Monthly Archives: July 2014

Curried Summer Vegetables

Here in The South zucchini squash are so productive! You almost have to remove the flowers as a form of birth control by the end of Summer!  You can use them in just about any cooked dish. They can even be used to reduce the fat in cakes and cookies.

Curried Summer Vegetables

A few cloves of garlic

One large onion

A few zucchini squash

A teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, and curry powder

A few bay leaves

A couple banana chili peppers

vegetable or chicken broth

olive oil and butter

1) Coat the bottom of a Dutch Oven with olive oil and add a few tablespoons of butter and heat over medium.  Once the butter has melted add the garlic.


2) Add a few bay leaves. Stir to coat with the butter.


3) Add the onion and stir to coat with the oil and butter


4) Once the onions have begun to sweat and soften, add a teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, and curry powder.


5) When the spices have filled the kitchen with fragrance, add a cup of broth. You can use water, also. I added banana chilies from the garden, too.


6) Bring it to a soft boil. Add the zucchini.


7) When the zucchinis have soften, I decided I wanted it a little more than just zucchini so I add two cups of rice.


8) In about 15 minutes, the rice will have absorbed the broth and should have plumped up.


It made about six servings.  Serve it with a pita or some other flat bread. You can add a few teaspoons of crush red pepper to add some heat!


I guess I should actually call this curried zucchini as that is the main ingredient?



Filed under cooking, Food

Welcome to the humid South!

High humidity is a given in the Lower South. We always say: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!”.

As a gardener it’s a good thing!

Tomatoes and cucumbers grow very large although they stop blooming when the nights are too hot in midsummer!


Vegetables seem to grow larger than normal. Banana chilies:


Insects are everywhere!
Bumble bee:


Summer vegetables reproduce in overdrive to the point that you wonder if birth control is an option?


The humidity helps tropical plants to mature faster!


Some perennials reproduce to the point of becoming weedy!

Day lilies:


And did I mention azaleas in the Spring?


And hydrangeas in early Summer?


And Oakleaf hydrangeas


And I could go on and on…


Filed under General Gardening

A trip to Ocracoke Island

A day trip to Ocracoke Island is always a nice way to spend a day. I always enjoy the two and a half ferry ride from the mainland of North Carolina to this populated island of the Outerbanks of North Carolina.

My maternal grandmother’s family are from the island. They are O’Neals. Other Irish names such as Gaskill, Fulcher, and Willard are common. They also speak with an Irish accent called a brogue!

The day begins at the Cedar Island Ferry terminal waiting for the ferry to arrive at 10 am.


Once the cars are loaded we head out into the Pamlico Sound for the 2.5 hour trip to Ocracoke Island which is one of the chain of islands which forms the Outerbanks of North Carolina.


Within an hour you are out in the middle of the sound where you see no land. These bays were called “sounds” by the Irish settlers because the waters were sound or quiet as compared to the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean.


The island of Ocracoke comes into view after a few hours.


As you come into the harbor, which is called Silver Lake, the distinctive lighthouse is framed on the East side of the island.


There are many historic houses built by the Irish fishermen who settled these islands.


A close up of the lighthouse.


Shrimp boat


The Village of Ocracoke only covers the area around the harbor. The remainder of the island is part of the National Seashore.


Tourism is almost more important than fishing now and many gift shops, bed and breakfast inns, and hotels fill the village; chickens, too!


The style of seafood served from North Carolina and South through Georgia is called Calabash. It’s major difference is that milk is not used in the broth.

I love the clam chowder.


We left on the last ferry of the evening at 8pm.


The sun was setting and we arrived back on the mainland of Cedar Island about dark.


It all makes for a long day!

Find out more about Ocracoke here:



Filed under General Gardening, Travel