Pak Choi and Purple Runner Still Life

Our friend, Harold, came by for coffee and stories this morning. He had several plastic bags from Dollar General stuffed with beautiful just-picked vegetables from his and Louise’s garden. He brought pungent green onions, tender yellow squash, cucumbers and a sack full of pretty purple runner snap beans.  He sat at the kitchen counter and helped me snap beans while Buck made us peanut butter sandwiches and we all shot the breeze.

Then Buck and Harold went around to put corn in the feeders and troughs for the deer. Hunting season opens for 3 days on Thanksgiving, and then again from December 10 to February 16. Harold put a nice wooden trough covered with a tin roof out in the back yard so that I can watch what comes to it from the kitchen window. Deer, for sure, but squirrels, raccoons, doves, maybe turkeys and who knows what else will come. It will make my dark-thirty morning coffee even more stimulating, that’s for sure!

Later in the day, I drove downtown to meet the Panhandle Fresh  truck for my weekly order of vegetables. Today was glorious pak choi, more okra, pink-eyed peas, turnip greens and roots, plus mustard greens and two dark shiny eggplants.

It was too late to fix turnips or mustard greens for supper tonight, but I did sear and roast a ginger/soy/green onion marinated pork tenderloin, and served it with baked sweet potatoes, the pak choi lightly braised with ginger root, garlic and chili paste, and some of Harold’s toothsome purple runner beans.

I have my work cut out for me tomorrow:  I’ll make a squash casserole and put the greens on (mustard and turnip in the same pot — roots cooked separately) first thing. Then I’ll sit in our little diner on a red booth seat, drink a pot of fresh ground coffee (just got some today), and write a couple of scenes.  My main character, Bree, starts as an innocent young architect who has no idea of the swirl of dark forces that she is right in the middle of; just like the Category 5 hurricane that comes later, she doesn’t even realize she is in the eye of a huge storm and that she is just about to be engulfed by the other, most dangerous, side. She has lived most of her life in the eye of a metaphorical storm, where life seemed calm and safe. Once her mother dies, and she learns her true identity, everything changes. She has to learn to run,  sometimes to stand and fight, and finally, to become the woman she was meant to be or die trying.

6 thoughts on “Pak Choi and Purple Runner Still Life

    1. Our local Publix grocery store has gotten so pure it only carries smoked turkey legs, necks and wings, but the Winn Dixie out in the north end of the county still carries the real deal.


  1. What will you do with the eggplant? I will never forget my first cooking experience, trying get breaded eggplant to brown. Stuff was like a sponge and kept soaking up the oil!


    1. My first true cooking disaster involved eggplant, too. I was a newlywed, eager to impress our dinner guest — who just happened to be my humanities professor. I found a pretty picture in The Four Seasons Cookbook (a wedding present) of something done with a huge eggplant, where it wound up stuffed back into the thing and served. Oh, it was a gray, gross baby-food looking monstrosity.

      I enjoy eggplant parmigiana when somebody else makes it, but I usually make ratatouille or some version of caponata. This time, I’m going for grilled and marinated.


    1. Baingan, aubergine, eggplant — so many pretty ways to describe it. Looking up Gujarati food — learned that okra and sugar cane are on the landscape, same as here. When I was a little girl, in Miami, my father would stop by the side of a sugar cane field to cut a stalk for us kids with his pocket knife. We would chew to please him. The sweet taste was nice, but the woody fiber in the mouth not so much. . .


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