Creole Mirepoix

The start to so many great dishes!

I’m not sure I enjoy savoring anything more than the colorful look and the fragrant aroma of a nice Mirepoix (meer-PWAH).  My personal favorite is a creole variation with red bell pepper, and I also like equal parts celery and onion in mine.

Sautéing mirepoix is the first step in making our traditional Southern cornbread dressing, and I’m pleased to share these photos today as a part of the daily prompt, “aromatic.”  I only wish I could also share the actual aroma here, too.  Ahhhh!

dressing-asmfsdressing-bsmfsdressing-csmfs

Even though we will be dining out with family and friends this Thanksgiving, I still had to make a pan of our traditional dressing because it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving to me without it, even if we enjoy it in the days after the holiday.

Dressing is not difficult to make, and over the past few years, I’ve convinced a few friends to ditch the store-bought dressings in favor of their own homemade versions, especially since most everything can be done ahead of time.  Tomorrow, I hope to share my recipe here, complete with step-by-step photos, but today, I will just enjoy the aroma of this fabulous mirepoix!

via Daily Prompt: Aromatic

 

Fresh From the Garden

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Black Eyed Peas, freshly shelled and blanched, ready for cooking or for freezing

Over the past few weeks, I have been making a trip to the farmer’s market each Wednesday to check out their fresh produce.  We have not had fresh black-eyed peas in years, and I decided that no matter what I had to pay to buy some this year, I would do it.  Fortunately,  a nearby market has had two separate crops, one early and one later, and I have now shelled and blanched almost four bushels of peas, putting most up in the freezer for later in the year.  Of course, I also cooked a couple of pots of peas during the process, too.  They were just awesome!

Growing up, I took fresh produce for granted, as I had relatives that lived on farms and grew it for us.  Now, it is much harder to find good produce, but certainly it is not impossible.  We also planted tomatoes again for the first time in years in our backyard, and despite this lingering drought, we have had some nice ones to eat.

First Tomatoes of the Season
Fresh Tomatoes

On my last trip to the market, I also bought a half bushel of fresh corn and attempted to make creamed corn for the first time in my life on my own.  I tried to recall how my mother and my aunts made it many years ago, and with the help of some online recipe searches, I think I got pretty close to their recipe.  Oh my gosh, this was so good, and I put up six quarts in the freezer for this winter.

Fresh Creamed Corn

There are few comfort foods that I love more than fresh black-eyed peas, yellow squash, creamed corn, tomatoes fresh from the vine, and homemade cornbread.  Together, these just have to just be a little “taste of heaven,” and eating these wonderful comfort foods again almost instantly takes me back to those growing-up days when we visited the farm and enjoyed all those great meals and fresh vegetables, straight from the garden to our table.  It is such a tasty and delightful memory and quite a welcome distraction when life is throwing lots of darts my way.

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