Wednesday, November 28, 2018

TRAVEL-COOK | Yes, but!

We travel a lot - different kinds of traveling and cooking and eating.

Although we love to cook and travel (who doesn't?!), there are just a few things we especially enjoy returning home to.  To read the prior post, click here.

1. My dad - here he is in the plaid shirt at the Senior Center Bizarre! Attending the bizarre was one of the first things we did after getting back into town from our most recent trip.  Definitely grounding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Our farmers' Market (even when the weather isn't great). We love being able to support our local farmers and buy great quality food.  We get updates on the growing conditions of the produce and the livestock. Our mushroom lady is famous for serving up a sample of recipes and sharing recipe cards.                                                         

Other farmers, we trade recipes with like one of our favorite farmers, "Porkman" Bob, from Elysium Farms. He reintroduced us to Shakshuka, which he loves to make with his Chorizo.  We made a green tomato vegetarian version with bacon (I know, but everything really is better with bacon!             

The eggs are from another farmer, Eileen, with Twin Post Farm.                                                                                               

We actually still had some little green tomatoes out in our garden - growing and buying fresh produce always prompts us to get creative. So I thought why not make GREEN tomato Shakshuka. We were more than a little surprised to find several recipes and did what I often do - got the gist of it and got busy cooking! Here is the one we primarily followed.

After chopping everything up and even grabbing some cilantro, I almost forgot the red pepper! 

I started by cooking the bacon. We often debate this, but I flavor the pan with the meat and then saute the vegetables. Jim likes to saute the vegetables then cook the meat. To be honest it's all good! 

We chopped up everything and even grabbed some cilantro, but almost forgot the red pepper! Thankfully, I did remember and quickly chopped it up and added it. Then, we sauteed everything together until it started looking happy added, a little stock to bring it all together before cracking in the eggs.

Once the eggs are added, just finished with some cilantro and serve it up with some hot sauce and mojo sauce! We just started making the mojo sauce - we have a ton of habaneros or scotch bonnets every year. It is a challenge to figure out what to do with them all!  Pepperpot Stew is a favorite, but it only uses 2.

3. Stock - we keep a gallon Ziploc in the freezer for "stock parts." Throughout the week, or over several days, we save up produce skins, parts, and pieces and add to the freezer bag. If we have a meat bone we add it, but usually, it is veggie stock.

Once a week (more if needed) we pour the contents into the crockpot and add celery and carrot, if there aren't any included, along with some water. Set it on low for 8 hours and keep the stock in the fridge in mason jars to use as needed. 

If we end up with more than we can use in a week then we freeze it in another Ziploc. This is one time you do not want to substitute - use a Ziploc bag! As threatened in an earlier post we may have a post on nothing but brand-name must-haves. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this! 

4. Surf fishing. Nothing beats being outside on the water on a sunny day, even if it is only in the 50s!  The trick is to dress appropriately and, most often, in layers. mittens and hats are a must!

This time out we didn't get a bite, but did meet Parson and his owner, Sherry Harris. Sherry borrowed our flag and I took pictures with her cell phone of her riding Parson. 

I felt a little guilty, because I asked her horse's name before even realizing I didn't ask hers until a few minutes later! I thought I would easily be able to find her on facebook to connect, but wasn't able to after a quick search. I'll probably search some more.

Jim surprised me by bringing oysters and a standalone burner, grill, and hotdogs & buns! It was such a treat to have not only salty, Chesapeake oysters, but also something warm when standing out in the cold wind.

There are two undeniable facts:

Oysters taste better eaten on the beach


Hot dogs taste better eaten on the beach

5.  We miss homemade sourdough. In the fall and through the winter we keep the starter going in the fridge and make a couple of loaves a week. The recipe calls for using loaf pans, but somehow it tastes so much better to cook them in rounds.

6. Deer in the garden - we are still undecided about this one! When I spotted these cuties I ran into the house and (Sotto Voce) "Jim, there's a herd of deer in the garden!" He got the couple of great shots we have. Mine were ridiculous as I was afraid to get to close and scare them away. 

Sorry, my friends - no food for you! 

7. Dogfish - We don't really miss them, truth be told! 

The next time we went surf-fishing we didn't get so lucky - all we caught was a spiny dogfish. 

You can eat them. But we don't. On principle!

This morning I noticed a little red dot above my calendar on google chrome - it looked like it had a number in it. Curious, I clicked on it and pictures from various years throughout the month of November magically appeared! All of them were of us surf-fishing, of course!

Yes it's often windy, cold, and, lately, we haven't caught many fish, but what we do get reminds us it's all worth it! 

Just in case it's of interest, here are the recipes from our Thanksgiving dinner - Happy Holidays! 

Smoked Scallops - we didn't actually get to these, but sounded YUM! 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites - healthy and delicious.

Walnut Brussel Sprouts - our friend "the other Jim" found them delicious, but guessed they were something more exotic, like chestnuts!

Honey Brined Turkey - so easy and little or no cleanup.

Persimmon Beet Spinach Salad - beautiful and so good!

Alabaster Potatoes - a healthy spin on mashed potatoes that makes them so light and airy.

Apple Dumplings - we didn't make these, but we're going to!

Mexican Apple Pie - Jim didn't want to waste the bit of dough left from the latticework and fashioned a turkey on top (we ate it before we thought to take a picture)!

To read the prior post, click here.

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