June 13, 2011
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
I will never eat a soggy tomato sandwich! Southerners, I believe, must have invented the summer tomato sandwich...they can eloquently describe the art of "building" this delicacy..taking the fresh-from-the-vine fat red tomato, perfectly sliced and sandwiched between two pieces of mayonnaise-slathered (Mother's favorite word) white bread! If you grew up South of the Mason-Dixon line, you certainly must be able to whip up the finest pimiento cheese, serve up the most beautiful and divine pound cake and will always be found to have a gorgeous pitcher of sweet iced tea in the fridge! This was my mother's kitchen..in the summer months in Mississippi!
A Maine House Mosaic
A few lessons learned from Miss Helen were taught to me from the Jackson Junior League cookbook.... such as, sandwiches should always be cut in half diagonally because they just taste better that way, set the table every evening by 5:00 P.M., forks to the left, knives to the right, and sit still during supper with shoulders back and straight, speaking softly and politely while making interesting conversation!"
Perhaps Mother and Grandmother knew a secret all along...the family dinner involved storytelling and laughter as we prepared the meal! My children grew up much like I did with the delicious joy of sitting at the table and talking. I sometimes think the most important part of the meal is not the food that's being served, but the stories being told!
Summer's Sweet Tea
I miss these times. It is now just Darling and I.....at The Maine House. Yes, we can launch into lively debates....the two of us.....but....we then fall silent as we remember summer trips to The Farmer's Market and conversations with family as we snapped green beans, peeled the peaches and husked the sweet corn! Mississippi Summers....I cry because it's over, yet........ I smile because it happened!
Estelle's Summer Strawberry Iced Tea
1/3 cup instant tea
5 cups water
1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (16 ounce) package sliced strawberries, thawed and pureed
1 (12 ounce) can ginger ale
In a large pitcher, combine the tea, water, lemonade and pureed strawberries. Add the ginger ale and stil well. Chill and serve over ice.
In the South, the only thing that grows faster than kudzu is zucchini.
This is a great recipe for the summer fresh zucchini you just purchased!
Estelle's Cheesy Baked Zucchini
2 lb.s zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 T. butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish. Place the zucchini and onion with enough water to cover the veggies in a saucepan and slow boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and place in the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, green chilies, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spread over the zucchini. In another small bowl, combine the Ritz cracker crumbs and Parmesean cheese. Sprinkle the cracker mixture on top of the casserole and dot with butter. Bake for 25 minutes.