Shrimp and Sausage Gumboļ»æ

Joy McRoberts Limbach grew the hot peppers in her little Ohio garden. The big red tomato came from Judy Spicer’s tomato plant in Circleville. The garlic came from Evie Barnard in Kentucky and the okra came from Heather’s neighbor in Chickamauga, Georgia. The little tomatoes came from Heather’s tomato plants that grow well in the large whiskey barrels she has by her back porch. Put all these together then cut and cook the fresh vegetables in chicken broth and add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for taste. Make it as hot as you likešŸŒ¶. Serve over hot rice. This makes scrumptious Gumbo.

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. Ā 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.

IMG_9098

Sharing Merida, Spain

How did the Romans know how to build bridges to last so long? Ā 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!

 

IMG_9078

IMG_9090.JPG

IMG_9089.JPG

IMG_9088

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!

IMG_9085.JPG

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. Ā 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, Ā carrots, onions and sprinkled with seasoned salt. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and it’s done, ready to serve on a plate.

IMG_8870

 

 

 

Artichokes/yes, they are good to eat!ļ»æ

IMG_7767

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.

IMG_8292.JPG

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. šŸ„”šŸ„”

Thanksgiving/Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ā 

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. Ā 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.