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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Let me be the first to say that as a native Atlantan, I can't stand the summer heat. Why or why did my grandparents, 3 from the Mediterranean, not settle near the ocean? Sure it gets hot there, but that salt air, ocean sound, and breeze make up for the heat.  The heat zaps the energy right out of me.  This summer, I'm jumping up and down from all of the rain we have been having.  It will certainly save on my water bill too as I have new sod in part of my yard.

With the plentiful rain, the herbs on my deck are growing like crazy!

I am growing:

Baby Basil
Lemon Thyme

I've had great success with lemon thyme and rosemary over the years. Many plants have lasted a few years at least.  I decided to start anew with new plants this year.  Lemon thyme is great on just about anything.  I put some in my tuna salad yesterday.  I have not made it in a long time, and it was delicious.  I treat tuna like I would a fish fillet.  I have to have tons of lemon on my fish. Lemon juice and lemon thyme are showcased in my tuna salad.  Instead of sweet pickles, I put chopped Kalamata or Spanish olives.  

I also have 4 or 5 strawberry plants that have given me only one or two strawberries.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the birds I hear singing in the morning are singing praises for those berries.  I'm growing a few pepper plants too.  I've never grown peppers, so I had to be sure to get the mild ones (much to the chagrin of my sons I'm sure).  I've not tried the peppers yet, but I'm thrilled that they have produced peppers!  

I'm thinking that next year, I will have an even bigger container garden on my deck.  I can visualize now the abundance of little grape tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies that are suited container gardening. My Papas Jimmy and Bill, brother Johnny, and Myrtle (my former mother in law who was like a mom to me) would be so proud if they could see it!  Now, I'm going to have to dig up (pardon the pun) my container gardening books and see what will be a success on my deck.  

Summer menu is totally based on fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. If there is a vegetable stand at a house, I will stop and purchase whatever vegetables they are selling.

Tomatoes are my absolute favorite to purchase along the roadside.  Time to check online for when people start selling at our local Farmer's Market.

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar