Alpine Strawberry

Take everything you thought you knew about the taste of fresh strawberries and throw it out the window.  You know nothing!  Nothing at all!!  Not until you have tasted an Alpine Strawberry can you speak to me about the amazing goodness of strawberry flavor.  They’re like candy, but so much better.  It’s strawberry, but like strawberry flavor on steroids.  There is just no comparison.

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Greek “Tost”

One of the treats I looked forward to during summer vacation was the sandwiches my mom would make that she called Greek Tost (pronounced like toast, but with a Greek accent).  It started with slightly toasted and buttered bread, layered with cheese and then broiled until the cheese started to melt.  Put the gooey slices together and voila!  Greek Tost!  Hold your horses, I know what you’re thinking.

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Farro Wheat Cereal

Breakfast in Greece can be a very rustic meal wih cheese pies, olives and feta, and crusty bread with honey or marmalade, to fare more familiar to the American palette like scrambled eggs and omelets.  Whatever it is, it will be tasty and reflective of what is available from the local area.  This includes a variety of grains that can be cooked up and served as a wholesome hot cereal.

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Black Friday

Over the river and through the woods to grandfather’s house, we go.  Actually it was grandfather’s cabin in the nearby foothills on a parcel of land the Old Man’s parents purchased several decades ago.  The family built the rough cabin by hand and visited on occasion when the Old Man and his siblings were growing up.

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Baked Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onions

One of the few good things about living in a place with ridiculously hot summers is that the growing season for summer vegetables lasts a good, long time.  The latest I ever pulled eggplant from the garden or tomatoes off the vine was a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  The plants may not be in full production mode this late in the year, but there’s still enough to do something with.

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Gaura

Gaura also goes by bee blossom, wand flower, and whirling butterflies, and if you see it growing you totally understand where these fanciful names come from.  Dainty pink flowers dance on long sprays of thin stems that shoot up from the ground.  The flowers start in early spring and continue on until winter comes.

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Cinnamon Basil

As the name implies, Cinnamon Basil has a slight cinnamon-y taste to it.  I wouldn’t start making cinnamon rolls with it, but there are certain savory dishes that it is a perfect compliment to.  Many Greek and Middle Eastern meat-based recipes actually use cinnamon for flavor, and so Cinnamon Basil would also be an excellent addition.  Give your pesto a bit of a twist by using this basil along with your Sweet Basil.  I’ve even used it in my Basil Jelly recipe.  Throw it in salads, or season vegetables with it.

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