Those fresh from the garden vegetables combined to make a memorable meal.
My mom grew up living near her maternal grandparents. As their oldest grandchild, she was spoiled, but in a very good way. She was spoiled by her grandparents always having a LARGE summer garden. She talked about the great, simple, fresh garden meals she ate as a child.
I was exposed to some of them as her grandmother, my great grandmother, was alive until I was 15. My great grandmom had some type of garden every summer; although toward the end of her life it was just containers of green beans on her front porch due to having arthritis in her knees. Early in my life, I got to “help” with canning green beans, that means I HAD to have a cutting board and butter knife to snap beans when I was 5 years old. Grandmom canned every summer: beans, tomatoes, apples, peaches, fig preserves, pear preserves… if she grew it in her yard or garden, it was preserved for later use. We won’t even get into the dozens of ears of corn that were blanched, cut off the cob and frozen. She was an excellent cook and I think some of my love of cooking came from her.
Summer meals always revolved around what was being harvested from the garden. Cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, beans were almost daily foods in the summer.
I have always loved fried okra and squash, but becoming gluten free threw me a curve ball until….. I found Pamela’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix. Now I just roll the cut squash and/or okra in Pamela’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix, fry in some vegetable oil and I am smiling little girl memory smiles.
My great grandmom fixed the BEST green beans ever!! She said her secret was adding a little sugar, as well as salt and pepper, to the green beans that she cooked in her pressure cooker. Well, I have tried to follow her verbal instructions, as nothing was written down, and my mom says I have nailed the taste. Woohoo!! These are some mighty fine tasting green beans.
Of course, mom’s favorite meal is not complete unless we have the red, vine ripened tomato and an ear of that golden sweet corn. (We had already eaten all of the cucumbers or they would be on the plate also).
This is a great, delicious, memory inspiring summer meal. Only items needed are a glass of sweet tea and family members gathered around the table.