Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
Exciting ways to use Produce
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My favorite visit to Conroe Farmers Market thus far

Saturday's visit to Market was very educational , creative , hands-on and engaging. In that order. Thanks in part to Pat from Peas Farm and Chef Michael Fleshner and his father. I understand their are photos on Facebook from the 'Pickle Shake' we did while learning to can pickles. Chef Michael's father was in his father's words" The first Dummy to learn how to can Pickles" from Pat. Several of us stood around laughing and watching as Michael's, father, shared his humor while learning something new. Pat started by having her students pick a pickle that suited their preferences. By the way, next week , Pat will be back in public school with a classroom full of 25 - 10 year olds. She commented that if she can teach Michael's father to can his pickles she will be ready for whatever the new school  year brings. After picking his cuke he was instructed to cut it in half, so it would fit into the mason jar. Then cutting each half lengthwise into eight spears stuff them into the mason jar. Take one Garlic clove chop it up and stuff it in around the spears. Add 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp of dill seed and a shot of white vinegar.Tighten the Ball lid on the jar and do the Pickle Shake. Open the lid and  top off with water. And every day for the next 5 days flip over the jar of marinating spears. Open on the sixth day and start enjoying.

And now the rest of the story: I had heard also if I waited ; Brandy, with Tupperware was going to do a Salsa using the equipment from her tent. So I stuck around for her demonstration. And then I was in a quandary. Did I want to take home a jar of pickles or a jar of salsa. I thought about it ; spoke openly with Chef Michael about my indecision. And here was his solution.  Go buy the jar from Pat. Put 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom and make the pickles on top of that and finish it with another 1/4 cup salsa. So now I had a plan. When I cut up my pickles though , I changed how I wanted to prep them. I sliced my cuke lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. I like pickles to lie flat on sandwiches. I also did not want dill seed so I skipped that step , waited till I returned home and added Fresh Tarragon. And finally added Balsamic vinegar to top off the ingredients in my pickle jar. The wife is not happy with the recipe I created for my pickles.I bought a jar of Baby dills for her at the supermarket this afternoon while grocery shopping.

My wife will start enjoying her store bought pickle, now. I have to wait till Friday. And you know what. I will do a blind taste test on Friday. We shall see who's pickle wins.

Baby Dill    or     Sliced infused salsa pickle     



Ate alone tonight

We arrived home from the days activities and the wife saw a neighbor outside , on her covered porch. "I have something to share with her. You make dinner I will see you soon", She said. We have been married over 25 years I should have known what to expect tonight. I made a wonderfully smelling Pork dinner. Sat down to wait. And read 3 chapters of 'Into the Wild' by John Krakauer. Ninety min. later I realized I will be eating alone.

So here's what I had waiting. Seasoned mash potatoes from the last of the Large baked potato. Quartered sliced Zucchini sauteed in Bacon pieces, with Green peppers. For a sauce I added Milk, Poppy seed dressing,rendered fat from corned beef drippings and brown gravy. This sauce was made from fridge cleanout containers. 2-3 oz of each item. And then to disguise its brown color I put it in a metal bowl with the Zuc and Bacon and melted Mozzarella cheese on top in a 350 F oven for 10 min. It was the highlight of the meal. Now, the Pork roast slices that have been marinating in old coffee and tarragon  for the last few days were my next challenge. So here's what I did, I put them in a hot saute pan , browned the three pieces on both sides. I then poured the coffee / tarragon marinade on top. Brought it to a simmer and added yellow Mustard, Tasted. It was bitter , so I added 1/4c Honey to balance the bitter and make it acceptable to my pallette. Covered it and waited; reading the three chapters, before realizing it was time to eat alone. When she wandered home I was writing this blog and she said, "It looks lovely , Honey"  I am not going to coax a remark from here about how it tasted. But , I was very pleased with the flavors from the meal I created.

Oh No! just a second, I just remembered the Garlic bread in the oven. Be right Back........ I am hollering down stairs to the wife...............OK , I am back. She said,"Don't worry, I do not smell anything, I'll take care of it"  Now I remember, I placed the bread in an off oven so it would warm while I was waiting for her. It may just be dried out. Wait till she finds out it was her Garlic bread from Little Ceaser's  Dinner was a bitter sweet adventure this evening 'cause I ate alone tonight


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