Monday, July 10, 2006

What's Growin' On 7/10/06: Birthday Showers and an Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Our Rickety Little Rain Gauge Holds Very Good News

Realization Of The Day:
The benefits of not taking a whole bunch of bone-dry laundry off the line because it is one's birthday and one is being lazy (even if it has already been hanging out there for over 24 hours) are obvious: the fields, the garden, and that nice clean laundry received 1-1/2 inches of badly needed rain today.

I don't know which was a better birthday surprise—this rain or the first ripe tomato of the season (which tasted absolutely wonderful by the way). The rain, of course, was a gift enjoyed by the entire farm, but the tomato was selfishly gobbled up by me.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make it rain on your garden—even if it isn't your birthday.

Dragon Langerie Beans (I told you they were gorgeous)

From Garden To Mouth:
I did a bit of birthday grazing yesterday, starting with a little pre-breakfast nibbling in the garden on a few luscious ripe raspberries (I really have developed the eating habits of a sheep). Later I plunked myself down to watch a movie and munched on a big bowl of freshly picked, sweet and crisp, Dragon Langerie beans, each one lavishly dunked into thick homemade blue cheese dressing. (One taste and you'll wonder how you ever settled for storebought.)

Dinner was a very simple homemade green garlic pizza (my spring green garlic planting experiment has been declared a tasty success!) I'd made the other day and frozen (leftover homemade pizza is one of my favorite foods), a salad that included Nero di Toscana cabbage from the garden along with some of the deer- and bug-ravaged Swiss Chard (that stuff is tough!), and that tomato of course. All washed down with a pleasant Gamay Beaujolais.

Farmgirl's Favorite Blue Cheese Dressing

A nice sized hunk of real blue cheese, crumbled into chunks
Plenty of good sour cream (lowfat is fine)
A dollop or two of mayonnaise (I'm a Hellman's/Best Foods girl)
A healthy splash of vinegar (I like white balsamic)
Some chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
A little granulated onion and garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Milk to thin (if a more pourable dressing is desired)

Mix all ingredients together and start dipping. Tastes even better after sitting overnight in the fridge. Will last for several days (if you make an enormous batch).

© Copyright, the happy to be blue foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. OK, Farmgirl, here's what I don't're in the far reaches of Missouri somewhere, with a driveway that's (how many?) miles long, and you manage to buy stuff at Trader Joe's? That TJ even exists in Missouri is amazing to me, but how far away is it from your farm?

  2. What's good for the goose is good for the gander Susan, if I have to make my own lard for tortillas, you have to make your own bleu :-P

    Sounds like you had a nice birthday graze through the garden.

  3. Hi Former Okie,
    Well, a girl just can't live on what the garden puts out alone (and lamb chops) now, can she? And if she's on a budget. . .and if she'd been shopping at Trader Joe's in California since well before she could even legally buy all of their wonderful, amazingly low priced wines and beers. . . and if she waited TEN LONG AFFORDABLE CHEESELESS YEARS for the Trader Joe's People to FIND MISSOURI. . . well, once in a while she doesn't mind driving the 200 miles each way to get to one of her favorite stores on the planet. (And once there, she stocks up, of course. Heavily. On everything. : )

    Hi Steven,
    When it cools down, I'll send you some lard. And you can send me some homemade blue cheese. Deal? Deal. Great. Looking forward to it. : )

    Yes, birthday graze was good. There was more grazing involved throughout the day, but the edibles weren't from the garden (though the birthday splurge organic chocolate bar was from Trader Joe's, LOL!)

  4. happy birthday. and i think trader joes is eden. and even though my TJ's is just 2 blocks from my house, i would still drive 200 miles if i needed.

  5. You want some of our rain? Please? PLEEEEASE!? I noticed most of the bark mulch in flower beds up and down our street was washed out into sidewalks this morning, and there was gravel in the streets where there normally isn't any. We're due for more heavy rains and loud storms tonite.

    And I don't suppose you found a birthday cake bush out in your gardens while grazing? I bet you could even pick unripe birthday cupcakes from it! Just imagine the possibilities!

  6. Susan

    I tell you what, you send me lard and I'll send you chocolate from Jacques Torres in NYC the next time (soon) I'm there.

    I don't know if you've been back to Northern California lately, but there's a string of TJ's through Sonoma and Marin now the craziest clump being the Petaluma-Novato-San Rafael stores. Three TJ's in a 40 mile stretch!

    I'm totally jealous that Rachelle has a TJ's two blocks from her house.

    I'm a TJ shopper from way back, we lived in the Pasadena area for a while when I was a kid and we shopped TJ regularly, now I have to go all the way to Cleveland for my fix which is a 280 mile round trip, needless to say I stock up.

    TJ is opening up in Pittsburgh, which is still a hike, but it gives me an excuse to go hit the Carnegie Museums and do some shopping if I go. HOWEVER... no wine or beer for PA since we have the fascist State Stores.

    I would be totally into making some bleu, but I need a source for sheep's milk and I'll have to dig a very deep cellar and line it with limestone and innoculate the whole place with the right molds. This could get expensive....

  7. two things:

    1- it rained on my garden yesterday too- 2 inches. and it was all because i had two big loads of whites on the line.

    2- trader joes makes all natural mayo, every bit as good as the kind with the preservatives. have you not tried it? their organic line is OK, but IMO the 'real mayo' by TJs is tops.

    i wish i were only 200 miles from TJs!! i used to be 5 blocks from mine. it was my true love.

    tabitha, not karl, though i imagine he loves TJs just as much!

  8. Steven-

    I'm a former PA resident living in MD and they have Trader Joe's in Pikesville, MD which if I mapquested Mill Creek, PA correctly, is way closer than Pittsburgh.

  9. Suzanne

    Thanks for the research, but I'm in Millcreek Township, PA about 350 miles from Pikesville MD. The closest TJ to me is in Cleveland at this point :(

  10. Farmgirl, you're right about the affordable cheese. My TJ's is less than half a mile from a Whole Foods with their outrageously priced cheese. I don't know who would pay those prices. You are truly dedicated to put in the miles for that shopping trip.

    I made your chocolate biscotti a while ago....mmmmmm! Really enjoy your posts and photos. I agree, the story of Cary would make a great book!

  11. Belated happy birthday!

    Your method for making it rain really works! We've been having drought conditions here in the UK but last week I put two loads of laundry in one after the other, and within half an hour it clouded over and rained for six days! Amazing. Then when I finally managed to finish the second lot of laundry a week later the machine went pop and blew out all the electrics in the house. So I guess it's back to the drought now.

    I wonder how far my nearest Trader Joe's is? A 6-hour flight probably. :)

  12. Not to start a mayonnaise war, but clearly you have never tried Duke's! Southerners understand.

    Thanks for the bleu cheese dressing receipt - I'm going to make some this week (with DUKE'S mayo!).

  13. LOL! I can't believe you drive that far for TJs! I would too, if I had too. Our is right down the street, which makes me happy. :-)

    I am a bleu cheese addict, so I'm going to try this dressing asap. Your recipes make me so hungry.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

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I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

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