No, I'm not switching to science fiction. This is just how my life has been lately so I thought I'd share.
Baron and I have been encountering devils when we walk. This fellow is called the Hickory Horned Devil. It's a rather unfair name as it turns out. He's about the size of a hot dog, a bright turquoise, and was marching across the road when we came upon him. Turns out he's actually a rather friendly sort. He didn't object to having his photo taken and went on his way. So why am I rambling about this huge turquoise fellow? Because I've never heard of anyone quite like him. He will morph to a pupa (if I hadn't been reading about him, I never would have recognized this one on the ground)
and emerge as one of the largest moths we have. But before you rush to your closet to protect your clothes, get this-he will have no mouth! They gorge while they're turquoise, but once they're moths, they only live a month. They can't eat, they lay eggs like crazy, and die of exhaustion.
And you guys think writers make up absurd things. What kind of horribly cruel fate is that? Some great pictures at Dave's Garden for those who might be interested.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating about devils, though, I also encountered this guy.
To be honest, I didn't get close to him like I did the Hickory Horned Devil. I stood on the road, debating whether he was a branch that had fallen. In the end I decided that the pattern on his back was far too regular. I took a photo, certain I would laugh at my unreasonable fear when I enlarged it. Out of an abundance of caution, we turned back. Hmm. Looks like fear can be a good thing. Definitely a copperhead. I wouldn't mind if he didn't have a mouth.
By now you're probably hoping that I didn't meet a dragon on the road. Nope, they're in my garden. Now to be honest, I'm not much of a gardener. My theory is that I planted them and now they should grown so I can eat or admire them. Not all plants agree with me. But these wax beans known as Dragon's Tongue think my approach is just fine. I think Sheila may have blogged about them last year. You'll find them at the farmer's market with their distinctive purple markings on a creamy background.
A Dutch hybrid, they're apparently very popular with kids. Who could pass up dragons or the purple color? They can be eaten raw, which seems to be an overwhelming preference because the purple looks so cool in salads. I did try one (for you, of course). They're surprisingly juicy, a feature that prevents them from being in grocery stores. Apparently they don't hold up well for mass processing. Recipes are almost nonexistent. So I took the advice of one site and simply dumped them into boiling water. After about 7 minutes, they were perfect. I sauteed some onion and garlic and mixed it with them.
By the way, if you're a city type but you'd like to try them, they grow well in pots.
So where's the recipe you ask. This week I found turkey tenderloins at the store. So I checked around to see how to cook them. One recipe said eight minutes in a pan! Hmm. Another recipe took some serious hits from people in the comments. The idea was to roast them in the oven. So I did it my way.
Just as an aside, I don't think it's beneficial to sear turkey or chicken when it's skinless. All you end up with is a tough exterior. So I did my favorite quick roast that I've been making with a huge zucchini from the garden (another plant that likes my theory that I plant and they grow). The meat turned out great. I love cooking zucchini at the same time. The juices from the turkey and the zucchini mingle. It's not thick like a gravy, of course, but it's delicious. Now this isn't Thanksgiving turkey or company fare. And if it seems bland to you, then by all means dress it up with your favorite seasonings. Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning would probably be great! Be sure to salt and pepper the meat and the zucchini.
One more observation about my abysmal gardening skills. I planted corn. (hysterical laughter here) I did not expect it to grow. But it did! We have determined that it is the-best-corn-ever. So don't be deterred if you're not much of a gardener. The corn made it all worth it.
|It didn't look perfect but it tasted fabulous!|
1 gigantic zucchini (or a couple of normal ones)
2 turkey tenderloins (skinless)
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the zucchini into thick (3/4 inch) slices and cut each slice into chunks. Place in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with sunflower oil. Turn with a large spoon to coat. Salt and pepper the turkey. Shove the zucchini aside to make room for the turkey. Pop a few pieces of zucchini between the tenderloins to separate them. Drizzle the tenderloins with just a bit of oil.
Roast 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the zucchini a bit. Roast another 10 minutes and check the internal temperature of the meat. Shoot for 160-165.
Remove and let turkey sit about 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle pan juices over the meat to serve.
|Dragon's tongue turns cream-colored when cooked.|
|Yum! Turkey and zucchini.|
|The Garden Dinner!|