Friday, July 16, 2010

Bunnies, Beets and Blueberries

The season changes. The lambs are growing, as are the bunnies, and both will be ready to butcher soon. Please don't gasp with horror. The most local and sustainable meat possible is that which you raise yourself. That's what we do here -feed our family. Both good fortune and hard work have given us the means to do so. As a society and individuals, if we are shocked at the actual activities involved, then it indicates just how far removed we are from the source and reality of our foods.

I love beets -both the standard magenta-colored varieties and these golden ones. Last year I both pickled and canned them, though I have to admit neither was very successful with the gold beet. The flavor was really lost somehow in the processing which was a big disappointment. I love them in summer soups, and either roasted or boiled in the skins and then honey-glazed. Mmmmm.

Spinach and strawberries give way to beets and blueberries as summer progresses.

This salad is typical of my summer lunches -I throw what we have in the garden and fridge into a bowl and add salad dressing. A couple days ago it was sugar snap peas, leftover roasted magenta beets and tuna. We didn't have a salad dressing made up (I'm stubbornly committed to homemade salad dressings) so I added sour cream, cocktail sauce and rice vinegar -as weird as it may sound, it was pretty good. My kids were watching and impertinently commented that they thought it was really disgusting. This salad of garden lettuce, tuna and boiled golden beets was scrumptious with the poppy seed salad dressing I'd made for the previous night's dinner. I didn't think to throw in some blueberries -it would have been even better! My mom spends six months in Mexico living by a beach where she quilts while her roommate fishes. Every spring she brings back lots of home canned tuna and generously shares with us. Thanks Mom and Mike!

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Adapted from The Seattle Times Cookbook (a recent thrift store find)
Mix in mini food processor:
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. minced onion
1 c. canola oil
Stir in:
2 T. poppy seeds
Store in pint jar with a tight fitting lid. Serve on salad greens or fruit salad.

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