Good grief – will someone please tell me how it got to be September already??
Things have calmed down somewhat around the Sushi Bar; The G Man is in Michigan and starts kindergarten today (boy, talk about time just flying by!!) and while The Young One came home for the long weekend, we didn’t see much of him (he spent a lot of time sleeping) and he was back on campus by Sunday afternoon.
However, even though our lives are no longer ruled by the comings and goings of young men, things are still pretty busy. It is, of course, prime canning season and we did it in style this last weekend. If you think we went crazy with the zucchini and green beans, well…let’s just say they weren’t anything compared to this weekend.
We took Friday off from work, which was a good thing, since it gave us the opportunity to do some housework and yard work. We made our usual CSA/farmer’s market runs Saturday morning, and came home with 2 bushels of paste tomatoes (to which we added another half bushel from our own garden), 5 dozen ears of sweet corn, 5 pounds of okra and a 1/2 peck of the sweetest peaches I’ve ever tasted. The result?
– 8 pints of barbecue sauce canned
– 32 pints of tomato canned
– About 2 1/2 cups of tomato paste made, portioned and frozen
– All of the corn shucked and cleaned; 1 1/2 dozen frozen on the cob, the remainder cut away from the cob, portioned, and frozen
– All 5 pounds of the okra cleaned and sliced; about 4 pounds breaded before being frozen (’cause we love our fried okra)
– All of the peaches peeled, sliced and frozen
The tomatoes were milled and the sauces and paste were made on Saturday. The canning, corn and okra were done on Sunday, and I peeled and sliced the peaches while cooking our dinner (an amazingly delicious and un-paleo gumbo) Monday evening.
In short, we basically came back to work today to rest from our “long weekend.”
We’d have gone out to eat Sunday night – the day was just that exhausting – but all the decent restaurants in Podunk are closed on Sunday, so we made dinner as simple as possible. Beloved fired up the grill and cooked us steaks, while I roasted some of the okra I’d left whole. Darling Daughter asked for this particular dish and since she did most of the work, I’ll credit her with the execution.
I have to tell you, these smashed potatoes are really pretty easy and they are really very delicious; even Beloved, who prefers sweet potatoes, wolfed them down. The leftovers keep quite well, too, as you can see in the photo below, when we had them with the leftover steak, over-easy eggs and watermelon the next morning.
Note: You can leave off the bacon if you don’t eat pork or want to make them vegetarian-friendly – simply sub the bacon fat with melted ghee or olive oil.
Click the image to enlarge
- 1 pound whole new potatoes, preferably Yukon golds
- 4 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup snipped chives
- 1/4 cup sour cream, (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Scrub the potatoes well. Carefully drop them into 2 quarts of boiling salted water and cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; spread out on a shallow-rimmed baking sheet to cool slightly.
- While the potatoes are boiling, cook the bacon in a small skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain; reserve the fat left behind in the pan.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, smash them slightly (still on the baking sheet) with a potato masher or the bottom of a heavy glass measuring cup. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle with the reserved bacon fat.
- Roast the smashed potatoes until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the bacon and cheese. Return the pan to the oven until the cheese is melted, another 5 to 7 minutes longer.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with the snipped chives and dollop with sour cream, if desired, before serving.
- Nutrition (per serving): 235 calories, 16.1g total fat, 36.6mg cholesterol, 283.1mg sodium, 395mg potassium, 14.1g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, <1g sugar, 8.8g protein