Sunday, August 21, 2011

In the Kitchen This Weekend

Most days I hate spending time in the kitchen, because usually I'm just standing there, peering into a cabinet, wondering what the heck I'm going to cook for dinner.

Other times, I love being in the kitchen, generally when I have something I want to cook, or like especially this time of the year when the crops are coming in and I'm doing perserving for the winter.

We didn't raise any okra in our garden this year...not sure why, since we love it so much.  Luckily one of John's buddies raises a big enough garden to feed an army, and tells John (and everyone else he knows) to come help their self to all they want.
The guy just enjoys gardening, and does it a on very large scale. He gives so much and helps alot of people that wouldn't be able to afford such a bounty of fresh veggies.

So after J got off duty yesterday morning, he went and spent a couple of hours picking okra.

At home, I washed it and cut it up, fried up a batch for lunch, and bagged the rest for the freezer.

My Grannie and Mom always cooked the best fried okra. I never tried because I thought it would be too hard, and I'm not about doing anything too hard.

Then I ran across the neatest site,
The site is ran by Christy Jordan, a real southern gem from Alabama.  She tells some of the most wonderful stories that brings back so many good and special memories for me, and then she gives the real, authentic recipes of dishes I remember as a kid, but didn't know how to fix myself.

She not only gives the recipe, but fixes it herself, taking pictures step-by-step and posts them so you can follow along one step at a time if necessary (and it is necessary for me).
 Fried Okra

Along with the okra, I breaded a boneless pork chop with some Morton's crusting stuff I got cheap with a coupon deal one time. Baked it at 350* for 20 mins on one side, then flipped and baked another 20mins. It was juicy and delish.

I fixed 12 quarts (pounds) to put in the freezer.

I didn't know the actual fill size of a quart, so I used my little kitchen scale to measure a pound's worth in each.

So while I was pecking around at the site (I had to look up the okra recipe again, on account of my memory being so bad, and I couldn't find the recipe I had previously printed out), I found a couple of other interesting looking recipes.

One was Tomato Mozzarella Melts.

These were made with Roma tomatoes, but we had picked a bunch of Cherry tomatoes yesterday and I thought, I bet those would be neat to use with this recipe, like little snacker-popper things.

John liked them, and got me to print the recipe so they could make them at work since they have a profusion of Cherry tomatoes growing there, too.

And then I found she had posted a recipe for Yoo-Hoo Ice Cream, or like Wendy's Frostys.

We love Frostys a lot, and boy, if I could make them at home, I'd be all kinds a favorite Momma.

I read the comments (because I always read comments) and per some other reader suggestions, I substituted one of the cans of condensed milk with a bowl of cool whip instead.

We ran the ice cream maker for an hour and a half or maybe even two hours, and they came out the consistancy of a not-very-thick milk shake, so I'm not sure if that was the way it was supposed to be or not.

At any rate, they were very good, the kids loved them.
It was alot of effort to fix and run the ice cream machine, but we have one of those little Play and Make ice cream making balls, so we can make smaller batches at a time next time.

Edited to add:  J put the rest of the Yoo-Hoo ice cream that we didn't drink into the freezer, and when we got it out for some more later it had froze more solid, into a sherbet-like consistancy. More icy-crystal-ly than smooth, like Frosty's.  But it was still really good. Num num num num. 

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