Its hot here.  Probably not as hot as where some of you live but hot enough. We’re humid too and after having been to a few places on the planet that are “hot” and not humid…. I can tell you, it really is the humidity.

We don’t eat a lot of meat and in the summer if I can keep from heating up the oven – I do. When we have meat I grill it or cook it in the slow cooker. But most days we have a meal completely out of the garden… or the freezer or mason jars where I’ve put up garden produce.

tomatoes 2011 005

Canning home-grown tomatoes


breaking beans

Breaking Beans

In all honesty, it was a new thing a few years ago for my husband to have a completely vegetable meal. He thought he had to have meat and potatoes at every meal for a while. Then money got tight and tighter and he was ok with it. Now he likes it.

A typical lunch might be: sliced tomato, pinto beans,(these I pressure-can so they are already cooked)corn bread in the form of pan-fried cakes, corn cut off the cob or sauteed eggplant and maybe a salad. That’s our big meal of the day. We have a little protein at breakfast as well in the form of eggs and/or bacon.

When the okra comes in we have a lot of it every day. I barely get any frozen because we eat so much of it! Everyone in the family loves it fried. I freeze as much as possible because we like gumbo in the winter. I also dehydrate a lot of it to use in soups and stews.

This year the squash is prolific so I’ve been making all kinds of dishes with it. One of our favorites is a Mock Crab Cake made with zucchini and Old Bay seasoning.

The biggest of our Cushaw squash

The biggest of our Cushaw squash

You know how a lot of people can food all summer to use all winter? In the winter-time I can lots of beans so that I can use them all summer! It keeps me from heating up the house in the summer. I can winter squash in the fall too so I can make quick pies or mast plain old mashed squash with some maple syrup and butter in the summer time. I also free chunks of winter squash to use in the summer on the grill.

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can eat this way. Check out your local farmer’s markets and grocery stores, choose fresh over pre-packaged and plan some easy summer meals.