How Do You Know Shawn’s Happy?

Easy: I’m cooking or otherwise puttering in the kitchen!  I’ve been dehydrating cantaloupe, freezing bananas and melon (this is a great way to save seasonal produce for smoothies!), preparing to ferment sour pickles, and I forget what else. Fortunately, I did remember to take pictures of some of the putterings to remind me:

Above: Hummus. If you’ve never made it, you should. It’s easy, inexpensive, tasty, and healthy. It takes few ingredients (chickpeas, garlic, tahini, EVOO, and lemon juice) to start, then you can add anything you want to flavor it, from paprika to sundried tomatoes. It’s the perfect dip for all those summer veggies, or a great spread for sandwiches. Below: I don’t have a glass pitcher that won’t crack if I dump boiling water into it, so I make a strong quart of  tea, then dilute it into a larger pitcher for iced tea. We’re from the North, so we don’t quite get the whole “Sweet tea” thing. We drink it with little or no sugar and some lemon.

Above: Okay, let’s face it. There’s almost no way to make certain things look good on film, no matter how good they taste in real life: pot roast, curry, and this dish–Thai Peanut Sauce with Shrimp–are great examples. Drab photo aside, it was delicious. A bit spicy, a lot depth (umami!) from fish and soy sauces, with a bright bite from sarachi and lime.  I served it over noodles, and sided it with a cucumber-tomato salad. Thadd made himself sick on it, which is always an indicator that it was a great dinner.  Below: summer is a time for salads. We toss all kinds of stuff into our salads, including the mango and pecans you see below. They complimented the fresh, local goat cheese and spinach perfectly. A good salad needs little in the way of dressing, so I just drizzled some EVOO and balsamic over it, and sprinkled it with a bit of sea salt.

Below: Two recipes that have been featured here. First, the Mojo Pork Loin from my last post. Second, the three-potato salad that was my most popular recipe at the Growing Power seminar at Lynchburg Grows in March. These dishes work well together, and make a great barbecue menu!

This week, more puttering! I hope to get up some photos of the pickling process, as well as some of the dehydrating I am currently doing. Are you puttering?

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