Saturday, August 10, 2013

A day at the farm

You can't even begin to THINK about rockin' the kitchen without ingredients. FRESH ingredients. After being cooped up for a week a trip to the Amish farm was exactly what I needed. So armed with a brand new box of small trash bags I headed off to the wonderful pick-your-own farm, Hilltop Farms.

It's still too early for pick your own tomatoes, which is driving me nuts. I NEED canned tomatoes. An Italian chef is like Superman around kryptonite without his tomatoes. But the gypsy peppers are ready to pick, although not too many have changed to red, which is the best if you ask me, and they have plenty of other fresh vegetables to pick.

Of course I hit the pepper field first and loaded my first bag full with beautiful peppers. My chef will have his weekend the next two days and I know he is itching to make something Italian and I'm sure several peppers will make their way into his dishes. The rest I plan to chop and freeze for use all year long in the many wonderful dishes we make.

Juuuuust getting started !!

Wanna catch a girl's eye?? Plant a beautiful flower! Most people don't think of flowers in the vegetable garden, but of allllll the vegetable blossoms in the garden, some of which are quite delicious, I think the eggplant is the most beautiful. The delicate purple color is such a POP in a see of green leaves. Sadly, they tend to face downward so snapping a picture is not easy but I did it anyway.

And of course, this gorgeous flower led me to yet another one of my favorite vegetables that lends itself so well to the chef's Italian cooking style and my own very French cooking style, well.......I had to pick a bag. Thankfully only 3 fit in the bag! But if I can find a great canning recipe for eggplant, many more bags shall be picked!

Since this was my first full day of working around the house and running errands after being knocked down by illness for a week I tried to take it slow and easy. So I made my way over to the cucumber field just enjoying the views around the farm, the fresh air, the ancient little dog that greets visitors, the young and old in their Plain dress working so hard around the farm. I made one pass up a row and another pass down a row and bagged a full bag of small cucumbers, just the perfect size for a first batch of pickles anyway. I'm sure there will be more, pickles are pretty popular around here.

And so.........happy with my purchases I made my way home, with dreams of Eggplant Parmesan, stuffed peppers and bread and butter pickles dancing around my brain. It's a good day !!

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