A Memorial Day Menu from Glover Gardens

The Memorial Day forecast calls for rain in Southeast Texas, but that’s fine by me.  A rainy Monday Memorial holiday calls for sleeping late, a date with a good book, some barbecue in the afternoon and a war movie or two.  Whether or not you’ve got rain in your forecast, here are a few tried and true recipes that are just right for the Memorial Day table.

My Spicy-Sweet Honey Chipotle Pork Spareribs are cooked “low and slow” in the oven and then given a quick finish on the grill for that time-honored char. Give ’em a try!

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If you’re vegetarian, try the rub from the ribs recipe on grilled eggplant; my blogger friend at Pleasant Peasant Cuisine suggested that in a comment on my post about the ribs.  He used the rub on his Stuffed Squash Blossoms, which would be a great vegetarian main dish for Memorial Day or a lovely side.

stuffed squash blossoms
Photo credit to Pleasant Peasant Cuisine; these beautiful squash blossoms have been treated with the rub from my ribs recipe

What’s a barbecue without a slaw on the side? Here’s my slightly spicy Pepper Jelly Slaw recipe.

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Or you could opt for a Throw-Down Side: Quick and Easy Black Bean Salad.

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Serrano Ham and Corn Pudding is a great side for ribs (actually, I think it is a great side for anything, and it’s not even one of my original recipes).

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Why not finish off the meal with some great big cookies that are chock-full of cookie goodness?  You’ll like my Glover Gardens Comfort Cookies, and since they have nuts, oatmeal and dried fruit, too, they qualify as “healthy”.  That means you can eat more of ’em!

Cookies and Milk
No one can stop at just one Comfort Cookie

Happy Memorial Day! And no,  even though I’m blogging about the menu, I haven’t forgotten the reason we celebrate: those who gave their lives for our freedom.  In their memory, here’s a photo of our flag, taken at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. I love how prominently it is displayed there.

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

 

Tom’s Spicy Tomato Juice

In addition to his many BBQ accomplishments, the Grill-Meister makes a marvelous homemade tomato juice.  When we started growing tomatoes at Glover Gardens, he found a recipe online and then honed it over several summers, tweaking the spices, amounts and fresh peppers.  Here it is, hopefully in time for your summer tomato crop, or, if you don’t have a garden, those deep red beauties you’ll find at your local farmers’ market.

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This amped-up tomato juice doesn’t need anything but vodka and a squeeze of lime to make a perfect Bloody Mary. On the other hand, it’s so good, you don’t really need the vodka!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs fresh tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 serrano, cayenne or fresno pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (you guessed it, we use 4)
  • 1 TBSP kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 c water
  • freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • celery stalks (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Blanch tomatoes and remove skin and core (see pictures below for how-to instructions); cut into large chunks. Dice peppers and onion; mince garlic. Combine all ingredients in large pot; simmer for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes; puree in blender. Use medium sieve strainer to remove pulp from tomato juice (reserve the pulp to use as base for soup, salsa, guacamole, etc.) Cool in refrigerator for minimum of 3 hours. Serve chilled, garnishing with black pepper and a stalk of celery.

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Fresh ingredients make for a fresh, robust-tasting juice
Tomatoes on Scale
Start with 4 lbs of the juiciest tomatoes you can find
Tomato Blanched for Easy Peeling
Remove each tomato as soon as the peel splits
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You can see how the peels have separated from the flesh
Peeling is Easy
The peels slip right off
Core While in a Bowl
Core the tomatoes while in the bowl so you don’t lose a drop of that wonderful juice
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The vegetables are roughly chopped for cooking
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This is what the cooked mixture looks like
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The Ninja blender purees in about 10 seconds
Tom's Tomato Juice is Thick and Spicy
Tom’s Spicy Tomato Juice is thick and slightly chunky, almost like gazpacho (yum!) 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

A Nameless Poem in a World Full of Wonder

A friend of mine shared a poem he wrote on Facebook that speaks volumes in its simplicity. I’m sharing it here with his permission. I was itching to give it a title, and then realized that part of its beauty is that it nameless. It just iswhich is kind of the point.

I sit and ponder
Searching for answers
In a world full of wonder

Days come and go
Everything changes
Will we ever know

Days of joy and sadness
Peace and turmoil
Brilliant ones and those of darkness

How I miss some days
Thankful some are past
Nothing ever lasts

Cool summer breezes
Autumn chill
Gales of winter
Yet I cannot feel

Dusk approaches
Without fail
Hide if you must
To no avail

Prepare for the dark
And wait for the light
For surely it’s coming
Your soul will take flight

To sit and ponder
And search for answers
Robs you of joy
In this world full of wonder

The past is sadness
Yet it has gone
The future brings worries
It steals our song

Live for today
It is our present
It’s where we are

It’s where we have been
It’s where we are going
Live for now
And welcome not knowing

Thank you, Casey Sullivan, for voicing these feelings about the embracing the now in a world full of wonder.

As I was preparing this post, I saw a photo my son posted of a friend on Instagram, which he took just before finals week at the end of their freshman year at the University of Texas.  It is such a perfect match for Casey’s poem.  Looking at the picture, I can almost feel my son and his friend enjoying and absorbing the now of the near-dusk at Lake Travis in Austin, TX.

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Photo credit to Thomas W, with thanks to the model, the beautiful and smart Desiree

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook (except the poem and photo)

Jazz and Conversation for Your Listening Pleasure

Glover Gardens followers have by now realized that we have a millennial studying jazz composition in college.  Here’s another one of his originals, AustiNite, performed by the University of Texas at Austin’s extremely talented Spring 2017 Jazz Orchestra. It’s preceded by a cool interview about the tune and the creation process, all of which was used as part of a jazz appreciation course this semester.

Other Music from Our Prolific Millennial

Below is his newest digital album, And Then I Have Thoughts.

 

There’s more jazz and conversation in the posts below.  Stick around, there will be a lot more coming over the next few years.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, or Several Haiku

I saw this picture a few nights ago on a friend’s Instagram account, and then dreamed about it.  In my dream, I wrote various very simple haiku to accompany the photo.  It is so lovely, and almost begs its viewer to create a story around the female figure walking away from the camera.

What do you think when you look at the photo?

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Photo credits to AnaLisa G.

Perhaps she is simply on a stroll, daydreaming.

she strolls peacefully
framed by the oak canopy 
dreaming her future

Or is she walking away from something?

having decided,
she slowly left her old life
never looking back

Maybe she is walking toward something, or someone.

joyful beats her heart
this journey just beginning
there will be no end

What do you think? I will reveal the real story and the location in a day or two.

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook