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What Do I Do with a Mushy Cantaloupe?

By July 28, 2014 beverage junkie, creativity, having flexibility, practice, recipes, summer

There are few things more disappointing to me than picking a fruit that has an undesirable texture. Come on, you know what I am talking about. How many tomatoes, peaches, plums, apples, or melons have you sunk your teeth into with disappointment?

In the summer I can eat a cantaloupe a day. There’s nothing quite like that subtle musky, juicy, refreshing melon experience. What is hard to swallow is when I pick a melon with a mushy texture. Who’s with me here?

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As usual, I went to the Durham Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I have been buying three cantaloupes from Brinkley Farms each Saturday. I have to admit, for as long as I have been eating cantaloupes this summer, my run on really good one’s has been mind-blowing!

Today was the first time that I sliced open that wonderfully musky fragranced melon to discover a mushy texture. The flavor, on the other hand, was perfect. What was I going to do?

I grabbed my Vitamix blender and scooped out the flesh of the melon straight into the blender pitcher. Once I had all of the melon scooped out, I put the lid on the blender and turned it on low. In seconds I had a refreshing juice. That was an incredibly easy solution!

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One thing to note is that after it sits, this juice will thicken. I did not strain out any of the pulp. You can thin it by adding some coconut water until you get the consistency that you want.

Another option would be to transform the juice into a shrub. Click here to learn more about shrubs and shrub making. I haven’t tried that yet, but will check it out and get back to you. You could also make a soda with your juice by adding sparkling water to it. Play with the ratios to get the flavor and texture you like. It is better to add a little bit of soda at a time. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away after you mix with your juice.  Let me know how you like it!

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Lesson: When things don’t go quite the way we planned or even assumed that they would, we can feel disappointed or even frustrated. These feelings often show up when we have expectations of a particular outcome. Who doesn’t want  to eat a perfect melon?

I always do my best to come up with alternate options that will work just as well as the outcome that I had hoped for in the kitchen and in life. This cantaloupe juice is a good example of that. What do you do to have flexibility when things don’t turn out as you had hoped?

 

 

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Summer Squash and Eggs

By June 1, 2014 breakfast, creativity, eggs, recipes

My favorite ingredients to go with my eggs can depend on the season. Yellow squash has just started coming in at the farmers market.  I enjoy what some might consider an unlikely pair – yellow squash and eggs.

I am not much of an omelet eater (or preparer). I like my eggs soft and light.  I prefer a scramble – sautéing the vegetables and then adding the eggs for a soft scrambled “scramble.”

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During the summer months, I like to eat tender crookneck yellow squash and Vidalia onions with my eggs. I also really like the addition of Chapel Hill Creamery’s Dairyland Farmers Cheese. Its mild flavor and creamy texture pairs really nicely with the squash.

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Here’s how I make a Summer Squash Scramble for 2:

Ingredients:

 5 farm eggs

¼ cup of sliced Vidalia onions

2 small yellow summer squash, halved and sliced

1/3 cup diced Chapel Hill Creamery Farmer’s Cheese

Butter or olive oil for cooking (I use a little of both)

Equipment needed:

Sharp knife and cutting board

Dry measuring cups

Nonstick sauté pan

Nonstick spatula

Mixing bowl

Directions:

–  Crack your eggs into a bowl

–  Whisk the eggs until the yolk is fully incorporated with the whites

–  Add the cheese to the eggs and stir

–  Set the eggs and cheese aside until after you cook the vegetables

–  Turn one of your large stovetop burners to medium high heat

–  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your sauté pan

–  Once the pan is hot, add your onions and squash

–  Cook the onions and squash until tender, you may want them to get a subtle amount of color on them (subtly golden brown) – this depends on your taste preferences

–  Once your vegetables are cooked to your preferred doneness, add the egg and cheese mixture

–  Allow the egg and cheese mixture begin to cook along the outer edges of your pan as it surrounds all of the vegetables before you stir

–  Gently stir the eggs and vegetables until they are thoroughly cooked

–  I flip the cooked parts upward and away from the heat, making sure that all the liquid gets turned under to the heat of the pan

– This is a quick and gentle process that will give you softly scrambled eggs

– Experiment with adding fresh herbs like basil, tarragon and/ or chives  after cooking the eggs to liven up the flavor of your scramble. I like to add fresh arugula as well. Play with it!

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*Note: Where to buy Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses:

Carrboro Farmers’ Market: Wednesday and Saturday

Durham Farmers’ Market: Wednesday and Saturday

Western Wake Farmers’ Market: Saturday

Whole Foods Market, Weaver Street Market, Southern Season, Earth Fare, and LoMo Market

Lesson: For many years, I ate squash either in casserole, stir-fries, or fried with onions. One morning I decided to “play” with the produce I had in the fridge. Little did I know that one of my absolute favorite flavor-pairings would come together. Summer squash and eggs are such a pleasing pair that came from experimentation. What kind of pleasures have you discovered from trying something new?

 

 

 

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