Thursday, August 5, 2010

Garden Fresh Inspiration and mini Soutapalooza...

So my garden is really producing a LOT of food.  My tomatoes are abundant and bursting with flavor!  I've been giving away about a pound of tomatoes per day.  When I came home from work yesterday, my neighbor Brenda had made some salsa with the tomatoes that I had given her the day before.  It was delicious!  That evening my cousin Tim, who is visiting from Switzerland and is on his way to Japan for the next two years, came over for a night of beer tasting (more on that later) and good food.  He brought over a pot of red beans that he had made with andouille sausage and beans from Louisiana.   I put some rice in the cooker and we feasted on red beans and rice topped with fresh garden salsa.  I was extremely close to food coma.

Brenda had explained how she made the salsa and how easy it was to make, so tonight I decided to give it a go.  I picked up some cilantro and a lime from the grocery store and proceeded to make my version of salsa.  It went a lot like this:  Chop a bunch of Roma tomatoes, finely dice any peppers that I had pulled from the garden (only 1 jalapeño, 2 green peppers and 2 of another kind that I don't know the name of), finely dice a small onion from the garden, squeeze the juice of one lime, coarse chop the cilantro, a dash of vinegar and olive oil, add some sea salt and pepper and stir.  I tasted it right away and it was good.

We had plans for dinner with our other neighbors, the Fielders, and I brought the salsa and some El Matador tortilla chips (The best chips ever!) over to their house for us to enjoy.  I was pleasantly surprised when I took another bite and the flavor had gotten even better!  Everyone loved it and I was forced to leave the leftovers for our friends to enjoy.  Good thing I've got more veggies growing.  Next year I think I'll do a salsa garden with different kinds of tomatoes (think heirloom varieties), assorted peppers, cilantro, onions, etc...  That would make for an interesting summer.

Back to the beer tasting.  My cousin Tim and I are both beer connoisseurs and every time he comes to visit we make a journey to Founders Brewing so Tim can experience what the West Michigan beer scene is all about.  Sunday night we did just that.  After enjoying their new IPA, Endurance Ale and a few Bourbon Apple Cream Ales, we were ready to get some food.  Unfortunately, there isn't much open late on a Sunday night.  We ended up at Steak and Shake for a Guacamole Burger and fries.  

Last night, along with our red beans and rice, we whipped together a mini Stoutapalooza.  The original Stoutapalooza happened over three days this past December.  We tasted about 55 beers over the course and it was an amazing experience.  Last night I tasted my first World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head brewing.  It was full of flavor and has definitely landed in my top 10 favorite beers.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and at 18% it really hit home! I knew it was good when I started having trouble seeing the ball on Wii baseball.  What a successful and wonderful evening.

Note:  My new camera should arrive tomorrow!!!  Then I can take pictures of all the good things I eat and drink.  Also, coming up next week, we'll be in North Carolina visiting family so look for some good stories to come.


  1. First of all, totally garden jealous. I keep telling Jeremiah that when (if) we move back to the Midwest, I want a garden. and goats. and chickens.

    Also, where in Switzerland? I went there while in high school and loved it.

    p.s. Did boyfriend tell you my dad has a 21 window deluxe? Blue with the folding doors, not the slide-y door.

  2. I grew up on a hobby farm and we had goats, donkeys, chickens, etc... I would recommend starting with the garden and keeping it simple. The goat are a lot of work. You may want to stick with dogs. :)

    I'm pretty sure my cousin is in Basel. He took a teaching job in Japan so he is on his way there for the next two years.

    Jeremiah mentioned your Dad's bus. Way cool! From the picture that you put up today, he looks like a bus type guy. Is he planning on restoring it?

  3. Yeah, Jeremiah has told me stories about his farm life...I'd be willing to negotiate with him - no donkeys but horses instead! We'll see.

    Your cousin is l.u.c.k.y.

    Totally the bus type, my dad. I don't think he is going to restore. It sounds like he wants to sell. :(