Mediterranean Diet

IMG_9304The Mediterranean diet is an easy diet to be on when you’re in the Mediterranean. Everywhere you go things are cooked with olive oil or they put it directly on your salads and you can dip your bread into it. Their tapas is served the minute you sit down, and it consists of olives or small dishes of cut up tomatoes and herbs with olive oil, or just small plates of anything for you to nibble on while you wait for your meal. Your meal is never heavy with flour coatings and fried. And talk about salads, the lettuce is paired with a variety of healthy choices like avocados, artichokes, very flavorful tomatoes, onions, red peppers, fresh corn cut right off the cob, legumes and any kind of seeds and nuts. The dressing is olive oil and vinegar, of course.  It looks as pretty as it tastes.

 

Olive oil is added to shampoos, lotions and conditioners as well. It feels very soothing on your skin and helps with the dry heat to keep your skin soft.

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Sharing Merida, Spain

How did the Romans know how to build bridges to last so long?  From my understanding this is the oldest operational Roman Bridge in the world. As I stand here looking to the other side I see the town square where the Roman theater is and restaurants and shopping markets. Just a 10 minute walk. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as I stand here looking beyond. It’s lasted this long, it’s not going to crumble now! So here I go.

Oh, wait. There’s a Hostel right next to this bridge and it’s time here for sangria and tapas. I can already smell the potato omelettes cooking with hints of onion and peppers. I must try this now!

 

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And I have no idea what kind of tree this is or if it’s against the law to pick from it, but I will be finding out!

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Cabin life/Poor Boy Dinner

img_5734Nothing better than sipping on a cup of hot coffee while you’re swinging on the cabin porch and it’s raining. All you hear is the rain hitting the leaves as it falls to the ground. A perfect time to think about life instead of being so busy living it. I’ve found a good book that someone has left here.  I encourage my friends and family to take a book and leave a book when they visit here.

So while my supper bakes, I’ll read. I’m fixing what Mimi would call “poor man’s dinner” but don’t know why she called it that. On a large piece of foil you put a ground beef patty topped with potatoes slices,  carrots, onions and sprinkled with seasoned salt. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and it’s done, ready to serve on a plate.

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Artichokes/yes, they are good to eat!

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Long before there were artichoke hearts offered in salads and on pizzas and in your favorite Italian pasta dishes, my sister shared her love of this vegetable with us. While visiting from California she prepared a dinner for us. You can imagine the look on our faces when she poured these out on the counter and said “we’re having these artichokes for dinner”. We didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm but we wondered how on earth we were going to eat these strange things. It hurt your hand when you tried to pick it up.  Now this vegetable looks like a sweet green flower after being boiled for 45 minutes but before that it looked something like a pine cone. It can be prickly to touch so that is why you cut about a half inch off each leaf, cut the bottom so it can stand flat and cut an inch or so off the top. After washing it you boil it for forty five minutes with a few cloves of garlic, a bay leaf or two and some salt and pepper.

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Pull off each leaf and dip it in some melted butter with seasoned salt and a dash of cayenne if you please. Turn it upside down and pull between your front teeth. The little bit of artichoke with the melted butter is marvelous. You do this until all the big leaves are gone then rub off the tiny needle like substance left (the choke) to enjoy the best part of all, the artichoke heart. You can really enjoy the large pieces left dipped in your seasoned butter.

Summer Days/Fresh French Fries

I remember one sunny summer afternoon in 1960 something, I was looking for something to do when I came across a strange piece of equipment I soon figured out was a French fry cutter. You put a potato in one end and push down real bad and it pushes the potato through tiny little knives and out came potato strips. With a little more looking my sister and I found an electric fryer. So you can imagine how excited we were to be making our own French fries!! In fact we were so proud of ourselves we told the whole neighborhood. Day after day we fried up batches of those potatoes and the back door to that kitchen on Dunkle Road became a revolving door. The Porters, Diehls, Fredricks and Wardells just to mention a few didn’t have to wait for Pumpkin Show that year to enjoy delicious hot fries!! Mother said that was the summer she couldn’t keep potatoes or ketchup in the house. 🥔🥔

Thanksgiving/Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

The garden is empty now except for the sweet potatoes hiding underneath the dirt. After washing and baking them in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees I let them cool just long enough to pull off the potato peel without getting burned.  Then I sliced them, put a lot of butter slices on them and added brown sugar and a kiss of cinnamon. Because some people at the table don’t like nuts I only add them to half the baking dish. Cover with foil and baked until all is melted and warm. Perfect for any Thanksgiving dinner.

Summer Sandwiches/Pineapple, English Cheese and Fried Green Tomato

Last summer when I went to my son-in-laws’ family reunion,  I was never so surprised to see pineapple sandwiches. The white bread is cut to match the pineapple rings, and of course, since it’s the South, you spread mayonnaise or salad dressing on the bread. Don’t knock it till you try it because I was delightfully surprised.

Then on a trip to England several years ago my husband and I found in all the travel stops what we thought was pimento cheese. But it was without the pimento, just shredded cheese and mayonnaise mixed, then topped with thinly sliced tomatoes and sometimes a little lettuce. I was keeping foster children at the time and when I made it for them, they loved it. A lot of kids don’t like pimento so this is perfect. I called it an English cheese sandwich.

Now this next sandwich is perfect if you have ADHD like I do. When the tomatoes start growing  and you don’t want to wait any longer for them to turn red, just pull them, slice them thin and lightly roll them in flour with a little salt. Fry and drain. Use a good bread so it won’t fall apart while you’re eating it. Add bacon and lettuce. A fried green tomato sandwich! I love this one too.