Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Old Fashioned Flower

These photos are of the old timey "Cut and Come Again" zinnias, grown for many decades in cutting gardens and farmhouse gardens and market gardens.

These were the flowers cut for the altar on Sunday or sent to a sick neighbor. The flowers that comforted farm wives.

They came from seeds ordered from catalogs or from market bulletins. They grew from seeds passed over the fence or bought at the general store.

They are not trendy, and the only thing perennial about them is that they are perennially popular with those of us who still appreciate a cheerful flower.

They never look out of place. Not even in an Oriental vase!

Friday, September 27, 2013

New Posts at "Tales of a Nashville Gardener"

I have sent "Tales" back to Wordpress, since it is a hobbyist's blog. Anyone interested in posts on Ginger lilies and Japanese Anemones and other plants for the Southern fall garden can go to "Tales of a Nashville Gardener".

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Autumn Garden in Nashville-

And proof that gardens do not have to peak in June and go downhill from there-

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eggplant Etouffee

When a recipe is complex or requires a page of ingredients, I am not above using bottled sauces. I would never attempt to conjure up a Mexican Mole sauce for example, for even if I could find the ingredients, I would lack the understanding of what to do with them-

I found this "Etouffee" sauce in the "Prepared Foods and Meal Helpers" aisle at Kroger a while back. The bottle described it as "Thick Rich Cajun Gravy". It sat in my pantry waiting for its moment( which came last week), when I bought three eggplants at the farm truck. I love Eggplant Parmesan, which I make from scratch, sauce and all,but I wanted to do something different with this week's menu.

The people who bottle this run the Dee Felice Cafe in Covington,Kentucky. They sell a line of sauces including "Jambalaya" and "Gumbo". They do have a website, though I do not see the "Etouffee" listed there.

I decided to use the sauce on fried eggplant slices, which I layered in a casserole dish. I poured 16 ounces of the sauce over the eggplant, mixed it around a bit,then put a layer of Panko bread crumbs on top. I baked this at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. After I took it out of the oven, I sprinkled some crispy french fried onions on top.

As every Southern cook who has ever brought covered dishes into a potluck or "carry-in" knows, french fried onions made by Durkee are essential to the Holy Southern Holiday casserole of green beans and canned mushroom soup. Just try finding these a week before Christmas-

I did not use Durkee's. I found "Lars Own" crispy onions imported from Holland in Kroger's International aisle. I am certain Durkee's would do just as well.

If I had any of this left in the refrigerator, I would eat it right now, and for lunch and supper. It is spicy, but not overly so, and makes a great meatless meal.

I used three small(6-8) inch eggplants. I salted the slices, put them in a colander, put a salad plate on top and weighted it down. You can do this with a heavy trivet or a can of vegetables. This is an old timey way of preparing eggplant, supposedly to leach out any bitter juices.(Mario Batali does not do this, which makes me wonder why I still do!).

Or you can skip this step, brush your slices of eggplant with olive oil and bake them at 350 till browned. If you fry them, expect to use a good bit of olive oil, since eggplants soak it up quickly.

This should feed four.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back On-Line

Thanks to the goodness of a friend and her Techno-wizard son, I am on-line again with a new refurbished computer.

My old computer was a victim of maliciousness that came in an e-mail, and that could not be eradicated.

If my friend's son had not built me a new machine, I would have been off-line until I could afford a new computer, which would have been a while, since I buy nothing unless I have the full price in cash.

The Tee-Tiny Kitchen will resume shortly, armored up with anti-malware, and anti-virus magic bullets.

I hope they are vigilant.