Cooking Classes


Okra and tin foil...who woulda thunk?

After a week in Tennessee, I have not had any ultimate foodie experiences yet.  The closest was finding veal demi-glace at Williams Sonoma.  It was $29.  Not inexpensive but I will probably pick some up before I leave for Canada.  I would never use a whole jar while I am here and it must be refrigerated once opened.
I am also living next town to the home of “tin foil”, the city of Alcoa, Aluminum Company of America.
A neighbour lady, Ersa, gave me a handful of sweet banana peppers and one hot banana pepper from her garden.  She had spent her day frying okra in grease and freezing them for use later.  The okra plant is about 2 ½ feet tall and provides a large crop.  I can’t imagine freezing 20 quarts of okra.
 She also told me how to make fried green tomatoes.  They are dusted with cornmeal before frying in grease.  I hate that word ‘grease’ but that’s what they call it.
 The little garden at my house has several herbs, tomatoes, green onions, hot and sweet peppers, canteloupe, eggplant, cucumber and a variety of squash.  Today I am drying hot chilis and picked squash for a nice arrangement in a dish.
 The fresh produce I have found at green grocers is quite expensive and there isn’t a great selection.  I have found corn, all types of potatoes and sweet potatoes, greasy beans (they looked like ordinary beans but a more purple striated colour and tough), tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cabbage and the usual root vegetables and squashes.  Peaches are also available.  
Perhaps there will be more interesting food at the farmer’s market on Saturday.

I bought andouille sausage. It is a typical Creole hot sausage.  I made a simple dinner of diced andouille browned in a skillet, added cooked red beans and cooked white rice along with a diced tomato from the garden.  
Simply divine!  So healthy and satisfying.   The andouille tasted a cross between chorizo and farmer’s sausage.
 I also found Amish butter.  Yum!  I haven’t tried it yet either.  I can hardly wait.  

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