Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Or something like that. I don't have the energy to look up the lyrics. And most of y'all are probably too young to remember that song anyway.

It's hot here. Duh. June in Alabama. The tomatoes are coming along. I missed the first ripe ones, but nephew Zach, who was kind enough to house-and-pet-and-plant-sit while we were on vacation, sampled them and said they were good. It's not quite as traumatic as missing the baby's first steps. :) We've had a few off the Early Girl and one from the Celebrity, and I picked the first Cherokee Purple yesterday. It wasn't quite ripe, but I wanted to bring it in before the birds spotted it. I'll cut it today or tomorrow and see if the inside really does look like raw liver. The jalapeño plants are covered with peppers, and I've already made one batch of cornbread.

We added to the herb collection while on vacation, picking up a Kentucky Colonel mint and a tri-color sage. It's really too bad that I can't stomach bourbon (a bad experience in my misspent youth), but perhaps someone else would like a mint julep.

The bell pepper seedlings and cilantro plants are coming along. I'm keeping them in pots as my other peppers (except for the jalapeños) aren't doing too well in the yard. Just rescued the hot banana from the back bed and put it back in a pot; it's looking pretty pathetic. Zach's, OTOH, is doing great. He brought it with him when he came over to house-sit, and it has two big honkin' peppers on it. I should have taken a picture of his and pretended it was mine. Zach, you should post a pic at your place; you definitely get bragging rights.

The cats are enjoying the catnip and other herbs -- when they can bestir themselves to chew. I cut a bunch the other day, made pesto with the basil and stuck the rest in a vase.

I promise more politics soon. Cat and garden pictures and a recipe for jalapeño cornbread after the jump.

Cherokee Purple, Celebrity, and a couple of Early Girls, with Angel and Amelia in the background

Kentucky Colonel mint and tricolor sage

bell peppers and cilantro

pitiful banana pepper

Amelia imbibing catnip

lazy Angel

Angel with herb bouquet

Jalapeño Cornbread

3/4 c. self-rising cornmeal
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil (I use olive)
1/2 can cream corn (freeze the other half for your next batch)
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

Combine all ingredients. Spray small iron skillet with cooking spray and stick it in the oven while you preheat to 400°F. Pour batter into hot skillet and bake for 35 minutes. This will make 6-8 servings, depending on how you slice it. It's easy to double if you want to feed more people or have leftovers, which I'm told are quite tasty but tend to be spicier the longer they sit. I don't have an original source for this recipe; I got it from my mother-in-law, who is a wonderful cook, and adapted it for us. Enjoy!