Tag Archives: Cooking

For the love of figs, a new hobby

Fresh fig

Fresh fig

Whether I am listing a home or selling one, I always point out the value of a fig tree when there is one in the yard.  Most of my clients just look at me and shake their heads.  Few appreciate that they have a tree that will be filled with the fruit of the Gods by mid-summer.

One of my clients has the most prolific fig tree I have ever seen.  Free of birds and squirrels,  just popping with crop after crop of big brown figs. Figs that no one particularly wanted.  You eat a few fresh ones off the tree and move on.  But I was raised on figs.  My grandmother made whole fig preserves.  My mom, who wasn’t that fantastic of a cook anyway, made whole fig preserves.  There were scores of pounds of figs being unused; so Katy and I took up a new hobby – canning.

The same client with the fig tree also has a limb breakingly prolific pear tree, so we have been canning the heck out of figs and pears.  Following is a picture chronicle of our developing skills. Continue reading

Hominy Casserole – Reprise

[stextbox id=”grey”]I posted this recipe November 24, 2009, and it remains my favorite casserole.  Recently, the search word “hominy” has been trending high for this blog; so here’s the world’s greatest casserole just in time for the 2010 holiday season. Hat tip to my lovely wife Katy for coming up with it.[/stextbox]

Thanksgiving week always begs the question:  Turkey or Sides?  I am a sides man.  You can get about a million casserole variations at this time of the year: green bean, broccoli, squash, sweet potato, etc., etc., but a few weeks ago Katy made a Hominy Casserole that, I guarantee, will be the most popular side at your holiday feast.  Some of you non-southerners may not know what hominy is.  Suffice to say it is a corn product, with a long heritage.  It’s where grits comes from.  Try this, and you won’t be able to go back to the standard casserole fare.

[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”Katy’s Hominy Casserole”]

2 Cans Yellow Hominy -Drained
2 Cans White Hominy-Drained
1- 3 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 Can Rotel Tomatoes
1- 16 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 to 3  finely chopped jalepeno peppers
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 stick butter or margarine
1 sleeve (1/3 box) of Ritz-type crackers – crumble

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
Place 1/2 stick of butter/margarine in casserole dish to melt
Combine hominy, green chiles, Rotel, sour cream,onion, cheese jalepeno, and the remainder of butter
Stir in crushed cracker crumbs
Bake 30-45 minutes until bubbly


Enjoy, and have a Happy and Safe  Holiday Season!   And leave a comment if you like the recipe.

Cooking with Joe – a couple of my favorite kitchen tools

George ForemanI have owned a few George  Foreman Grills; they come in all shapes and sizes.  They are good for quick grilling lots of things:  burgers, grilled cheese, grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, sliced eggplant and other veggies, T-bone steaks, onions, and the list goes on and on.  When you don’t want to fire up the gas or charcoal grill the George Foreman is a great stand-in.  If you have space for another kitchen appliance, forget that toaster oven and check out a George F.  One caveat.  The grills with non-removable cooking surfaces are hard to clean.  Be sure to get the removable surfaces.

If you are a bacon lover, but hate the mess; if you are a bacon lover and need your bacon fix RIGHT NOW, you need a microwave bacon cooker.

I have some more cooking ideas for you coming up soon.

  • Bacon Scented Candles – The Alluring Aroma Of “Meat Candy” (bacontoday.com)
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