CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Lifestyle

July 24, 2013

Summer veggies straight from the farm

This week's guest cook is Jennifer Boyd of Fairview. The Boyd's farm on a fifth generation farm, harvesting nature's bounty to feed their family, to sell at the Festhalle Market Platz, and for the customers on their Customer Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The customers on this list receive a weekly box of home grown produce, whatever is in season at the time. The Boyds deliver the boxes to members in Cullman on Fridays. They also serve members in Birmingham and Arab.

In the past week or so, for example, the Boyd's provided green tomatoes, ripe heirloom tomatoes, squash, zucchini, okra, green beans, fresh basil, a variety of peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers. Members make a monthly payment and receive one weekly box.

The Boyd's will participate in the upcoming Farm-to-Fork dinner, where they will dine with a table of guests so that those attending will be able to learn more about the people who grow their food, and be able to shake the hand of the people who diligently work to provide wholesome, nutritious foods for all of us.  

It's a great way to promote local farms and food as well as local restaurants who support buying local. "This is part of the whole movement of knowing who grows what you’re eating," said Jennifer. "I read recently that only in the past 60 years or so have supermarkets come to be. Before then, everyone grew their own food or had a neighbor that did. I guess that’s the interest recently and it’s growing bigger every day, the local food movement: ‘know your farmer, know your food’."

Here are some of Jennifer's tried-and-true recipes using homegrown foods from her garden. Her children love them, and of course, we are all looking for ways to get our children to eat better quality foods.  

 

"My view of cooking is to try to be simple," says Jennifer. "For years, I thought cooking was some unattainable skill that had to be precise and that I needed exact instructions. Over time I’ve learned that throwing things together really is the way to cook with ease and less pressure. We’ll just bring in from the garden extra veggies that we didn’t sell or just gather what we see, chop it up, season it, and cook it…either baked in the oven or sautéed or fried (we try to limit that, but you can’t have summer veggies without frying sometimes!) Here’s a look at our favorites. I feel like they’re just good ol’ staples that everyone probably knows how to cook, because they’re so simple, but this is how we do things. Cooking vegetables doesn’t have to be a long, detailed process, and more often, needs to be simple and quick so that one doesn’t have to spend hours in a hot kitchen on a beautiful summer day!”

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes

Oil for frying

Buttermilk

Cornmeal

All-purpose flour

Salt/pepper

 

In small bowl, mix half-cup cornmeal and quarter-cup flour. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Slice green tomatoes to desired thickness. Dredge in buttermilk, then coat with cornmeal/flour mixture. When oil is hot, place battered tomatoes in oil. Fry until brown and crunchy. Flip and fry other side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.

 

Summer Vegetable Favorite

(use all or some of the following veggies)

Green tomatoes

Onions

Squash

Zucchini

Eggplant

Okra

Cornmeal

Oil for frying

 

Heat quarter-cup oil on high. Dice all veggies into half-inch pieces. Coat with cornmeal. When oil is hot, pour in lightly coated veggies. Do not stir. Cook until brown, then lightly stir to cook other side. Stir minimally, just to cook all to same. Drain and sprinkle with kosher salt.

 

 Baked New Potatoes & Onions

Yukon Gold potatoes

Onions

Olive Oil

 

Heat oven to 425º. Dice potatoes. Slice onions into long strips. Place on large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste.

 

Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes

Buttermilk

Garlic cloves

Butter

Salt/pepper

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