Friday, June 13, 2008

Garden Fare

My mother, brother, and sister-in-law put in a vegetable garden this year. Mama has quite a few health problems, but Joey set chairs out at the ends of the rows when he realized that she was going to be in the garden so that she could rest and not overdo it. Mama has been sharing fresh vegetables with us.

Tonight I cooked stuffed zucchini and new potatoes with butter. For dessert we had banana nut muffins.

Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini (I actually used just one - a really, really large one)
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teasoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Halve the zucchini and put it in a baking dish...microwave not over 5 minutes. Scoop out the center, mash and set aside. Place zucchini boats in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook ground beef with onion until onion is translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms; stir and cook until the mushrooms cook down. Remove from heat. Drain off any excess fat; stir in mashed zucchini. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the zucchini boats; sprinkle with more grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Banana Nut Muffins

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spray 12 muffin cups with oil or grease them. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add bananas and vanilla; beat until smooth. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened; stir in chopped nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes. Cook for a few minutes, then turn muffins out onto rack to cook longer.

You can also bake these in the little muffin tins. They will cook 10 - 15 minutes. Be sure to watch them closely!

Earlier this week, Mama came over with enough yellow squash and onions to make pickles.

8 cups sliced squash (we use yellow squash, but you could also use zucchini)
2 cups onions, sliced in rings or chunks
3 tablespoons canning salt
1 cup jalepenos, quartered
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
mustard seed
celery seed

Combine squash and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt on top. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well, do not rinse.

Seed some of the jalepenos if desired to reduce the overall heat. Add to the squash and onions. Combine vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Put 1 teaspoon mustard seed and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed in each pint jar. (Remember you did not rinse the salt off the squash and onions so no need to add salt.)

Put the vegetables into the jars. Pour the boiling vinegar over, seal, process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

My photo of the day - my mother slipped on her front porch back in March and hit her head on the window facing. After a stroke then triple-bypass heart surgery back in the mid-90s, and two TIAs a couple of years ago, she is on blood thinners. And she did bleed!

We went to the movie one night. I let her out 'up front' and then parked the car. I walked up just as a young man held the door for her. He looked, did a double-take, then looked away. I said, "If you think she looks bad, you should see the guy she put in the hospital." Mama overheard and started laughing.

She now has a pretty ugly L-shaped scar over her left eye - a bit into the eyebrow. She tried the Mederma scar cover/healer stuff but was sensitive to it.


bingo~bonnie said...

oh goodness... your poor momma! Good thing she isn't a cat as she's running out of her nine lives! Looks like she is a good sport for letting you take a photo of her ;)

Funny about the comment you made at the movies :P

Oh, and wait until the scar has completly healed before using the Merderma. I used it on my stretch marks after my first baby for at least 4 or 5 tubes... and it WORKED! However after the twins last year, there was just no hope *sigh*

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Kathy said...

Oh I am sorry to read your mother has had a difficult time lately. She looks might happy though.
Your recipes sound delicious.

everythingquilts said...

Sorry about your mother. What a great spirit she is with that wonderful smile. Your stuffed zuchinni recipe made my mouth water just reading it. I'm adding this one the my recipe file, I'll make copies for both my girls too, they will love this!