As funnies go I’ve got a good one for my readers! Some of you may remember the column I wrote this summer where I told the story about the traveling baked beans. Allow me to explain: Our son, Phillip, was at the neighbor’s house Memorial Day weekend when the father of the house said: ‘We can’t have a cookout, we don’t have any beans.’ Evidently Phillip said, ‘I’ll be right back.’ He came home got our baked beans and took them to the neighbors. I didn’t know anything about the traveling baked beans, except for the fact that they were no longer in our refrigerator. Monday arrives and I’m pulling weeds when the neighbor girls comes over with my plastic container and says: ‘The beans were wonderful, thanks so very much.’ Thus the story of the baked beans was revealed.
Last night we hosted a tailgater for the freshmen football team. Phillip requested a pan of my baked beans. Needless to say for 30 plus boys I made lots and I mean lots of baked beans. Today when Phillip called me at work I asked him if he took some of the beans to Rachel and Steve who live near us. Yes, he delivered the beans. There were three containers of leftover beans, all different sizes. I asked where the cottage cheese container was with baked beans inside. Phillip says, ‘They’re at Vince’s house next door. Vince sent me a text saying he heard we had beans so I took a container over to their house.’ My question was: ‘How did the neighbor find out about my beans?’ Phillip’s good friend, Justin, made this comment: ‘I don’t know Debbie, but someone let the beans out of the bag!’ At this point it appears stories about my baked beans may have appeared on Facebook last night!!!
I haven’t decided if I like having the reputation of ‘Best Baked Beans Maker in Branson West,’ just yet. Next thing you know Phillip will have people lined up at our front door for supper. I pity them if it’s a fried bologna and eggs night!
This week I ran a new salad recipe past my parents while they were visiting in our home. They gave my tomato/artichoke salad a big thumbs up. Originally I wrote this recipe after I had been making lots of sandwiches with fresh tomatoes. The very bottom and top of each tomato was being wasted so I cut them up and started making a salad. Some of you may want to make this because you have tons of fresh mint growing in your yard. I think you’ll like the dressing because of the refreshing approach the mint and lemon have on the salad ingredients. I seriously considered putting asiago or feta cheese into the ingredients list but decided it might ‘own’ the recipe.
What do I mean when I say an ingredient ‘owns’ a dish? When I am writing a recipe I decide at the very beginning what ingredients I want to take center stage, or ‘sing’ as I put it. If we were to place the asiago or feta into the ingredients their flavors could possibly over-shadow the dressing.
You will also observe on the tomatoes I noted they should be de-seeded before placing them into the salad. If you are using grape tomatoes or perhaps a roma this probably won’t be necessary.
When I’m planning dinner parties I like to see a good amount of ‘pop’ in the plated presentation of the meal. This salad is going to bring lots of color to the table. You might even consider pre-setting it before the guests enter the dining room. This salad would look nice served inside a wine goblet, margarita glass or inside a lettuce leaf on a salad plate. My lettuce of choice would be the tender hydroponics that most Walmart stores carry.
The tailgate party this week was loads of fun and I’ve never seen more gracious young men. Each and every one of them thanked me. I overheard one of the boys asking another what they should call me. I was so so flattered when the young man answered with: ‘Just call her mom.’ Made my day!
Spread the bounty with another. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Tomato Artichoke Salad
With Lemon/Mint dressing
1 can (14 oz. quartered) artichoke hearts
2-3 cups deseeded chopped tomatoes*
4 green onions, diced
3-4 stalks celery, tender inside ribs
(Cut thin diagonally across stalk.)
4 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small onion, finely zested
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black kettle seasoning or alternate seasoning spice
1 tablespoon, finely minced fresh mint
*Tomatoes should be deseeded if using a large summer fresh tomato. This is due to all the extra juice which will dilute the dressing. Romas or grape tomatoes would be a good off-season choice.
Heat sugar and vinegar together to dissolve sugar. Combine remaining dressing ingredients whisking to blend. Pour over the main salad ingredients. Could be made a few hours before serving.
This salad was created at the close of summer after I had sliced tomatoes for sandwiches. All the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes were left so I chopped them into pieces and just started designing the dish using what was in the refrigerator and pantry.