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Okra, Corn and Tomatoes Recipe

I love growing okra – it reminds me of late summer on the farm

Okra, Corn and Tomatoes Recipe

Okra, Corn and Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • • 1 large sweet onion or 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • • 2 cups fresh, tender okra (about a double hand full)
  • • 6 large ripe tomatoes (or a 28-ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes - canned tomatoes are fine)
  • • 3-4 ears of fresh, mature corn
  • • 1 teaspoon sea salt or regular salt
  • • Pepper, if desired
  • • ½ cup water

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large saucepan. Cook chopped onion for a few minutes until transparent, not browned.

  • While the onions are cooking, blanch the tomatoes for half a minute. Drain and cool tomatoes. Peel, remove the cores and cut into chunks, making sure that you save the juice. If using canned tomatoes, cut the tomatoes into large pieces, saving the juice.

  • Wash the okra. Cut stem ends off and cut into ½ inch round pieces.

  • Shuck corn and cut corn off the cob. Older or mature corn works best for this recipe.

  • Add the tomatoes and juice, okra, corn, salt, pepper and water to the cooked onions. Cook covered over medium to low heart for one hour or until the ingredients are all done.

  • Serve with homemade cornbread.

  • Yield: 7-8 one-cup servings
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Click to read more about Corn, Okra and Tomatoes

I’ve Written a Cookbook!

I have always wanted to write a cookbook that told the stories behind the recipes.

Innkeeper at Big Mill BB Chloe Tuttle has new cookbook of Southern Recipes

Sign up to get the free cookbook with your email address below

One time, I took a month off and house-sat for my friends in the Florida Keys. Well, as usual, I was sidetracked with the beauty of the area. I would make a recipe and spend all my time taking photos of the food. I do love to photograph food – it doesn’t whine or wiggle or complain that the picture makes it look fat.

Friend Jody has helped me FINALLY produce a wee digital cookbook that features some of my favorite Southern recipes; we call it Chloe Ann’s Farm Life Recipes. My folks grew up in an area very close to Big Mill B&B called Farm Life, so that seemed like a lovely homage.

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While we were pulling this book together I was happy that I took the pictures. I’m guessing all these recipes will hold memories for those of us who grew up in the South.

I hope you enjoy it and I promise there are more to come.

Chloe Tuttle Big Mill Bed and Breakfast near Greenville NC

 

 

Dig for Fossils in Aurora, North Carolina

Dig the past at the Fossil Museum in Aurora, NC | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/collecting-fossils-fossil-museum-in-aurora-nc/

Big kids and little kids like to dig in the dirt. When I was growing up on the farm here in eastern North Carolina, if we dug deep enough we could find a fossil. It was so exciting to get those remnants from the past and to know that right where we were digging was once under water. Click to read more about Fossils and the Fossil Museum in Aurora, NC

Luscious Candied Figs Are the Food of Kings

One of the great things about late summer is that we have luscious figs. And when they ripen, they all ripen.



Luscious Candied Figs are Fit for a King

Luscious Candied Figs are Fit for a King

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar + optional 4-5 Tablespoons
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ gallon ripe figs-small figs like Brown Turkey work best. Use figs that have stems

Instructions

  • Day 1:

  • Add the sugar and water to a large cooking pot. Boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Wash figs, do not remove stems.

  • Add the figs to the sugar syrup – figs will not be totally covered. Bring to a slow boil and boil gently for 45 minutes. Don’t worry about stirring the figs. They will release more juice and then there will be more liquid. They are so fragile it is best not to stir them now, but do keep an eye on them. After 45 minutes remove pot from heat and set aside. Cover pot.

  • If you feel you must stir the pot, use a wide spatula and gently lift the figs. Remember they are fragile.

  • Day 2 & 3:

  • Boil gently until sugar is almost gone, checking often. For me this took several hours so I set the temperature on low.

  • Gently remove the figs from the pot and place them on the cooling rack set on a large cookie sheet with sides. The figs will drip.

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Turn off oven. Place the cooling rack and cookie sheet with the figs in the warm oven. Leave figs for several days to dry. You can keep heating oven again to 200 degrees if needed. I did not dry my figs totally. They are so tough if you do that. I think I like them half dry.

  • Optional: When figs are dry enough for you, sprinkle them with the extra granulated sugar. They are already sweet but this keeps them from sticking together so much. Store figs in refrigerator in an air-tight container or zip lock bag.
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Click to read ways to use Figs

Every summer I grow Basil and it thrives here in eastern North Carolina.What can you do with all this basil? Well, I make Pesto and freeze it to enjoy all year.

Basil is easy to grow and fresh Basil is perfect for making Pesto Genovese | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/pesto-genovese-recipe-innkeeper-eastern-NC

Fresh Basil from Chloe’s Cook’s Garden

Pesto will keep a long time in the freezer. It can be frozen in ice cube trays — handy if you only need a small amount of pesto.

Basil is also easily rooted if you want to try to keep a pot inside over the winter. I just put a stem in a glass of water, then plant in soil once it shows roots. Click to get Chloe’s Pesto Genovese Recipe

Did you know that some flowers can be lunch?

Edible flowers add a certain pop to any meal. They are easy to grow |

Edible Flowers are all around you

I grabbed my Edible Flower book and wandered around the yard, tasting. I eat whatever is in the yard that I KNOW is edible, including  pecans, blackberries, mulberries, blueberries, tomatoes, wild cherries, figs and cucumbers.

Now I have added Edible Flowers to my “Okay to eat” list. I don’t use these flowers as a main course – they are too pretty blooming in the yard! I pick them as garnish and they add a special pop to any dish. Click to see what edible flowers grow all around you.

No matter what you think about bears, when someone says, “I saw a bear,” you listen.

Big Mill Bed and Breakfast innkeeper blog post talks about the Black Bear Festival every June. Black Bears can be seen through the low lying areas of eastern North Carolina | @bigmill | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/black-bear-festival-plymouth-nc

Bears in North Carolina are usually black with a cinnamon color muzzle

Increasingly, we are beginning to see bears here in eastern North Carolina. They are mostly in the mountains and coastal regions – bears love our coastal pocosin habitat.

In one of the articles I read, eastern North Carolina was said to have the highest Black Bear population of all the states. A 500-pound bear is not at all uncommon and bear biologist, Colleen Olfenbuttel, confirmed that they are seeing “an increased frequency of 700+ pound bears.”

Click to read more about Black Bears and the Black Bear Festival in eastern NC

When I was growing up we had mules: Big Red, Little Red, Rock, Kit and Mary. There were other mules before my time, but I don’t remember their names.

Big Mill B+B is a Farmstead Inn, located in Williamston in Eastern North Carolina. The old mule barn has been converted into the Mule Room Suite. It's perfect for long-term guests who want all the comforts of home - including a full kitchen. See more photos and read about the newly renovated Mule Room on Chloe's Blog. | @bigmill.com

The living room in the Mule Room Suite has great views of the lakes

We have spiffed up our mule Mary’s quarters and we call her home the Mule Room Suite. Much discussion went into what to call it. A good friend wanted me to call it a shed, but on this farm sheds only have 3 sides. Click to read more about the Mule Room — past and present …

The Hen and The Hog Restaurant in Halifax, NC, is a wonderful surprise.

Looking for fun dining in Halifax, NC? The Hen and The Hog is a NC farm to table restaurant specializing in edgy southern comfort food and an easy day trip from Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston NC. | @bigmill | chloesblog.bigmill.com/hen-and-hog-gourmet-restaurant-halifax-nc

I love to explore local gems and this one is perfect. The restaurant is located in an old hardware store and the old floors remain – no trendy marble tiles here. But don’t be fooled – this is an upscale place; it just retains its local character. Read more about Hen & Hog

Spiced Mulled Cider Recipe

Hot, Spicy Apple Cider Warms the Heart

Warm mulled cider is a great way to please a crowd on chilly days. It is easy to make and doesn't cost much. A great way to start the holidays! @bigmill | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/spiced-mulled-cider-recipe

Spiced Hot Apple Cider tastes great and you can kick it up with a shot of brandy

A great way to welcome fall and the chill in the air is to make up some hot, spicy cider. If you live where apples are grown, then you can use fresh-pressed cider.

The rest of us can pick up some great cider in the store and create our own brewing spices. North Carolina apples are the best – I see a road trip coming!  Click to get the easy spiced apple cider recipe!