It's so hot even our chicken, Belle, is panting. The thermometer in the pool reads 90 degrees....like bath water.....certainly not cooling off water. The outside temperature Sunday read 105 degrees. Thanks goodness the humidity was down or it would have been unbearable. Nothing you can do about it but talk about it.
Nothing special to blog about today so I just thought I would just complain about the weather and skip around here and there with a bit of what's happening here on the farmette. We had some friends over for what we thought would be a little pool party but, as I mentioned, it was just to darn hot to even go outside. We stayed indoors, played cards and chatted. My tomatoes aren't doing worth a toot this summer but my friend brought me tons from her garden and they were gorgeous. What to do with a bounty of tomatoes? I know you are asking yourself this question this summer. For starters I made a wonderful homemade guacamole that is just out of this world. My daughter-in-love taught me this recipe and it includes tomatoes. The dip gets kind of pricey for us because avocados aren't cheap but maybe you are lucky enough to have your own tree. I don't like the avocados to be too soft or too hard....but just yield slightly to pressure. I chop them up and mash with a fork, leaving some chunky bits. Add lemon or lime juice, fresh chopped garlic, pepper and lots of salt to taste. We like it with a kick so I had some hot pepper sauce or hot salsa to it. Mix thoroughly. To that, fold in some finely chopped red onion and seeded tomatoes and serve with a good tortilla chip...... yummo! and some cold, refreshing margaritas, made with fresh limes. A cute addition to the drink is a straw with one of those lime green jelly leaves on it. Makes a great little mixer and you get to eat it too. ( I know ....don't tell me....I used martini glasses for the Margaritas.....why? because I like the shape better :)
Before squeezing your limes, here is a quick tip that makes it a million times easier. Pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds, wait a few minutes for them to cool and then squeeze. You get so much more juice that way. I found this charming vintage glass juicer on my "treasure hunts" not too long ago and wanted to try it out. It's hand painted and so cute for a retro kitchen with the little cherries on it. Worked like a charm too. It's available here in my shop.
For our dinner I served another "think cool" recipe and it's another great use for all your 'maters. Simply cut your tomatoes up into small chunks, seeded. For two people, you need about 1/2 pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined. I had extra large shrimp so I cut them up. After prepping the shrimp, season them lightly with salt and a generous amount of pepper and set aside in the fridge. Heat some olive oil in a saute pan over med. high heat. Add the shrimp and let brown on one side 2-3 minutes, turn over and brown the other side. Add the tomatoes and season again with a light sprinkling of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until they break down and thicken, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in some (I like a lot) feta cheese and fresh thinly sliced basil leaves. I like to serve over brown rice. Add some biscuits and you have a great meal. Remember the fresh blackberries I said I was looking for in a previous post? Well..... I found them at the flea market. This guy was selling them, freshly picked from his property. They were huge and so sweet. I made a cobbler out of them for our dessert. Talk about a good summertime meal!
I love crepe myrtles. Do you have them in your part of the country? Around here the new type start blooming in late Spring. Mine are the old fashioned variety that don't bloom until the first of July, adding a pop of color in your yard. Mine are called "watermelon reds". A couple of years ago, we redid the pool and the surrounding garden. There were three small myrtles that ran across the retaining walls. The pool diggers dug them up with the little Bobcat and we put the root balls in the lake, hoping to keep them alive for replanting. And they stayed there for two months. Replanting them in early summer they lost all their leaves and I really thought we had done a crepe murder. But the following year they put out some leaves and had a few scraggly blooms. But this year they have returned with a vengeance and are just beautiful. And for that I am grateful. I love the hot pink against the cool aqua water.
This year, for fun, I planted some candy stripe zinnias. I love zinnias because they can take the heat and don't wilt and make everlasting cut flowers. Aren't the stripes fun? See the bee? I also caught a photo of a little butterfly enjoying the butterfly bush. That bush was a volunteer this year and has grown 3 feet tall with beautiful purple blossoms. I love freebies.
When Boo was here we went blue berry picking. The blueberries were spectacular this year and it didn't take long for us to pick a big bucket full. We made blue berry pancakes, blueberry yogurt parfaits and blueberry cupcakes. Have you tried making cupcakes in flat bottomed ice cream ones? It works great and you just eat the whole thing. The kids love them. Boo frosted the cupcakes all by herself after Grandmama' taught her the fine art of "swirling".
Out of the mouths of babes....... On their return trip home, while sitting in the airport and after having said our goodbyes (sniff sniff), Boo turned to her Dad and said "there sure is a lot of love in this place". She had been observing all the happy hello's and tearful goodbyes at the departure gate. That's it for today. I will see you Friday for the French Cupboard's Blog Altered Art Party. xoxo