We’ve had cool weather late into the spring. It rained enough that some plants needed to learn to do the backstroke. There were deer that thought gardens were free salad bars. Derecho type winds that flattened beans and other plants, meaning people had to start all over again with gardens. Health issues have also been an issue complicating planting and maintaining gardens. But through it all, our gardeners have persevered, and are beginning to enjoy the benefits of their labors.

Tomatoes and cucumbers are coming in; some people already have beans. Squash are blooming. Recipes are flowing, and here is a favorite for an easy, fresh, tasty summer salad called “Chicken Feed” or “Chop Feed”:


4 c diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

½ c chopped green onions

½ c chopped basil (can throw in some oregano or thyme if you like)

2 c diced zucchini and/or summer squash

½ c good quality apple cider vinegar


Just dump it all in a bowl and serve alongside some fried chicken and potato salad for a great meal. Also good on top of cottage cheese for a quick and healthy lunch.

I always knew it was officially summer when we could have this salad.

Another good item that made it officially summer was fried green tomatoes. When I had to start making things gluten free for my daughter, I sorely missed them. Working with gluten free flour for dredging just didn’t yield the same results, with most of the coating falling off. But this recipe seems to work fairly well. May not be Whistle Stop Café, but I think they’re better:


4 large green tomatoes, sliced about 1/4” thick

2 large eggs, beaten

1 bag of gluten free pretzels, crushed in a food processor

¼ t Old Bay seasoning

Pinch of salt, or to taste


Preheat oven to 350, and spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray.

Mix salt and Old Bay with the pretzel crumbs.

Dip the tomato slices into the beaten eggs and then into the pretzel crumbs, being sure to press into the crumbs to thoroughly coat on both sides.

Lay coated tomatoes in single layer on cookie sheet and mist lightly with olive oil spray.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes.

Serve with Chick-fil-a sauce or ranch dressing.


So enjoy your summer, and enjoy some good food as your harvests start to come in.