

The Wizard of Moonmooring. There have been plenty of brush piles to burn with all this ferocious weather.

The Wizard of Moonmooring. There have been plenty of brush piles to burn with all this ferocious weather.

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Another Horizontal View

Last Sunday was a drizzly grey day. Then just as the sun was about to set the distant clouds cleared and long slashes of sunlight lit the woods up as if on fire. If you are in the right spot you can get sparkly photos of it.

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