Monday, July 22, 2013

Garden Update and Recipe for Easy Seasoned Potatoes

A few posts ago I posted about having a dilemma when I wanted to bake potatoes for a barbecue but all of my potatoes were super huge.  The solution was that I cubed and seasoned the potatoes and baked them in a casserole dish.  They worked perfectly and tasted as good as any baked potato.  

Last night we had an easy supper, bacon sandwiches.  My husband wanted some sort of potatoes (he's a midwest boy through and through) so we cubed some potatoes and made those seasoned potatoes again.  These potatoes work great because you can season them with whatever you have on hand.  Last night we used onion powder, seasoning salt, and parmesan.  I ate mine with a little sour cream.  I think Doug ate his with a little ketchup.

Doug is extremely picky.  He mashes his regular baked potato out completely and removes the skin from his plate.  But for these potatoes, he was content to cube them with the peelings on.  You can peel your potatoes or not, whatever is  your preference. (I would think that sweet potatoes would work just as good in this recipe but I haven't tried that... YET).

Before the recipe, here is a little gardening update.

I was excited to find a little critter in my yard on Thursday evening.  Isn't he cute?  At the time I thought he WAS cute. but actually he is a thorn in my side!

I sent my girls both a cute little text telling them that I had found "Franklin" in our yard (both girls loved to read books when they were little about Franklin the Turtle).  I would soon discover that this little Franklin wasn't as sweet as the Franklin in the books.

Later in the weekend ...I found some damage to my garden. Something has been munching on lots of stuff in my garden!

As of July 21, I have only picked a few cucumbers and less than 10 cherry tomatoes from my garden but we expected a slow year. Bigger problems than a slow start have surfaced!  I discovered lots of eaten squash plants like the one above, eaten cucumber vines, and munched zucchini to my dismay.  I had three nice zucchini squash that I was anxious to pick (since I haven't harvest one single squash in two years) but when I went down to my garden this weekend, they were munched clean to the vine, with just little nubs of squash where whole squash had been.  Ugh!

My dad has a friend he calls, "Hillbilly."  (my dad LOVES nicknames and I don't even know this man's real name so we all call him "Hillbilly" LOL).  Hillbilly knows a little bit about EVERYTHING!  He can fix a central air unit.  He bottle fed triplet calves this winter and saved them from certain death.  He cans his own garden produce.  Pretty much, if you mention anything to him, he has fascinating details about it.  So, my dad talked to Hillbilly about my garden.  Hillbilly's diagnosis?  "Sounds like a turtle!"  

A TURTLE, I squealed,... when my dad told me that.  Why, I just found a sweet little turtle in my yard the other night!  I was afraid he would fall in the pool so I picked him up and put him in a nice, shady spot, right by my GARDEN!  Ugh!!  

The woes of ignorance!  I never knew a turtle would eat my garden plants.  Yep, remember Franklin?

He's now a wanted man at my house!

It seems that Doug also saw a groundhog sneaking his fat self out of the back corner of my garden!  And since some of the sunflowers have been munched from the tops, and neither a turtle nor a groundhog could reach that far up, it sounds like deer might also be a problem.  Now.. we are talking about a garden that is about 20' x 30'.  It's a wonder all of this wildlife isn't stepping on each other in there!  Sounds like some sort of wild animal garden party!  

WHAT TO DO?  I don't know what to do exactly.  I put some mesh fenching around the bottom of the garden to help with Franklin.  I turned the radio on blasting loud to try to scare off the deer, and my dad put out a live trap (with sweet soybeans inside at the recommendation of Hillbilly) to catch Mr. Groundhog.

Time will tell.  Let's hope I get a few vegetables out of my beautiful garden this summer.  Surely these beasts will share with me?

Here's the recipe for the Easy Seasoned Potatoes.  They are delicious and help a girl get over her garden woes.

Easy Seasoned Potatoes

  • Potatoes, cubed (peeled or not)
  • Seasonings (onion powder or real onions, seasoning salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, lemon pepper, paprika)
  • Margarine or Butter for cubing on potatoes
  • Casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray with lid or foil to cover

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray casserole dish. Place cubed potatoes in casserole dish.  Sprinkle with seasonings and parmesan cheese (optional).  Place small cubes of butter/margarine around on potatoes (like... less than two/three Tablespoons.)

Cover and bake for one hour or until potatoes are soft.

Serve with toppings of your choice or nothing at all.



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