Hi all! This post is my ode to summer’s bounty- Midwestern style. Let me start by saying that I love summer in the Midwest. In my opinion it is the best time of year to live in Indiana, the weather is warm, the birds are singing, the trees and grass are green, and most important, the produce is abundant! I love all produce grown in and around Indiana but my favorites by far are corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupe- oh my! 🙂 I’m actually eating Indiana grown cantaloupe and tomatoes as I’m writing this post.
As anyone who’s been reading my blog knows, I don’t have room to grow many vegetables and herbs because I have limited space. Instead I patronize my local farmer’s market for most of my veggie needs during the summer. In the above picture, I’ve shown the stand at which I purchase my corn and I have to say that it’s the best corn I’ve ever bought from a farmer’s market. It’s sweet and tender, definitely a treat! I boil a big pot of water, add a little sugar to the water (my stepmom’s secret!), and after the water boils I add the corn and let it boil in the water for 4 minutes. Then, I immediately remove it from the water, slather it with butter and salt, and enjoy! It’s my favorite summer treat of all the farm fresh veggies I love.
This sentence is only for those who live in Indiana- don’t you think that Indiana cantaloupe tastes better than cantaloupe from anywhere else?!! I can’t even fully understand why but they are sweeter and more delicious than any other cantaloupe. They smell kind of funny when they’re sitting on your counter so don’t be put off by that because they are so very good to eat.
I just cut the cantaloupe in half, remove the seeds, use a knife to score the inside, and then use a spoon to scoop out the pieces. I like to chill it a little before serving but it’s so good that it doesn’t really matter. My dad likes to eat cantaloupe over vanilla frozen yogurt, which is a healthy and delicious dessert idea, thanks Dad! I just eat it by itself but it’s good any way you slice it, so to speak.
Those of you who’ve been with me since the beginning of my blog may remember this photo of my newly planted tomato plants. I was so excited for the potential of having many tomatoes soon. And wow how they’ve grown since then!
As you can see they’re practically bursting out of the cages now. We’ve already had a few tomatoes that were ready and we’ve eaten them. They were delicious! I’m still buying tomatoes from the farmer’s market though because I’m not producing enough for my family’s needs-yet!
My favorite thing to make when I have a bounteous amount of tomatoes is salsa. My salsa recipe is delicious and easy.
6 tomatoes chopped, 1 whole onion chopped, 1 jalapeno cored, seeded, and chopped (depending on spice level, if you want more spice leave the ribs and seeds intact, if you like no spice leave out the jalapeno entirely), 4 tablespoons of fresh cilantro chopped, the juice of one lime, 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
The thing I really like about this is that you can use up a lot of tomatoes at one time, because I always feel guilty about rotting tomatoes sitting on my counter. You can double or triple the recipe with ease, but your hand might be sore from so much chopping. This recipe can double as gazpacho too, just put all of the contents in the blender and blend it for about 20 seconds until it’s mostly blended. However, I don’t like it to be too finely blended because I like it chunky, so I watch it carefully and if it starts getting too blended I stop. If you’re doing gazpacho, top it with a little olive oil or sour cream if you like it, and crumble a few tortilla chip for crunch. Voila! A recipe that does double duty, my favorite kind of recipe!
I hope you enjoy the summer bounty wherever you live and that it helps you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!