Hookah, Line and Sinker.

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The latest buzz is that my little garden reaches its peak around this time with the arrival of dozens of honey bees. They are attracted to the yellow blossoms of wild arugala. It is still just a little early but when it happens, it is a phenomenon because all you can hear is the low drone of many bees at work. It can be a bit unnerving if you are not used to it. I have learned not to wear dark clothes because the bees think that I am a bear looking for trouble. If I wear a yellow t-shirt, everyone gets along. Anyway, this experience has convinced me enough to take a bee-keeping class next Spring. Let’s see what’s for supper to-night. Guess whose coming to dinner?

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The answer to the question is easy. Natty dreadlocks is coming for dinner……This pizzette or fully loaded flat-bread is topped with roasted peppers, Taggiasca olives and a creamy goat/sheep’s milk feta cheese. I like to make this hearth bread with 50% whole wheat flour for a more rustic, peasant style. It is definitely earthy, crunchy at a whole other level. This bread starter that I use dates back to last January.

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This is going to be the back bone of supper to-night. Tomato, in Italian, translates as “Pomodoro” or literally, apple of gold. These heirloom tomatoes are called Orange Valencia. They are, in my opinion, a sauce tomato rather than a slicing tomato. I will trim, blanch, shock, de-seed and prep the tomatoes so as to proceed with supper. I’m in the mood for Middle Eastern. Let’s see what else the garden has to give.

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Hello, cauliflower. Earlier this year, at which time it seemed like a good idea, I bought a flat of six cauliflower seedlings. Of the original six, three survived. The variety is called called “Snowcrown”, a commercial strain you might see in a supermarket. My snowcrown came with a purplish tint. Thats not what it looks like in the catalogues. I think my little visitor was as surprised as me. Cauliflower was introduced into Europe by the Arabs. Middle Eastern enough, so far, so good. I am not repulsed by the sight of a live snail on my cauliflower. Snails like them. But, in this day where chemicals are everywhere, I am happy to think that I have a …..fresh garden.

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This zucchini squash is a Middle Eastern heirloom named “Cousa”. It might even be Syrian. It looks like it has adapted to its shady, woodland location here in my New England back-yard. This was a re-seed from my compost heap.

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Garden centric grain salad composed of farro, heirloom carrots and pole beans, garlic, tomato and herbs. Farro, a relative of wheat, also has its origins traced back to the Middle East.

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I made a mild curry style stew with my tomatoes, garlic,cauliflower, zucchini and herbs. I decided to double starch and imagined this with either simple boiled potatoes or brown basmati rice. I’m a sucker for fish and potatoes any day, anyhow.

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But this callous dhow boy is in the mood for fish too. I marinated swordfish in extra virgin olive oil, light curry spices, garlic, lemon zest and herbs for about thirty minutes. Then seared the swordfish in a hot skillet. I transferred the still rare sword fish to the cauldron and completed its cooking. Minutes later. The swordfish is cooked. It has absorbed mild spice flavor and is meltingly moist. This is how I like my seafood stews. Sometimes, the spice can seem a little coarse or rough. I like like to smooth out those rough edges with a little honey. Honey is the main sweetener in this kitchen, honey! You do not need a lot.

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10 foot sunflower plant. Thanks for reading. Eat like a peasant.

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