Spontaneous Cooking From Garden To Table

There are days when it’s too hot to cook, or I don’t have time, or I don’t have all of the ingredients needed, or I’m just too tired to face the work. But, once in awhile, there’s a “perfect storm” of weather, harvest, time and desire. Yesterday was one of those. My kitchen counter was spilling over with produce. On Saturday, I’d shopped at the tiny farmers market two miles up the street from home. I’d bought a dozen ears of the corn and some hot peppers from a friend in town who sells the excess from her backyard garden at a small table at the market.



My next-door neighbor, John, has such a productive garden that his friends get handed brown paper bags full of the excess. I’d been the lucky recipient of garlic, peppers, eggplants and tomatillos. (I left a dozen eggs on his porch.)



I’m still harvesting herbs, tomatoes, chard and carrots. As I said, the counters were full. It was one of those mornings that you open the windows wide and let the breeze in. Fall! Chilly but not cold. Perfect cooking weather. And so I did.

This is spontaneous from the garden and coop to the kitchen cooking. I don’t have recipes for you, but perhaps you’ll have the perfect storm of end-of-summer produce and weather and time, be inspired, and get into the kitchen too.

With tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and hot peppers, I made a piquant sauce. There’s a jar in the fridge and several containers in the freezer for winter taco dinners.



With the eggplant, onions, garlic, mint, basil and tomatoes, I made a bruschetta topping. It is so good on pita crackers topped with ricotta insalata cheese!



Using the corn, onion, herbs, and peppers, I tossed together this salad.



With eggs, tomatoes, onions, basil and a sausage from a farmer in the next town over, I made this quiche.



By noon the food was stored and the kitchen was cleaned up. It was that sort of day.


  1. I love those kinds of days!! Nice to have neighbors with bountiful gardens. We have one that has a big tractor and cuts our lawn…..they get free eggs. Win win.

  2. Love the fall harvest! We had a salad with fresh spinach, heirloom tomatoes, and cucumbers. It is such fun to see what you can prepare. Local Food Challenge!

  3. Spectacular and inspiring. It will be many weeks before we see your weather, but I love all the fresh cooking ideas that a cooler temp brings. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Looks fantastic! It’s great when the food all comes together like that.

    I’d like to share my favorite salsa recipe- grill (preferably on the barbecue) one large tomato and one jalepeno “until nice and done” (as Martin Yan used to say) and then puree them both in the blender- wonderful! Change the ratio for milder salsa…