BARBARA MCCLELLAN

Barbara McClellan

“When it rains, it pours.” Actually when I looked this up in one of several books of quotations, sayings, aphorisms and thoughts, which I have loved to read for almost my entire “reading life,” the quotation from an English proverb quotes “It never rains but it pours.” Don’t we usually mean this in a figurative way? Well, yes, usually, but this spring has been an unusual one in the amount of rainfall here in East Texas.

Observe the lush vegetable, herb and flower gardens; plus our lawns that seem to be growing even while they are being mowed. However, this “saying” had a figurative meaning to me a couple of weeks ago. My smart phone went awry at the tender age of 5 months. The wait time for tech help was 3-5 hours. Then there was a chance of a dropped call (of course the store was closed); our oven went bonkers. When I pushed the button for BAKE, the oven immediately went to CLEAN (do not try to bake anything at 900 degrees); and the final (but not biggest) disaster was my Fitbit biting the dust. (I wear it to keep a close watch on my pulse rate). I am afraid to say it, but it appears that most things around our house are in working order and the sunny days have come for a while, weather-wise, too. Normally, in a time of extreme frustration I run to the kitchen to create a gooey dessert of some kind. This time I just went to the garden to dig (sometimes in the rain!)

This spring weather has brought bountiful garden harvests for many in this area. This is the time to cook fresh vegetables. One of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is to roast or broil them. We have talked about this before, but it is so simple I sometimes forget about it.

Roasted Vegetables

(for soft vegetables)Ingredients

Slice or dice in chunks about 4-5 cups of a mixture of

Yellow or zucchini squash

1 large onion (yellow for cooking has a stronger flavor)

Bell peppers, red, yellow, orange and or green

Tomatoes, if desired

About 1/4 (or more) olive oil

Salt and pepper

Steps

Place the above in a gallon plastic bag, seal top and shake well.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan (with deep sides more than a cookie sheet) with foil.

Place vegetables on foil in pan. Place in preheated oven, and stir after about 8 minutes, and return to oven. Cook until slightly brown, probably about 10-12 minutes until desired tenderness. Of course, you can add any other vegetables you have, plus any seasonings. This makes about 4-5 servings. I roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and various harder squashes this way-just adding more time until the veggies are tender.

I found this very interesting cobbler recipe in the cookbook compiled by the School for Little Children at First Methodist Church in Longview. It was given to me by Mary Greenwaldt, the then-director of the preschool and kindergarten.

This recipe was submitted by Keely and Carson Barbe. I plan to try it with peaches when they are in season.

Berry-Cookie CobblerIngredients

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup white corn syrup

4-5 cup berries (the Barbes say they use blueberries)

1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

Steps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and corn syrup. Add berries and mix well. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Slice cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on berry mixture. Bake 1 hour until lightly golden.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.