Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things I have learned

If you look right in the middle of the above picture you will see a tomato plant surrounded by some very healthy parsley. It's a Big Boy and is doing quite well just outside my kitchen door. I was thinking about moving it out to the front where it would get more sun, but right now it is cooler in the back and although it is mostly shade, the tomato does get alot of afternoon sun. For now, I will leave well enough alone and see how it goes.

I want to send along a big thank you to Kate & Crew at Gardening Without Skills for a mention on her site for the Annie's Granny at Granny's Kitchen Garden Kreativ Blogger award. I cannot convey how thrilled that makes me. Especially since, compared with other bloggers, I'm a true greenhorn (that is Ol' Salt speak for newbie). It really is an honor. Thanks, Kate. It certainly is an incentive to devote more time to writing more often and to improve.
Now, on to the garden - or what's left of it. In this Florida heat (heat index was 107 degrees on my ride home Friday) most everything that is in direct sun is baked. But I do consider this small attempt to grow my own as a huge success!
I got several very nice and tastey tomatoes (at least the ones I could rescue from the black birds who took a liking to them - just the ripe ones though, not the green ones). I'm thinking mosquitoe netting next time. There are still a couple of hanger-ons even though the plants themselves are spent.
The carrots, even though I need to take a much heavier hand at thinning (either that or figure out how to sow fewer seeds in a row!) are excellent. Very sweet with a kind of spicey underflavor. I've added them to everything I can think of from pasta salad to cupcakes and meatloaf.

The pole beans also got a thumbs up from everyone. There just weren't enough plants to sustain us for the summer - we ate everything I picked pretty much as soon as I picked them. Definitely need more pots of them in the second planting.
I did learn a lesson from the summer squash and zucchini, however. One is not to plant them together. Each needs their own space. And that's second, much more space. I did find some long,
Rubbermaid containers that would be perfect.
Hmmm, this might just work out after all. Nothing ventured, nothing gained I always say. Okay, I don't ALWAYS say that but I do sometimes.
I am always searching the blogs I visit for new recipes. One that I haven't found yet is:

Stuffed Meatloaf.

How does one stuff a meatloaf you ask?

Just like this:

Most everyone has their own favorite meatloaf recipe. Mine usually consists of 2 lbs. of ground beef plus a pound of ground pork, 2 good handfulls of bread crumbs, one egg, a diced Vadalia onion, a cup or so of barbeque sauce, salt and pepper.

If I'm not going to stuff it I will add 1 shredded carrot, 1/2 a diced red pepper, diced celery, and some minced garlic.

I like to use Panko breadcrumbs. But if I don't have those, I have also used homemade crumbs from my own bread.

Two good handfulls of bread crumbs is enough. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Next, you want to flatten the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap or parshment paper.

If I am using broccoli, I usually par boil it until almost soft and let it cool some before spreading it evenly on top of the meatloaf mixture.

Then cover the broccoli with the cheese. I used sharp cheddar on this one, but I have also used Provolone and mozzerella too.
You can also use spinach or green beans inside too. You are only limited by your imagination here.

The next step is rolling the thing up. It's very much like rolling up a jelly roll. Starting at one of the narrow ends roll it up, pressing the veggie/cheese as you go, and put in pan with seam side down.
I smear more barbeque sauce over the top, then cover with bacon.
You can tell this isn't exactly a Weight Watcher's recipe, huh!
Then bake it in a 350 degree oven for 1 hr.
I usually put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bacon. Looks pretty yummy doesn't it!
Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy. (I know this one doesn't have gravy on it because that is the one ingredient I usually forget so we end up just putting butter on the potatoes). This makes enough for dinner, plus lunch or leftovers for the next day.
And that is how you stuff a meatloaf!
Tomorrow we're off to our favorite spot, Ft. DeSoto. It is a beautiful state park that has the only beach in the area just for dogs. We like to go there because we (Me, the Ol' Salt, and Dixie Belle) can all go swimming together. Will come back with pictures!
Til then, take care. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)

1 comment:

Kate and Crew said...'re welcome! I'm just catching up on my blog reading. My oldest son was sick (nothing major, just a crumby cold) so I haven't had the chance to peruse the blogs this past week. I did sneak over here last week to see a big pic of your dog in the sand, which was great! I wish we had a dog beach here...