Shrub Tasting

No, I wasn’t out chomping on landscape. Instead, I tried The Burning Bushes Shrub, one of the drinking vinegars, from Glacier’s End. I purchased some earlier in the season from them at The Marion Farmer’s Market. I had tried earlier in the year to get some at the Winter Farmer’s Market (Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market) in Carbondale, but it was always sold out by the time I made it to the high school to shop. That told me it MUST be good!

First, I mixed up a quick marinade for boneless pork chops and added about a tablespoon of the Shrub to it before I dried them off and breaded them…

Then I added a aplash to a vinaigrette for watermelon and arugula salad.

I threw it all together, drizzled on some marinade made by shaking it in a jar with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I tossed it  together with pieces of seeded watermelon, arugula, and queso blanco.  (Goat cheese, cotija, or feta would also have been good…) I would like to have added a bit of mint chiffonade for another layer of flavor, but I didn’t want to go out and pick it at the time…

I also mixed a healthy splash with some chilled club soda.

It was pretty refreshing. I decided I might like to add a bit of simple syrup for a bit of sweetness, but it was still good without it.  Adding a bit of white wine would probably work well too.

The Burning Bushes Shrub is a combination of elderberry, honeysuckle, strawberry, cayenne, and galangal.  I want to try Pearapple Rain next.  They actually make a variety of shrubs with unique combinations.

Links: 

Home

https://www.facebook.com/glaciersend/

You may wish to check the Glacier’s End Facebook page for updates and info on where to find the products. 

https://www.facebook.com/Marion-Farmers-Market-129111570446441/

http://www.carbondalemarket.com/

Please note that at this time, a new location for the winter market has not yet been announced. They cannot meet at the high school due to COVID-19 restrictions, but per their website, they still plan to return in December.

Cucumber Chef Salad

I have been craving cucumbers since I watched Katie Lee make a yummy cucumber salad (I know it is yummy because I made a version of it at home…) on “The Kitchen” last weekend. So, I packed a cucumber with my salad fixings for my lunch yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot my lettuce. This actually turned out to be a good thing.

I decided to use the cucumber as the base of my salad instead of lettuce. After peeling the skin, I cut it lengthwise into quarters and then cut those quarters into smaller bite sized pieces.

Chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, palmitos (hearts of palm,) shredded mozzarella, shaved turkey breast, and some pepitos were added to the cucumbers. A bit of sea salt, pepper, and Caesar dressing (because that’s what was handy…) topped off the creation. I did manage to wait long enough to eat it to snap a photo.

It shouldn’t be too much longer before Southern Illinois cucumbers are ripe. I can’t wait to try it again with some local produce and perhaps a homemade vinegrette.