Gluten Free Friday ~ Green Breakfasts

If only I had been taking photos of all of the goodies that are being made in my kitchen this morning, then I could have a cute Christmas-y post today!  I just made 12 graham cracker gingerbread houses, while my friend Jen made GF chocolate chip cookies, and now I’m about to start on a Christmas version of Rice Krispie treats and a batch of Christmas roll and cut butter cookies.  There is royal icing everywhere you look and a sink piled high with mixing bowls and cookie sheets!  This is all in preparation for Kayla’s annual tea party tomorrow.  Maybe the cute pics and recipes will find their way here next week?!

Instead, I’ll share a couple of breakfast recipes with you that I’ve been enjoying lately.  We get so many hearty greens in our farm share toward the end of the season, and while my family doesn’t mind them once in a while, I have a hard time using them all in a week’s time.  And canning, freezing….yes, I know that can be done, but it takes time and forethought, neither of which I have or have time to have at the moment. I really hate to throw them out, and I love all of the vitamins they hold, so I end up putting them in either my eggs or my smoothies.

Here’s my egg scramble method:

Greens and Eggs

Ingredients:
bunch of greens {2-4 cups kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, vitamin greens, etc}, washed and torn in pieces
2-3 tsp coconut oil {tastes delicious and so good for you, but most any oil will work}
2-3 cloves pressed garlic
4-5 eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cheddar or other cheese, grated {optional}

Directions:
Whisk 4-5 eggs together in small bowl. Heat coconut oil in a small skillet.  Add greens and pressed garlic and saute until greens are wilted. Pour in whisked eggs and stir until eggs are cooked through.  Add cheese if desired and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with GF toast or fruit.

Last week, Kayla went shopping with me and put some strawberry kefir in my cart at Trader Joes. I thought she might have a hard time drinking it all herself, so I started using some of it in my smoothies.  We also happened to have a couple of bags of spinach that I didn’t use at Thanksgiving, so I started making my way through the bags by using the spinach in my smoothies, too.  The spinach will turn your smoothie very green, but they are still very yummy and healthy, of course.

Green Smoothie
{one of MANY versions}

Ingredients:
1/2 banana
1/2 cup mangoes {mine were Trader Joes frozen}
3/4 cup strawberry kefir
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp flaxseed oil {optional}
1 cup fresh spinach

Place all ingredients in blender.  Blend until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add more water if too thick.

Easy ways to get greens in your breakfast ~ enjoy!

Gluten Free Friday ~ Swiss Chard “Sushi” & Triathlon Countdown

 Two recipe posts in a row means I haven’t blogged in a week, but there are reasons for that. Would you believe me if I told you that a Sunday afternoon trip to the emergency room with a collapsed congregant {she is fine now}, a bit of a health scare and unexpected trip to my out-of-town doctor {nothing to worry about}, some babysitting, some birthday attending, a few difficult heart-to heart conversations, a heart-wrenching court hearing,  an open-heart surgery {he made it through!}, and a certain 12 year old in bed with me during the crazy and numerous thunderstorms all made their way into my week? Really, there is just never a dull moment around here, and as the saying goes, my best laid plans went awry. Oh, I did accomplish several things that were WAY overdue like homeschool reports, proposals, and portfolios, but I’m certainly not ready to begin teaching my Classical Conversations Challenge 1 class on Tuesday!  I’m hoping the weekend will allow for some cleaning, organizing of the homeschool bookshelf, and preparation to teach 13 students a multitude of subjects come Tuesday morning.

Training for a triathlon really doesn’t fit in with this schedule, but it’s only seven days away now, and I’ve made it this far, so I’m just settled on one more week of all-out training in the midst of our first week of school.  Yikes!  I am so thankful to be able to exercise like this, though.  It really makes a difference, not only in my physical health, but also my spiritual and emotional health.  Here’s what the training has looked like in the last two weeks:

Sunday, Aug.5 ~ Bike 23mi, Run 3mi
{these have to be done vvvvverrrry early in the morning…}
Monday, Aug. 6 ~ Run 6mi
Tuesday, Aug. 7 ~ swim 1mi
Wednesday, Aug. 8 ~ Bike 14mi, Run 6mi
Thursday, Aug. 9 ~ Rest
Friday, Aug. 10 ~ Run 6mi
Saturday, Aug. 11 ~ Rest
Sunday, Aug. 12 ~ Bike 16mi, Run 3mi
Monday, Aug. 13 ~ Run 6mi
Tuesday, Aug 14 ~ Swim 1mi
Wednesday, Aug. 15 ~ Rest {Raining!}
Thursday, Aug. 16 ~ Run 6mi {in a.m.}, Swim 1 mi {in p.m.}
Friday, Aug. 17 ~ Rest

and tomorrow on Saturday the 18th, I’m hoping to do a shorter version of the Olympic length triathlon ~ probably a 1/2 mile swim, a 16 mile bike, and a 3 mile run.  Rest on Sunday, run on Monday, swim on Tuesday and Thursday, bike on Wednesday, and rest on Friday.  The triathlon in is Connecticut on Saturday morning the 25th at 8a.m., and I’ll be doing it with my dear friend, Betsy. We always swim together and she does circles around me! In fact, I may be the last one out of the water next week, but I know I can at least swim for a mile, and maybe I’ll make up some time on the bike and run. I’d like to try and finish in under four hours. {I just read an article called “Breaking the 2.5 Hour Barrier.”  Ha!  Absolutely NO chance of that.}  Now to figure out what to eat and when.  It will probably involve eggs for breakfast and peanut butter and honey somewhere along the way.  That, plus regular water and Vitamin Water seem to do the trick.  We’ll see…

Robert offered to go to the farm for me yesterday and pick up our weekly veggie/fruit share while I was swimming with Betsy.  Then he took the kids for a late afternoon swim.  I got home before they did and realized I hadn’t used all of the veggies from last week yet, which included a bag full of Swiss chard.  I also had carrots and peppers in the frig, so instead of serving sauteed chard like I usually would with other greens, a fresh, raw, appetizer sounded nice.  My friend, Jenna, served something similar to this at a gathering last year, and I had just seen another chard roll like this in my recent issue of Eating Well magazine.

Here’s what I did:

Wash the chard, pat it dry, and cut out the thick stem.  Thinly slice or shred other veggies like carrots, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, and even onions and sprouts. {Avocados!} Spread a thin layer of cream cheese or goat cheese on long pieces of the Swiss chard leaves. Place small amounts of shredded/sliced veggies along the leaf and on top of the cheese.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Have them waiting on a plate when hungry swimmers return home, and watch them disappear!

Now to “deal” with all of the new and freshly picked and delivered veggies, study my Latin declensions and algebraic equations, and put in a few more swims, bikes, and runs.

Oh~  And have a few ladies over for breakfast on Sunday morning to discuss small groups and ministry to women for the coming church/school year.  Can’t wait!

Have a great weekend!

California Dreamin’ & Veggie Nightmares

 Our family has been dreaming of a California vacation for about eight months now.  Eight months because it was in December that we learned of my brother Stu’s engagement to his girlfriend, Rachel. Stu and Rachel both live in southern California, their wedding is on Saturday, and we could not be happier for this godly couple who’ve been a testimony to so many in their courtship, especially my own kids.  But if the vegetables have their say, I won’t be going anywhere.

The hardest part about having a farm share is DEALING with all those weekly veggies once you get them home!  I knew today would bring lots of time in a steamy hot kitchen {it’s in the 90’s here today, and there’s no air-conditioning in that room of the house}, and a big mess to deal with all on the same day I need to be packing for our week-long venture to Cali!  {We leave at 6am tomorrow morning, and guess who’s the only person not packed?}

Yesterday, I made it out to the farm, in the midst of LOTS of other post-youth-camp-pre-California-trip-errands, during pick-up hours and pick-ing hours. There were baskets of kale, arugula, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, green onions and other things in the barn for filling your bags.  Out in the field, I picked  bags full of basil, cilantro, and green beans.  It was hot and I was drenched by the time I was finished.  {My little farm helpers aren’t quite so little anymore and know exactly that a trip to the farm entails, so they usually find a way to dodge going along with me.} All I could do once I got home was throw some green onions into the chicken salad I was making for dinner, and store the remaining veggies until today ~ the day before departure.

Well, it took almost all day, and the kitchen was like a sauna from the all of the blanching, but the arugula, kale, and basil became pesto. {Frozen into cubes for future use.}

The tomatoes and cilantro became salsa.

And the green beans got blanched, cooled off, and stored in the deep freeze, which seemed like a comfortable place for ME to be stored as well.  It was HOT!

The carrots will wait for our return, and I guess we’ll be having whatever protein I can find in the freezer and sauteed yellow squash for dinner, because I don’t think it freezes very well, and I don’t have time to be creative! 
After dinner I’ll be making some gluten free raspberry, oatmeal, and white chocolate bars for breakfast and traveling snacks, and hopefully getting my suitcase packed before midnight.  {And no veggie nightmares, either, but beach dreams instead ~ hopefully.} 4am is going to arrive very quickly.  Less than 12 hours now ~ yikes!

So worth it, though, to be with family and friends to celebrate Uncle Stu’s and the soon-to-be Aunt Rachel’s special day!  Prayers for a peaceful heart, efficient packing, and safe travel appreciated.  Prayers also for  a wedding ceremony that blesses this special couple and gives glory to the God Who drew them together, as well as a lifetime of deepening friendship and joy in their marriage.

“Marriage is to be held in honor among all…”
Hebrews 13:4
“This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Ephesians 5:32

“Sun”- Dried Tomatoes

Even though apple-picking season is really about over, and the basil is definitely done, it seems like up until last week we were still picking tomatoes at the farm.  I sort of knew what to do with all of the paste tomatoes I picked.  Those ended up in a crockpot overnight along with some onions, garlic, and basil in order to make sauce ~ which always turned out pretty good. But what to do with the 2 quarts of cherry and pear tomatoes in our share?  I was about to skip a week of picking those, because I still hadn’t used the 2 quarts sitting on my kitchen table from the week before.  That’s when I met Jane.
We were picking basil near each other ~ lots of basil, when she asked if I was making pesto. When I said yes, she smiled in approval and said, “It’s such a great investment!  And there’s nothing like eating pesto in the winter ~ a wonderful taste of summer in every bite!”
“Have you picked your cherry tomatoes yet?” she asked.
“Actually, I was thinking of skipping those this week, because I’m not even close to finishing the ones I picked last week,” I lamented.  “What do you do with yours?”
” I make sun-dried tomatoes!” she happily proclaimed.

“Oh, but I don’t have a dehydrator,” I replied.
“Neither do I.  I make mine in the oven ~ set as low as it can get ~ for 8 hours or more.”
“So, could you describe to me exactly how you do it?” I asked.
“Wash them. Cut them in half. Place them cut-side-up on a cookie sheet.  Bake on the oven’s lowest temperature all day.  I have some in my oven right now ~ just turned it off to come to the farm, but will turn it back on when I get home,” she explained.

Oh happy day!  I thanked her for the inspiration, made a beeline for the cherry tomatoes, and joyfully picked 2 overflowing quarts.
The only problem with this whole idea is that in this “sun-dried” form, I can eat them like candy! I just about finished an entire bowl of them before I could pour them into a plastic bag and store them in the freezer for future use.  Oh well.  At least they get eaten.  A couple of bags did make it to the freezer, and I’ve even used them in one new dinner recipe recently.
What I really want to make is this sun-dried tomato pesto!
My friend Christie introduced me to sun-dried tomato pesto one day while strolling through Boston’s North End and visiting her favorite little Italian grocery store.  Oh. My. I think we nearly ate a whole container of it (along with some amazing cheese, prosciutto, bread, and gluten free crackers) on the drive back home, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since!  So delicious…
Fall is definitely at its peak here ~ absolutely beautiful.  Really, there is nothing like it.
 Bracing myself for what’s to come, though.
At least there’s a bit of summer in my freezer this year!

New Life Beauty ~ Migration Envy

Forgot to tell you about what else we got at our farm last week besides green beans and watermelon.  In the farm shop, there was a father who, along with his children, were selling Monarch butterfly chyrsalides. (I looked it up.  The plural can be either chyrsalises or chrysalides.)  They had them all dated and hanging by threads from a wooden clothes-drying rack.  They were selling them for $4 a piece, and these kid vendors attracted all kids of attention – from other kids, to moms, to grandmas, and even neighbors buying a couple of them for the little boys who live next door to her. Isn’t that a sweet gift?
 Well, of course we could not leave the farm without one of these special packages!  We chose one that was due to emerge about 3 or four days later.  The dad tucked it gently in some tissue and then into a small dixie cup for transport.  At home we hung our chrysalis from a wooden skewer across a small mason jar.  (Only one we had left after all of the pickles, salsa, and tomato sauce that got first priority that day after the farm trip!)

On Tuesday, I noticed that the green chrysalis had turned clear, and you could now see the orange and black stripes shining through. We had our second week of Challenge A for Classical Conversations that day – and my first day of teaching Challenge II (Yes, I’m teaching again. I’ll tell you that story later.), so we HAD to take the chrysalis with us so as not to miss any excitement that might occur while we were gone!
That afternoon, my friend Debbie noticed that something WAS happening. We all gathered around to see the Monarch emerge from the chrysalis and begin to pump blood and fluid into its floppy wings.  A truly amazing sight!  Debbie had recently heard a wonderful scientific teaching on creation and how a completely different organism appears out of the liquid into which the caterpillar dissolves completely during the pupa stage. It made me think of the new life Christ is able to give each of us – the potential for complete change and transformation are there, in Him, just waiting for our receiving….

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:3-5

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 
Galations 2:20

After he (the two black dots on his wings, near his lower body = male monarch) rode home in the van with us – perched on a Rubbermaid container holding the microscope we will need for 10th grade biology, he “hung out” in the kitchen for a while flapping and stretching those beautiful wings out.  When he looked fairly active, we took him outside to let him hang from one of the branches of the bushes that surround our yard, but he fluttered happily away before we could get him there.  And so high!  He just flapped and flitted to the tip tops of the highest maples around, and in a matter of seconds, we could no longer find him. It was too fast.  We wanted to keep observing his beautiful wings and ways, but he had places to go.
And you know where he’s going, don’t you?

For the few years I spent student teaching and then having my own classroom (16 years ago now!), there was one thing you could always count on – a migration of Kindergarteners with orange and black butcher paper wings fluttering through your classroom sometime in the spring. They were studying and re-enacting the Monarch Migration, and they were so cute.  This was in Texas of course, and Texas is the final destination of many of the monarchs that start right here in my Massachusetts backyard!  And if Texas isn’t its stopping place, it’s at least a layover on the way to Mexico, meaning that a huge percentage of these beauties pass through the state at some point. Just another thing that Texans are very proud to celebrate about themselves!
So wishing I could have hopped on the wings of our little friend and made the journey to a place where summer won’t be over for a while! And where friends and family are dearly missed.
Sending love and prayers on those black and orange wings….

Saturday Love, Veggie Love, Cindy Love

Yesterday was a gorgeous here – about 75 degrees, clear and sunny. (Sorry Texas, Oklahoma, & California.) Robert decided to join me in an early trip to the farm to pick up our weekly share. Good thing he did, or else I would have been there twice as long picking beans. Most things are already picked for you, but some things are PYO. (Pick your own) So….we picked raspberries, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, basil, and BEANS. There were so many beans that you could pick extra and buy them for a bulk rate. We picked exactly three extra pounds for $3. And they were beautiful! Green, purple, and cream and purple swirled. (Don’t know their real scientific names, so I’m making them up.) Also in our share were…onions, corn, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, arugula, Swiss chard, green onions, cucumbers, a gigantic watermelon, and a cantaloupe.

After that we headed downtown for some browsing through our town’s weekly farmer’s market. The only things we bought there were three garlic bulbs, a quart of jalapenos, and get this….some fresh ginger! ($16 per pound! Look in front of the tomatoes.) Oh, and one very gluten-ful pecan sticky bun for the only gluten-eater in our family. Usually, while eating some glutinous goodness, he will say something like…”This is really terrible. Just awful – you are not missing anything.” Which is always a lie, of course – to ease my jealousy, but after devouring this treat, he admitted it was the best sticky bun he had ever eaten. I didn’t mind at all, especially since I was able to indulge in a grass-fed-cow’s milk yogurt and peach smoothie while cruising through all of the absolutely beautiful vegetable displays. (Yes, made fresh, on the spot.)

I was in such veggie heaven, so mesmerized by the colors of our haul, that I carried it all out to our backyard, arranged it all on the picnic table and proceeded with a fruit and veggie photo shoot! I am not sure what this says about me, but it made me very happy.

And then we got busy washing, chopping, and eating!

Kayla had her friend Maddie over, and since the weather couldn’t have been more perfect, Robert worked on a campfire out back, (while simultaneously polishing off his sermon on the laptop) so that we could have campfire meals or “Hobo Meals” which is what we always call them. (Pretty sure I obtained that term from my Girl Scout camping days.)

The kids and parents all loaded up a foil packet with ground beef patties, potatoes, carrots, beans, and squash, lots of butter, and salt and pepper. (Actually, some packets were mysteriously void of squash and beans.) Then we buttered up some corn and wrapped it in its own packet. Onto the coals it all went, and 15-20 minutes later everyone had their own personal meal. Dessert? Roasted marshmallows, of course. Delicious!

We had to get started on this project a bit earlier than our usual dinners, because we had a very special show to attend that evening. Cindy, our beloved church worship leader and friend, was playing at a local cafe. Everyone in Krum family was looking forward to getting a special drink (steamers, root beer, iced tea, americanos – the works!) and hanging out with church friends and listening to Cindy. Yes, we hear her every Sunday morning, but you really can’t ever get enough of this talented lady.

Seriously, I want to give a disclaimer at church each week: Warning! This church has unusually talented musicians. PLEASE do not expect this same level of expertise in other congregations. You are sure to be disappointed.

Familiar worship songs, to James Taylor, to Taylor Swift : ) – she covered it all – and even a few originals. Other friends and worship leaders, Eric and Lois, and even Cindy’s housemate, Kate, joined her for some of the songs. All so gifted….
She played to a full house, (who’s surprised?) and was her usual fun, easy-going, talented self. It was a fun and memorable time for all – thanks, Cindy!

Wonderful day of fun and favorite things…. a needed encouragement.

Up next:
Kayla’s Sermon Interpretation Drawing
Eat, Pray, Love book/movie review
Summer Re-cap
First Days of School

Kale, Caramelized Onions, & Pepperoni

While waiting for an iced coffee at Barnes and Noble the other day, I was perusing a Fine Cooking Magazine. It was chock full of recipes that include the very things I get from my local farm co-op each week. I ended up going through the cafe line again to purchase the magazine, because I knew it would come in so useful.

This issue had a section on many different ways to prepare lots of different GREENS – which is about all we get for the first few weeks at the farm. LOTS of kale, chard, arugula, spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, and collards. Today I managed to finish off every last green, turnip, radish, strawberry, and head of lettuce that we picked up this week, and that makes me so happy! Oftentimes, I end up throwing things away because I can’t think of anything to do with the green stuff which is really disappointing. Here’s how they got used this week:

1. I boiled the turnips with potatoes and mashed them with garlic to go alongside of roasted chicken. (The turnip greens and radish greens became chicken feed.)

2.The lettuce and radishes became a tossed salad which served as a veggie side to the chicken and mashed potatoes.

3. The 2 tiny patty pan (or sunburst) squash got sliced and pan fried in a bit of butter – also as a small side dish for dinner.

4. Strawberries (the ones not eaten) got washed, placed on a cookie sheet, frozen individually, and then placed in a ziploc bag and put back in the freezer for future smoothies, baking, etc. (You’d be surprised how quickly low sprayed/fertilized strawberries go bad – like 24 hours and your eating chances are over!)

5. Garlic scapes were made into “garlic scape pesto” as suggested by the farm newsletter. It’s in the freezer, too, waiting for some future gluten free pasta dish or pesto pizza!

6. And the huge bag of kale turned into this dish which I took to our weekly small group Bible study to share.

Here is that recipe which was inspired by one in that section of Fine Cooking, but you should really go grab the current issue of Fine Cooking to see the rest as well as MANY other great summer recipes.

Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Pepperoni

4 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

16 oz kale? (I used about 1/2 of a plastic produce bag packed fairly tight with kale)
2 – 4 Tbsp olive oil
2 vidalia onions
20 thinly sliced pepperoni (I like the kind from the Whole Foods deli dept – big thin slices)

6 Tbsp butter

Directions:

1.Whisk together honey, vinegar, and salt in small bowl or jar.

2. Slice vidalia onions and saute in 4 Tbsp butter on medium heat for 20-30 minutes until translucent and light brown.

3. Remove onions from skillet. Slice pepperoni rounds in thin strips, separate and saute in same pan as onions. No need to add more oil or butter. Saute until crispy – about 10 minutes.

4. Remove pepperoni from skillet, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and saute kale in batches until wilted and dark green – just 2-4 minutes.

5. Combine kale, onions, and pepperoni in serving bowl, toss with 2 Tbsp butter. Pour honey and vinegar mixture over and toss again.

Serve, and prepare for people to be amazed that green stuff could taste so good!

Gluten Free Friday – Farm Fresh

This will be our 8th season (I think) to be a part of a CSA – a Community Supported Agriculture farm called the Brookfield Farm. The season runs from June through Thanksgiving and provides and abundance of fresh, local, and organic fruits and vegetables. And not only that, but other local farms, dairies, etc. have begun to sell their products right in the farm shop allowing me to also buy local yogurt from grass fed cows, local duck eggs, beef, pork, chicken, goat cheese, milk, and even locally canned, fermented carrots, sauerkraut, beets, kombucha, and locally homemade popsicles! Really, we are so spoiled in the area of good, local, organic food that it is hard to imagine ever living in a place that didn’t offer this amazing selection.
This photo turned out a bit blurry, but you get an idea of what it looks like in the farm shop. The chalkboard tells you “What’s in your share” and then you bag your own veggies accordingly. Usually the board announces what veggies are available on the tables and whether or not you can fill a whole plastic produce bag or a half or a third, etc. with that particular food.
The other table in the shop holds all of the “greens.” I’ve had to learn to use lots of different kinds of greens and still am not very good at anything but salads! I usually end up steaming the kale and chard, freezing it, and using it in soups at a later date.
I have never been a fan of beets – probably because the only kind I was ever exposed to were the canned ones from the grocery store. Robert, on the other hand likes them and grew up eating beets from his own family’s garden. They are still not my favorite, but I am slowly acquiring a taste. We can get quite a few of them in the farm share, so I decided to look up some new ways of cooking and serving them. This recipe comes out of The Martha Stewart Cookbook which has several recipes for any kind of fruit or veggie you can imagine.
Puree of Beets

1 small bunch of beets (4 to 6)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp heavy cream or Creme Fraiche
zest of 1 orange (I thought this made it “too orange-y” and would use much less next time!)
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the beets in cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 25-30 minutes. Peel the beets and puree in a food processor. Stir in vinegar, cream, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Serve warm.

The kids did OK with eating this dish, but I think beets still remain near the bottom of the list of favorite veggies in this house!

On a wall in the farm shop is another chalkboard letting you know what veggies and fruits you need to pick yourself – things like strawberries (see kid pic above!), raspberries, herbs, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, snow peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes, tomatillas, and even a wonderful variety of flowers. Two weeks ago, we were able to pick a quart of sugar snap peas, and I found another Martha Stewart recipe to try…

Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas

4-5 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, strings removed
1/2 tsp sugar
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet and saute the peas until tender, 3-4 minutes. ( I cooked mine a bit longer.) Sprinkle with the sugar and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sugar snap peas are one of my absolute favorite vegetables! I had some beautiful pea plants started in my garden, green and growing nicely up the twine trellis I created for them. Then the greedy groundhog found his way into the garden, and he along with his growing family, decided to gobble them all up. And, unfortunately, they didn’t stop there, but devoured the green beans and broccoli as well. I’m down to mint, itty bitty alpine strawberries, jalepenos, and tomatoes! Why don’t groundhogs eat mint???? There’s PLENTY of it to go around! Thankfully, we still have our beloved Brookfield Farm which somehow remains organically free of groundhog gumption!