It’s almost like reverse burglary. They bang on the door and push it into your arms. It may be left on your stoop or even in your car. Your neighbors, your friends, sometimes strangers- they practically beg you to take some! What is it? PRODUCE!
As a Yankee who relocated some years ago, one of the things I appreciate about living in the south is not only the abundance of fresh produce, but people’s willingness to share it.
No one could go hungry here!
Recently, we helped a friend when her corn came in. All afternoon long we were picking, shucking, de-silking, blanching, cutting it off the cob, and finally bagging to freeze it for the winter. As much as it sounds like work, when you’re with friends, it’s not at all so. Our reward was paid out in golden goodness which we greedily devoured that evening.
Then there were the bags of yellow summer squash which my dad brought to me. Because someone brought it to him. Loads of it. What was I to do with so much squash?
Next came some green beans from a neighbor. Now my fridge was really filling up! I had to figure out something to do with this produce before it went bad.
And so, a new recipe was born. Well, not exactly new. I adapted it a little from a recipe I love from Gooseberry Patch which I was not able to locate online. It uses canned green beans and corn (which needs no cooking beforehand) instead of fresh beans and squash. Although I don’t like this quite as much as the original, at least I was able to knock out some of that squash!
Do this the night before or at least early enough for the veggies to cool before the next step.
Get a 9 X 13 pan (preferably glass) and measure enough raw green beans to just cover the bottom, and then throw in a few more. Put them in a large skillet. Put in a half cup of water or so, cover and start steaming. If at any time this gets dry, add a little more water.
Start chopping squash, and again, you’ll need cover the bottom of the baking dish. Then you’ll need at least a handful extra, because this stuff cooks down to nothing. Throw them into the skillet with the beans. Again, if it’s getting dry, add water. Simmer at medium heat until it all starts to get soft, about 15 minutes or so.
Drain any extra water. Spread along bottom of baking dish. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Now you will need:
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is ok)
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts (drained well)
10 1/4 oz can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup (one stick) butter melted
1 sleeve round butter crackers (like Ritz) crushed
In a big bowl, mix cheese, onion, sour cream, water chestnuts and soup
together; spread over the vegetables. Combine butter and crackers; sprinkle on top.
Bake 400 for 35- 40 min or till golden brown.
AND HERE ARE THE RESULTS! Mmmmmm…….
And a close up of the buttery cracker crumbs…my favorite part….
Are you getting hungry yet? Go make some!