Is it cheating?

Thus far we’ve done a great job of cleaning out the pantry. We’ve had pork chops with pan gravy and cheesy grits. We’ve had pasta pomodoro using the last of our fresh tomatoes.

There was salmon baked in foil packets with butter, cilantro, and a good dousing of Sriracha chile sauce. That one needed coconut milk rice to cool it down and sauteed green beans for color. The salmon was frozen filets from Schwan’s that have been languishing in the freezer since we bought the Squirrel Nest. Sure, we could have done better, but they were still good. I can’t wait to try this again with reasonably fresh salmon. We’ll definitely do this easy and tasty rice again. To make it, simply substitute a can of coconut milk for the equivalent amount of water when you make your rice. Mama Squirrel thinks this rice would be a great rice pudding base.

Breakfast this weekend was ricotta pancakes inspired by the food page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Mama never looked at the recipe, she just dug out the Bisquik (don’t judge), added some ricotta to the mix, and went to town. Topping off the pancakes was a fresh homemade blueberry compote.

So the clutter in the pantry is shrinking. The excavation of the freezer is proceeding nicely. Everything has been yummy and, for the most part, healthy. Then my mother-in-law shows up. And she’s brought gifts. While we have been avoiding the farmers market downtown, she has been racking up out east at the Agricenter farmers market. Is this cheating? We didn’t go shopping, but suddenly the larder is relarded. (ok, let’s not think too long about that one.)

Now we have huge sweet potatoes, green beans, peaches, blackberries, tomatoes, green tomatoes, and three different types of squash. Clearly it’s time for a veggie plate night.

Fresh Summer Veggies
Fresh Summer Veggies

Of course we started with fried green tomatoes. Next we blanched the green beans then sauteed them in butter with just a bit of salt and pepper. The sweet potatoes were baked and served with a pat of butter. Baby yellow squash were cut in half then sauteed with salt and ground chili flakes. We should have cut back more on the butter, but we didn’t do too bad and dinner was delicious. Plus we didn’t buy it, so I guess it’s not cheating, and even if it is, don’t try to get in between a Southerner and his fried green tomato.

Blueberry Compote


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


  • Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Add the blueberries and lemon zest. Boil for about 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness is reached.
Share this:

One thought on “Is it cheating?

  • June 29, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    SOMEONE I know had these pancakes and compote said they were fabulous! I am going to try the compote myself soon — sounds utterly divine!

Comments are closed.