Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Difficult Gardening but Easy Dinner

Growing a garden is one of the great things about spring and summer.  Mind you, it is not a minor accomplishment here in the woods.  6 years ago, this property was untouched woods.  That's great for the whole "nature" experience, not so good for growing a garden.  The first year we planted a garden, we were so naive.  We thought we were gonna throw some seeds in the ground and that something would actually grow.  Oh, it grew.  You know those little corn cobs you buy in the frozen section of the grocery?  That's how big our corn grew.  Our watermelons were the size of a softball, with a nice red center.  Tomatoes no bigger than a golf ball.  We had been hit with the dreaded blight.  So, every year for the past 5 years, we have searched out the best way of dealing with the hand we've been given.  We've tried countless natural fungicides for the blight, a variety of things for the squash vine borers that plague our zucchini year after year, nematodes for the mole crickets and we've given up trying to grow melons and corn.  Two books that are priceless: Jerry Baker's Backyard Problem Solver and a little spiral bound book put out by Clemson Extension.  They have helped me through many a problem.  This year we are trying Actinovate for the blight.  We are also trying RootZone, which is for helping your plant deal with drought or transplanting but has also been found to help with insects and disease.  At this point, nothing is too far out there to give a try.  I'm even putting organic dry milk on the garden! (The milk is supposed to make the ph so that the fungus can't grow?!?)  So far, I'm getting tomatoes, basil, peppers and cucumbers.  The squash vine borers have pretty much obliterated my squash but I haven't given up yet!

On to the point of this post, some time ago, we came up with a simple little dinner we love!  We have it weekly.  I've even eaten it for breakfast.  All you need is some flat bread, olive oil, basil, tomatoes and feta (or mozzarella).  The basil and tomatoes are in no short supply here in the woods right now.  I make my own flat bread, so as to have organic, and the flat bread recipe I use, courtesy of Foodnetwork.com, is awesome, easy and quick. Check it out here:


You can probably figure out how this goes, but just in case, this is how we put it together.  First, put a little olive oil on your flat bread.  I then sprinkle on a little garlic powder but this is optional.  Next, lay out your tomatoes.  You can either thinly slice or chop, though it is easier to eat if chopped.  I sprinkle a little sea salt on the tomatoes.  Next lay on your basil, again whole or chopped but easier to eat chopped.  (After pulling off whole tomato slices and whole basil leaves in one bite, I began chopping!)  Now sprinkle on your feta chunks or grated mozzarella and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.   Isn't that easy?  My kids, who swear up and down they don't like fresh tomatoes, eat them on this.  Try it...it will be your new "go to meal" too!

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