Summertime Livin’ and Recipes

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By Susan Greene

Summer time and the living is easy…  Somehow the HOT weather screams RELAXING, A DIP IN THE POOL, BACK YARD GRILLING, FRESH VEGGIES, HOMEMADE PEACH ICE CREAM, ICE COLD WATERMELON, FAMILY REUNIONS and if you live in the Deep South - GNATS!!!

A summer tomato is to die for!  I mean a real VINE ripe tomato.  Two slices of fresh soft white bread (so fresh and soft that it sticks to the top of your mouth), a generous dollop of mayo, a juicy red vine ripened tomato sliced with the skin left on, a pinch of salt and pepper,  and MAN do you have a gourmet delight.  You can add lettuce and bacon if you really want to get fancy.  The more additions to the basic SUMMER TOMATO SANDWICH takes away from the flavor of the delicacy of the REAL tomato!  There are so many ways to prepare tomatoes.  Another one of my favorites is the tomato pie.  I always have this with fish. Actually, this is so good with any type of meat or even at brunch with eggs, sausage, bacon and fruit. 

Tomato Pie Recipe ala Bubbles!

1 pie crust, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery
Dijon mustard
3 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced with peeling left on and drained between paper towels for several hours
1 green onion with top, chopped
1 cup mayo
1 cup grated sharp cheese
Fresh basil leaves shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll pie crust and fit into a pie dish.  Crimp the edges or score with a fork.  Brush the bottom of the pie crust with a dollop of Dijon mustard.  Lightly cover, do not get it too thick.  Mix the mayo and the grated cheese. Layer the tomatoes, onion, a few of the shredded basil leaves and cheese mixture ending with the cheese mixture.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the middle is set.  Leftovers are even better!  Unfortunately, this does not freeze very well!

Casseroles made from fresh crook neck squash and bread made with zucchini are out of this world!  Of course, just a little butter in the iron skillet with sliced squash and Vidalia onion is hard to beat.  Sautee’ just until tender and serve your plate. 

Summer Veggie Casserole

3 crook neck squash
2 zucchini    
1 medium onion sliced thin  
2-3 medium tomatoes sliced thin
4 slices of American cheese cut into strips
4 – 6 slices of bacon
Salt and pepper to taste

In a rectangular baking dish lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, layer in order, squash (unpeeled and sliced lengthwise), zucchini (unpeeled and sliced lengthwise) , onion, tomatoes, cheese and bacon (uncooked).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

A great alternative to potatoes!

Zucchini Bread

3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt        
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients except for nuts in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients, fold into dry, and add nuts.  Bake in two lightly greased and floured loaf pans for 1 hour or until done.
When Phil wants to fire up the grill, one of his favorites is to BBQ chicken and baste it with Peanut Butter sauce.  When the sauce sort of burns a little on the chicken and the skin gets crispy -  YUM YUM YUM!!!  Now that we have a new grilling area out back it if so much fun to have friends and family over for a cookout.  Thanks to Mark Holloway at Modern Gas for helping design the new additions to the courtyard.

Peanut Butter Sauce

In a boiler melt 1 stick of butter with 2 heaping Tablespoons of smooth Peanut Butter.  Whisk until smooth.  Add 2 tablespoons of Chili powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon celery seed.  Add 3 cups of white vinegar and heat thoroughly.  COOL and add the juice of 4 lemons.  Baste the chicken several times with this sauce while it is cooking on the grill!!

While the chicken is cooking, throw a couple of ears of fresh corn wrapped in foil on the grill.  Turn each ear a couple of times to be sure it gets thoroughly cooked.

Open the foil and drizzle with BUTTER!  When you sink your teeth into the delicious ear the butter the juice will just run all down your chin.  Ain’t nothing like it!!!!

Homemade biscuits and Mayhaw jelly are a must with a summer meal.  Mayhaw jelly is a southern specialty and once you have had it you will not want any other jelly.  The mayhaws grow on a tree near water and they are a real delicacy. The mayhaws are about the size of a blueberry and a reddish color.  I have never seen the berries sold in a store.  They are like GOLD.  Friends usually give them to friends.  The jelly can be bought in specialty stores in the South.  My Mother makes the absolute best Mayhaw jelly.  If you want to try some of this gourmet delight just let me know.  My daughter, Cathie, and her daughters, Collins and Carson will not eat anything but Mayhaw on their biscuits!

Ice Cold Watermelon is a dessert within itself.  We put the whole melon in an ice chest or cooler packed with ice so that when it is ready to be cut it will be COLD!  The small seedless watermelons are so very sweet but the regular watermelons with the black seeds are equally as good.  Seedless watermelons eliminate the SEED SPITTING CONTEST!!!  Please don’t tell me that you have never had the opportunity to see how far you could spit a watermelon seed??? This is something that you just cannot resist doing.

I remember the sound of the ice cream churn when it starts to slow down – meaning the best is yet to come!  Daddy would have to add ice and rock salt for hours until the slow dragging grinding sound would be heard and we knew that and scraped but there was always just enough of the ice cream to be licked right off the dasher itself.  Dasher you say, well it is the paddle gadget that stirs the ice cream while it is churning!!  Vaguely, I remember taking turns actually turning the crank on the churn before someone invented the ELECTRIC churn.  I am old but not THAT old!!  Thanks goodness for the Cuisinart version that is available now.  In fact, I ordered one from Paula’s web site for Phil’s Father’s Day Surprise.  We have had several different churns but this appliance seems to be the easiest and churns the best ice cream.

Recipe for Old Fashion Homemade Peach Ice Cream

This is a no fail recipe and it is QUICK AND EASY!!!

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 qt. whole milk
4 cups ripe, crushed peaches, sweetened
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the 2 milks together slowly.  Stir in the peaches and add lemon juice.  Freeze in churn.
Makes a gallon of ice cream!

Recipe for getting rid of GNATS!!!  Wish I knew one.  These pesky little varmints buzz around your eyes, nose, ears, legs and wherever.  I just hate the thought that some of you out there have never experienced a GNAT.  If you are going on a summer picnic in the South you can bet there will be lots uninvited guests – GNATS! 

Hope that you have some good recipes for your Father’s Day and Fourth of July Celebration.  I do not always cook exactly like the recipe says.  You can be creative and vary some of my recipes!

Love and Hugs!

P.S.  Thank you so very much for all of the emails requesting info on the cutout initial wreath and the “grands” necklace that I featured on my last blog!  In fact look at the initials in the bottom of a pool.  I did not have time to create a wreath for my special friend so her assistant put them in the pool!  Great idea and good looking!

Bubbles grew up in Albany, Georgia. She is a vivacious, fun loving, always on the go, Twentieth Century Grandmother. Having 3 precious grandchildren makes her day interesting. Carpools, reading to the class, softball and soccer games (not to mention the girls are on different teams), caring for my parents, grocery store, cleaners, and whatever pops up on any given day! Sometimes she believes that having the grandchildren first would have been easier. She runs on GO 100% of the day and is always the last to turn off the light and the first to turn on the stove. There is never a dull moment in her life. Memories are what Bubbles wants to leave with her grandchildren and their friends. She is well on the way to large volumes of just that. Read her Blogs and you will be able to take ideas to your house to share with your children and grandchildren.
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Reader Comments:


this lady is goofy as the day is long

By wwwwwww on August 22, 2012


So love Bubbles, u give us Grannies such a lift and smile on our faces. Paula we would love to see an all lady show, with your aunt Peggy, Bubbles, Brooke and some of your dear lady friends. What a show that would make indeed. Could u tell us all how to get our banna bread dark like McDonalds makes. This Southern lady loves grits, with real butter, salt and pepper. I gre up in the Ozarks of Ark. and my heart will always be in the south. To bad my daughter who use to live in Americus ,Geo. moved to flordia. I could have come to visit. Well u keep sending us Best dishes and tips. We so love u all. Rosie in Ct.

By R. Hedman on July 21, 2012


I love this page and all of the Deens. The recipes are my favorite and I love sharing them.

By Anne Parker on June 30, 2012


Bubbles, your Peach Ice Cream sounds just wonderful. I LOVE Peaches. And when I find a recipe for anything Peach, I grab it and make it the minute I get the chance and the ingredients. Being from up North, we don't always get nice fresh, sweet peaches except for a short period of time. We usually get them from Michagen, which is just next door from Illinois across the Lake. I will try your Ice Cream the first chance I get. Best wishes to you. Joyce

By Joyce Henkel on June 27, 2012


Hello, How and where would I purchase 'Mayhaw jelly'? Thanks so much, Suzanne

By Suzanne Prael on June 26, 2012


What does "freeze in chum" mean?? Thank you!

By Isabel Lechuga on June 22, 2012


I'm not sure if you are talking about gnats.The little black insects that bite or what I call sour fly.If it is sour flies try to put a little vinegar in a small jar like a baby food jar with lid that you can punch small holes in with ice pick. they go in and don't come out.

By Linda Gillespie on June 22, 2012


I have a question.. can you get this ready to bake and freeze it, then when you want it take it out and bake it?

By linda sandoval on June 22, 2012


I do not know how to get rid of gnats outside, but can tell you how to get rid of them in the house. In a small cup place equal parts of apple cider vinegar and dawn dish soap. Place in thre thee area where the gnats are seen. You will be surprisde killed. I quess the smell of the vinegar atracts them.

By Karen Dunne on June 22, 2012

Paula Deen
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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm