Pegs Kitchen. The Taste of Summer.

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When the seasons change so do the taste buds. The tree’s grow their offerings and gardens get planted and fruit is the way to go. Trying to “shop seasonally” is much harder done than said since this day and age everything is accessible all year round in this country and prices are basically the same as well in large grocery stores, with some sales and exceptions. To even know what is “seasonal” anymore is not to judge by what is in the produce section of the local grocery store. But to know what is seasonal in your region, as the saying goes ‘ It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere’ so does the produce grow.
However the heat of the summer season has ones tastes buds craving a lighter crisp and cooler taste over the heavy cravings we want during our winter months. The thought of fruits, berries, colorful salads and plates of lemon peppered fish are more the way one might lean. Changing my dish, cooking ideas, and my shopping searches, farmers market visits and more are all a part of the seasonal and kitchen fun for me. Cooking for me as an activity, not a chore, and shopping for good ingredients, when I can, is the same. Even where I travel to at the moment plays a role (Florida being all about the Cuban foods and shopping at all of the places they show in the movie Chef.)
Another fun part about seasonal change and the foods that come with it are the different colors to enjoy.

 

I am always down for a good salad and when at home I especially enjoy making various salads full of all kinds of whatever I throw in. I enjoy making sure I have fats, proteins, omegas, anti-oxidants and other nutrition, though. It’s not all just about being pretty. But with being healthy is also being tasty.

 

One thing that is always a bit of an abundant difference in the grocery stores is perhaps the berries. It is also a delight. Now, I still prefer farmers market or home grown but ether way there is that special something that says “Summer Is Here!” when you first spot the berries at the grocery store…or the farmers market…or on the vine.

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And the bottom line is the fact that I love my Colorful Kitchen, not just the decor and dishes, but also of the foods.

Pegs Kitchen & Picnic Sandwiches.

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Picnic season had me looking up pinterest…then getting hangry…then looking up more Pinterest while eating, making an entire new board for picnic food ideas. I am sure this was while I was really supposed to be working on something else.

Now I will say that a few things have been decided through this summer. For this topic of picnic foods, if you plan to hike, etc in this super heat of summer then bread-y things are NOT as good out there as the idea while making them them in the a/c of your home is. So two different types of picnics can be planned. One of which you leave your nice cooled air conditioned home to your nice air conditioned car and then a blanket under a shady tree with basically a nap or a book afterwards plan. Or the cool weather picnics of any season other than summer plan, so three types because the third type is a picnic of non-bread-y ideas, cheeses, nuts, fruits and meats kind of thing.

But in my experimenting I had found this one yummy sandwich idea that coincided with Joe’s mentions of loving the meats involved and I thought I would make a yummy Joe’s Meat lovers picnic sandwich.

We did not end up taking this into the heat of southern Summer but rather ate it in the comfort of our home while watching movies of other people having summer picnics.

I personally am not the biggest fan of pesto. I love it but in very light amounts. Also I only enjoy it fresh but not having a food processor and being on the easy-breezy side I chose to try it out with a ready-made. My mistakes #1. So my change to this would be for sure lighter on the pesto or rather a red roasted pepper spread for my next try. I would also like to try a more flavorful and even firmer cheese as the recipe called for, not sure why I went this soft cheese direction and though it worked and was very good, next time I will try something else. This go around was done by this recipe (perhaps not by amount of however as a small amount of pesto was not about to cover this much bread) and it tasted incredible and Joe loved it with no changes at all. He even took some to the DMV for the nice lady he finally ended up dealing with (on his fifth visit and an entire other location.)

I do highly recommend this sandwich (recipe I used found here) for the picnic idea though, even in a warm summer picnic without the hike. And it would be a pretty good party sandwich as well. But it was fun to make. Super easy. It seemed pricey (the meats) but it gave us days of lunches (even Joe who eats a ton) and I learned that it freezes well (I tested one piece worth) plus it is really pretty. Also I am proud of a pinterest first being a Win!

What are some of your favorite picnic food?

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Book stack coming in handy as a sandwich press =)

Pegs Kitchen. The Fruits of Summer.

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Summer time and fruit just go hand in hand. All of a sudden the cravings of hot soups and chilli’s turn toward crisp salads and thirst quenching fruits.

The time of year also brings back memories of my Uncle who brought flats of home grown strawberrys the size of my fist to family gatherings and that first sweet taste of a strawberry each year.

My parents were not garden people and though I tried a few summers to turn a patch of dusty dirt into something that would grow as a kid I was usually over the projects before I had cleared the grass. The year I learned that manure was good for the soil was an interesting one of gathering manure from my horses and spreading it through the yard.

As an adult I moved or have been busy or the excuse of renting and my feeble too few attempts of home growth have never taken off. I still have dreams but my pinterest garden is far more cultivated than my realistic one.

Regardless it is the season of large melons, new colors that delight the eye and tastes fresh once again to the palate.

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Pegs Kitchen. Many stories come from the kitchen.

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I love spending time in the kitchen and have since I was a kiddo. Back when I was seven, I thought cooking for my large family standing on a stool next to my mom was a cool thing. In my teens I thought cooking for my even then bigger family and pealing ten pound bags of potatoes about three times a week was more like those Popeye cartoons when being in the Navy meant pealing piles and piles of never ending potatoes.
But I did keep holding onto my enjoyment of cooking.

I went to New York City at a very early…and broke…age. I lived in a models apartment and went one of the trips with only $40 bucks in my pocket. $40 in Manhattan does not get you very far. I remember my first grocery shopping trip and seeing that the cheapest bell pepper cost $3, this was back nearly twenty years ago (which having just done that math made me realize how fucking old I am now) I also was away from home and having come from the deep south and large family I made some comfort food for my first meal, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. Not exactly models food. I had the could eat a dump truck load of food and not gain an ounce metabolism then, too. Sigh. So the southern young teenager with great metabolism in me just didn’t know better that in a house full of models and trying to make it on the fashion scene of Manhattan, home made macaroni & cheese with fried chicken wasn’t exacty ‘kosher’. But it does make a damn good comfort food for a little ninety eight pound at five feet nine inches girl who was in the big city rather than in the comfort of her books and horses in the country back home.

So after nearly having a heart attack at aged sixteen upon the price of New York foods, I carted my brown bags home and began my whirlwind through the kitchen. The smell soon whafting through my amazing New York models apartment which had an entire wall that was a window overlooking the city with a view of the brooklyn bridge.

Before I knew it these other waif exotic unicorns I lived with that I had only recently met and who all had accents from Russia, France, and Seattle at the time. These long legged creatures who wore magazine fashion on the daily, looking as if they stepped straight off the pages of Vogue even as they woke up. As a young girl just getting into all those fashion magazines I was a little bit in awe. The funny thing was, me being from Texas, I was as exotic to them as they were to me. And the fact that, yes, I did have horses back home, just added to it.

I remember the one from Moscow but born in Kahkistan, the exotic dark eye’d and haired beauty of our loft (we seriously had the red, blond and black hair thing going, and a brown headed one to add in) gliding in to our open kitchen-living area (she glided, that one, she totally had a glide about an inch above the ground) and ask what I was making, once she heard the answer she began going on and on in her deep Russian accent (and in her movie star style, everything she said was over-exhausterated) calling the others in and exclaming about how she had never had a southern meal and another kept calling it “authentic mac&cheese” and all of them looked comparable to the three drooling dogs I would have a decade later while watching me in the kitchen. I, being the southern gal I am, of course made enough to feed an army. I had just come from only knowing how to cook for a family of ten or gatherings of even more. Plus when you are southern you just feed people anyway, especially when they look as hungry as a stick skinny waif of a model who weighs under a hundred pounds at six feet tall can look. And hearing how exotic my southern food seemed to even the girl from Seattle, all beig under aged twenty and all far away from mothers and comforts of homes, how could I not feed them?

Over that meal was born from the group of girls the idea to add money to a jar to buy ingrediants for meals, when I would cook, I would make big meals for them and eat off of them, and anytime I cooked, not knowing how to tone down my large amounts, there was usually plenty for days for all of us out of each meal to be put away in the freezer….making my $40 turn into a season of feeding myself just fine before monies of other scources actually came in.

I wish that I had photos from that time. I had played tourists with my cheap little real film camera back then but have since lost all of the mostly undeveloped rolls of films through various moves, divorces, fires, and floods. But It is only one story among many involving food in my life.

 

 

Pegs Kitchen

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Food is an item that, like it or hate it, our life revolves around it. Entire economies revolve around growing it, creating it, cooking it, shopping for it, making pieces and items of it, cooking it, selling it.
Eating a meal together is a time when enemies and families can all come together and set aside differences for at least a moment.
Preparing the meal is a time, for me, of meditation. A non-hurried process that gives me as much as I give to it. I get what I give. It is an ease of hard work, so to speak. A time when you can put your mind to rest and task at the same moment together. When laziness will give you un-taste and lack of enjoyment but effort and care will create not only much for your palate but also for your enjoyment of time.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking from the time I was a little girl and wanted to help prepare our families meals. I was always an experimenter with ingredients and creations even as a child, a teenager, and now a woman. In my adult life I’ve never shied away from trying something new, allowing my tongue to learn it’s way around the world. My senses to be filled. And memories to be made with complete strangers friends over food.
I enjoy shopping for it, growing it when I can, learning about it, creating it, serving it to loved ones, and I very much enjoy eating it.

Making Spaghetti Bolognese, listening to music, and enjoying good aromas, then enjoying the good tastes of a non-hurried prepared meal while watching #Palio  #NoSlackingWhenCookingForOne #Afternoondelight #PegsKitchen #ColorfulKitchen #InTheKitchen

Vacation has begun. The essentials of life.

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So two days later and vacation has finally begun…kinda…sorta…oy.

Day three and we ended up visiting with friends and going on a road trip with them to pick up a classic dream car. Why not? We all liked classic cars and this was the dream car of one of them, and the drive was pretty, the company fun, and the little town we went to good for some antiquing. A good double date day. We enjoyed some kolaches and some amazing sushi along the trip…it made for a good combo though not together and hours apart, thankfully.

The long drive, however, ended up fruitless as the car wasn’t at all what was promised and so we went home mad, disappointed, sad for our friend, and outraged at such a bad professional advertisement. No rust doesn’t mean a rusted through hole on the floorboards, among an entire list of other things, cash ready to hand over. However all in jest and good as we felt the drive itself was well worth it and had plenty of fun regardless.

J and I had not yet done the big stock grocery shop we planned and usually do when he comes off work for our two weeks of eating and cooking together. We are foodies who enjoy good stuff and pinterest try-outs as well as some classic favorites and whatever we may have been craving the month prior, but chose to wait to make, so afterwards we decided to hit a store before heading home and fill up. Four hours later and walking out, tired, from the store and we were loaded down.

Getting home and all groceries in, J decided to get out of my super Type-A coming out moment as I somehow fit everything into our freezer and fridge and in proper and particular order and with great organization. Also of course planned on when and how we use each item to come. I really try not to have to hit the store again for another two weeks. He did try and help me a few times and realized each time that of course he was doing things wrong, and it was best when my eye’s were in that glazed over intensely focused on my task at hand look, to just make himself scarce. Yet he is one of those if I am up cleaning or cooking or some such task he feels as he should be, too. Which was fine. He went to clean his guns.

Over there. Away from me. Away from the kitchen. Out of my way. And perhaps while holding a little protection if he should need it. From me. Which when in that zone and interrupted he might sometime need.

Somehow I did manage to fit everything in the fridge and my already stocked with home made soups and broths freezer. I always am in wonder when they show some organized fridge picture online and it holds like 2 water bottles, a couple of yogurts and one small bowl of fruit and think “How is that all they eat?” Usually some model or celebrity fridge of course. I think on how I might not enjoy embracing my love handles that have come with being a little older and will step up my physically active game. We are adding in more bike riding, kayaking, hiking and fun physical activities to our daily life again, (after some brief laziness/busyness/work for both in the past few years) along with my yoga, running and swimming, of which I have been a little lazy about lately.

By then it’s late at night and after a long day in a car I am ready for a long hot shower.

The next day we slept in…an absolute until noon type of sleep in on a Saturday! YAY! Vacation…it has begun.

I woke super in a good mood. Not that I am usually woke in a bad mood but today I was a little more bouncy in my step.

That might be the sex.

Or it might be that I woke with the memory in mind that I had good new yummy coffee to try. It had smelled so good when picked up the day before in some small town filled with antiques and I made my french press of it while starting on some bagel breakfast sandwiches I had seen on pinterest. The smells of everything bagel, melting butter in a pan, and great coffee mingled in the morning-afternoon air. Pinterest is liken to a god of which to bow down to. Or at least gaze our worshipping eye’s upon for hours upon hours. Oh pinterest. How I love your love letters of yummy pictures you sustain me with…

Where was I? Sex, coffee, pinterest…the essentials of life….

Oh yeah. So I made some yummy sandwiches…these. I would post my own picture but completely forgot to take any. I did add some ‘dippy eggs’ (as my dad called them) on the side (J put his on the sandwich) and I did add a spread of raspberry jam to it as well. It turned out amazing and very simple to make, as I sipped my devine coffee, another bow-to-god of mine and chatted with J about this and that.

After breakfast he got to work with his first time making on his own jambalaya. He has been learning from some creole boys on the river at work. And it is not exactly like theirs nor exactly how he wished but it is a damn good jambalaya much less a first time attempt.

It may be a day of cooking as soon, as we spend a day picking through jambalaya (really to be eaten tomorrow), I will make a big Bahn Mi sandwich for us for lunch.

So far we’ve yet to put pants on nor move outside of the house. It may be a holiday weekend which also means a lot of people and traffic and here we are, with a stack of books to be read and great gourmet foods at hand. Perhaps that more physically active lifestyle shall begin in the fall, when the heat won’t melt us. Or even later today. But at least not just quite yet.

Hello vacation. How I’ve missed you.