Friday, June 28, 2024

Veggies from the Garden Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

 We could eat fancy smanchy, but this is better.

It is always nice to go out to the garden and gather up sone veggies to cook for dinner. For years, going out into the garden was, to me, about as popular as getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick but then I saw the light.

It took more years than I am comfortable admitting, but I always thought I had a good excuse. We moved from West Jackson to Clinton in 1961. The 12 X 14 feet family garden we had on Faircourt Street when we lived in Jackson was a pretty good size for a back yard enterprise. Mom and Dad usually had 10-12 tomato plants, 4-6 hills of yellow squash, several hills of cucumbers, two rows of sweet corn that were maybe 20 feet long, 6-10 okra stalks and the rest in purple hull peas and bunch butter beans. 

Whatever Mom and Dad grew in that garden was supplemented by peas and beans they purchased by the bushel at the old farmer's market between the railroad yard and North West Street, just north of the overhead bridge on Woodrow Wilson. The vegetables were blanched and put away in the freezer, for dinner at some later date.  By the way, a bushel of peas is 60 pounds weight measure and not a bag full, regardless of whatever they might tell you. Here comes a shocker. Not all merchants at a farmer's market are honest. To get 60 pounds of peas in one of those mesh bags, you must really pack it.

These days, only a few vendors sell their vegetables from that operation. I think most of what they sell comes from the vegetable wholesale company located between the Farmer's Market and North West Street. Back in the 1950's the Farmer's Market was a Happening Place in the summer. If you needed a couple of rattlesnake watermelons to eat with some aunts, uncles and seven or eight cousins at a picnic table in Livingston Park, it was the place to go.

Are you from the lineage of southerners who cut their melon lengthwise into wedges, or are you from those folks who sliced it into round slices? We were long slice folks and I always thought round slice people were weird.

Let me get back to my post. I think fried yellow squash is an overlooked vegetable treat. Mom loved them, sliced thin and breaded in cornmeal, then fried in a little oil. Dad (RIP) has been gone for a little over ten years now, but I can still remember the smile on his face when he realized the evening meal would include fried squash.

Here is how I cook them.


A cup of white Corn Meal and a Tablespoon of AP flour, with a teaspoon black pepper and half a teaspoon salt.

Sliced yellow squash. I am a little anal and slice mine on the mandolin to give slices with a consistent 3/16-inch thickness. After slicing, I wet them in a little buttermilk and season them with black pepper and salt.

Then coat the slices with the cornmeal and flour mixture, while heating 1/8 - 1.4 inch of oil in a skillet to about 350 degrees F. 

I like to start with a single slice to make sure the oil is hot enough.

Looks good, so I add more and turn when the first side has browned. When both sides have browned, out they come to drain on paper towels, with a bit of salt added to taste. Continue until all have been fried. 

Green beans (Contender) home canned, with a few wedges of potato makes a nice addition. Cook with a little water, salt sugar and a bit of oil, plus the potatoes. I love tiny whole new potatoes, but we had none, so I made do with what we had.

I never had a meal at my grandparents' house west of Isola, MS that did not include some kind of pork. Usually, Grandma cooked ham or whole porkchops. We usually buy then at Sam's, but only had som Pork Loin slices, so that is what I fried. Start with thawed chops, season with salt, black pepper and a touch of Garlic salt, coat with a bit of flour and fry in 1/8 inch of oil. When the first side has browned, turn. When the other side has browned, they are done.

Time to eat. NO cornbread tonight (Sigh).

Here is another way to cook your squash that is nice. Cut and season, but do not coat with cornmeal. Add butter to skillet and then squash and onion. Cook slowly until the squash browns, stirring occasionally and use a lid if you like. The squash will pretty much fall apart, but that is ok.

I knew if I looked long enough, I would find the second method on a plate.

Thanks for looking.
God Bless You


Anonymous said...

Who is Buehller?

Stuff About ZeroBear PolyBear said...

8:18 - He is a misspelled guy in ZeroBear's imagination.

Anonymous said...

Sautéing squash, zucchini, and sweet onions in butter until they turn sweet and caramelized is one of my favorite summer meals.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, zerobear.

Anonymous said...

Bear, this is nothing but straight up food porn, and I'm here for it.

Anonymous said...

My zucchini and yellow squash are going insane.(as long as I keep treating for squash bugs). I've given it away, I've frozen it, I've made stir-fries 2x a week for a month. I've prepared it the way my grandmother did with sautéed onions and you just cook in a skillet until it turns 1 texture. (Bacon grease, salt and pepper make it amazing). I haven't fried the squash this year yet though. I think people tend to think of fried green tomatoes only. But you can do squash and all sorts of other veggies like that too. And it's all good

Anonymous said...

This is southern deliciousness, Chef Bear. We still garden. Last week I put up 7 quarts of green beans the same day I picked them so you know they'll taste good this winter. This week, I blanched and froze 12 cups of pink eyed purple hull peas, and 36 cups of Top Row field peas. The tomatoes are just now getting ripe and I'll can them, too. I've made strawberry jam, peach jam and blackberry jelly so far and have a couple of gallons of blueberries in the freezer that I'll turn into jelly and jam. Then comes picking things - cukes, peppers, okra and whatever else strikes my fancy.

A couple of years ago I bought an electric, digital canning pressure cooker and it has revolutionized my food preservation. No more huge boiling pots of water on the stovetop.

Keep 'em coming, Bear. We love your recipes.

Anonymous said...

What 11:49 said.

And thanks for the canner endorsement, 1:46. That giant pot of boiling water in summer has thwarted my canning drive since 2002.

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful. One of my favorites is yellow crookneck squash. Brenda at the Farmers' Market has a ton of the smaller ones and I've been eating squash in every form. haha

Anonymous said...

Caramelized squash and onions. Yum.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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