23 May 2008

Garden Goodness

Today I traveled to Midway with my grandparents and our first stop was my Uncle Reed's. Two summer ago, my Aunt Beth passed away and Uncle Reed invited my grandfather and me back to his place for dinner. That night, we went into his garden and picked our dinner. He has an EXTENSIVE garden and whatever I said I wanted was what we picked and then my Aunt Betty Ann cooked it. Since then, Uncle Reed and I have had a common bond over his garden. Last summer, I canned pickles, salsa and jelly for the first time on my own with only ingredients from his garden. This winter, Uncle Reed came to my house and saw my own garden and he was mighty impressed. So, back around to Friday, we went to Uncle Reed's and the first thing he asked was if we were having dinner there. OF COURSE! I exclaimed knowing what was ahead. So we went out in his garden and he
showed me what all he was growing this year. We ended up picking fresh pinto beans, potato, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, peppers, onions, cilantro, dill and garlic. We had bought 9 chicken breasts at the store because we were expecting nine people for dinner. Once we start cooking, Uncle Reed decided to only cook three chicken breasts and I was for sure it wasn't gonna be enough. Once we started filling up the table, I realized that we had MORE than enough food. Everything was simple and SO fresh, it was amazing. Hands down, my two best meals I've ever eaten have been at my Uncle Reed's. Here's what was on the menu:

Ice Cold Cucumber Salad

Slice cucumbers into 1/2" rounds. French a large white onion. Add lots of fresh dill. Pour equal parts of white vinegar and red wine vinegar over cucumbers (for about 4 cups cucumbers, use about 1 cup). Add ice cubes and chill in refrigerator. Taste mixture once ice melts, it should have a twang but not too much of a bite. Add either more water or more vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. This will get better the longer it sits!

Boiled Potatoes w/ Dill and Butter

I quartered red potatoes and put in boiling water til fork tender. Drain, add butter, and fresh dill.

Fresh Pinto Beans
Shell beans and place in pot with four cloves chopped garlic. Boil until tender. Serve with onion, cilantro, and pepper garnish.

Grilled Chicken, Zucchini, Squash and Onions
Slice onions, zucchini, squash and cut chicken into bite size pieces. Cook on the grill with olive oil, salt, pepper and grub rub (my new favorite seasoning!). Cook until chicken is done and vegetables are soft.

Serve with good company and nothing can beat this meal!!!

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