Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farewell to summer

 Though we had a bit of a reprieve today, the weather in Winnipeg has definitely taken a turn towards fall.  Last week, I really wanted something summer-worthy.  Something to remind me of simple dinners at home when it was too hot to really cook.  Or dinners out at the campground using produce bought at the little vegetable stands along the highway.  Can you tell I'm a bit homesick?

Sorry, I got a bit photo-happy with these...
I managed to convince Hubs to come out to the St. Norbert Farmers' Market with me last weekend.  It was a little bit crowded for his liking, but he at least experienced enough to agree with my assessment regarding the perogies.  We ended picking up some beets, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and fudge.  I really liked the selection of beautiful low-acid yellow tomatoes, and decided to use them in this simple-but-scrumptious salad my mom makes frequently.  It's not even a salad so much as an assembly- sliced tomatoes at the peak of the season, topped with crumbled feta, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  A little fresh cracked pepper rounds it out.  You could add chopped fresh basil, too, but I didn't have any.  Ah well, c'est la vie.

Mum would usually serve this alongside a delicious zucchini fritatta (which I did earlier in the week for a quick supper, thanks to the squash-growing skills of my coworker Terri).  Today, though it went along with a fish-fry supper:

Boiled sweet corn on the cob, blackened red snapper (recipe here), hashbrowns, and pan-fried beet greens with garlic.
Now about those hashbrowns.  My grandmother used to make this "potato pancake" of sorts by adding grated potato to butter in a frying pan.  I don't think there was ever a hard-and-fast recipe.  I do mine by grating potato, then squeezing as much excess water out as I can by hand.  This time, I shredded half an onion in for good measure (it needed to be used up).  I season it with salt and pepper and press it into a small frying pan with a good amount of butter (more goes on top, too, to melt in).  Flip once it's browned and crispy on one side.  It's sort of like the hashbrowns at Waffle House.  Grandma liked to serve it with breaded pan-fried Lake Erie yellow perch; my mom does the same.  Mmm.

As much as I love having Hubs here, sometimes you just need to feel close to your other loved ones.  Can I be blamed for doing it through food?  As it turned out, my mom made a very similar dinner the same night that we had this.  Great minds, I tell ya.

Wishing she could get truly amazing (read: Ontario) tomatoes all year round,

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