Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Guest Post -- Week 2 -- Epic Reunion

Well, it is week two of a reunion of three old friends.  East and west meeting in the centre (pretty much).  We have spent the last 10 days or so laughing, talking, catching up on things that have happened in our lives.  It's been 38 years since we have been together in the same room, so some of the details might have been left out.  We have also been picking vegetables, weeding and gaining some insight into what life is like on a farm.  It's a lot of hard work.  Especially when the summer has been as dry as this year summer has been.

The best part of these two weeks of reuniting - besides just hanging out with dear friends - is the experience of eating what we pick.  Fresh greens, fresh tomatoes (of course), beets, peppers, onions - you name it, we're pretty much eating it.  For me, a meat-eater, eating "vegan" has been a new experience.  And surprisingly, a very nice experience and one I hope to incorporate into part of my meal routine when I get back home.

Linda has a number of CSA customers and part of what we have done this week and last, is help her  prepare the CSA baskets.  This week's bounty included: tomatoes, hot & sweet peppers, edamame beans, carrots/okra, Malabar & New Zealand spinach, garlic, summer squash, radishes, basil, parsley, sage, celery and ground cherries.  A veritable feast for the taste buds.

Last evening she hosted a garden tour for her customers. The long-awaited rain came and went.  (It wasn't nearly enough.)  The sun came out and we were treated to a sunny, lovely evening.  Afterwards, we gathered to chat and snack on dips and crackers.

Below are three of my recipes, two from last evening and one, a family favourite, which also happens to be a Hungarian recipe.

Basil Lemonade                                    

1/2 cup rinsed, lightly packed fresh basil
3 TBSP sugar
4 cups water
Juice of one lemon
Lemon slices

Combine basil and sugar in a small dish.  With a wooden spoon, crush the leaves with the sugar until "bruised" or pasty.
Mix lemon juice and water in a pitcher, add the basil-sugar mixture.  Stir well.  Let sit to fully infuse. Pour through a strainer into glass or another pitcher.
You may wish to add lemon slices to the pitcher or glasses while serving.  Serve chilled.


This is a tried and true family favourite in our house and I am sure in the houses of many Hungarian families.  It is versatile as you na service it over rice, mashed potatoes, or mixed with eggs as part of a breakfast meal.  You can service it without meat, with bacon or with tofu as we have been having this week.  (A spicy, firm tofu works best if that is the route you choose.)

Tomatoes, sliced / diced (which ever is easiest)
Sweet peppers (pale yellow ones works best)  sliced length-wise, seeds removed
Onions, sliced lengthwise
Hungarian paprika (Sweet, smoked or hot - whichever you prefer)
1 TBSP Olive Oil

Saute the onions in oil.  Throw in the tomatoes and peppers, saute until slightly softened.

That's it.

If you choose it for  breakfast meal, you can break and egg or two into it just before it is done.

Beet Hummus

2 cups of cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup of cooked, diced beets (white), drained
lime juice & lemon juice (about 1/4 cup of each)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dijon mustard (or honey mustard
2 tsp tahini (or to taste)
sea salt & pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a blender and process until the texture is smooth.

This hummus has only a mild beet flavour and was well-received by those who tried it.

** This recipe was modified because we didn't have all the ingredients the recipe called for, so you'll want to season to your own taste.


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