A few years ago I had the opportunity to present a cooking class in the mountains of South Carolina. As I drove up the driveway toward the 200-year-old log cabin where I was teaching the class, I caught my breath at the valley below and mountains beyond. Then as I walked through the back door of the house, I was awe struck by an equally beautiful setting on the other side with an oak tree shaded lawn, sprawling meadowland and a deep wide creek with hills beyond.
I set up my class because this was “hands on” and everyone would be cooking. We had a full house of 20 that day. One of the women owned a vineyard so it seemed most appropriate that we start our class with a Grape & Cucumber Salsa. As we worked we made summer dishes such as Watermelon, Feta and Shrimp Salad, Corn and Feta Salad, Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Basil and many others. (The other recipes are on our website if you have not seen them).
When the food was all ready we moved it out to long tables set up on the top lawn overlooking the meadow and hills beyond. We poured wine, and passed our food around for tasting. Good food, good wine, good friends and beautiful views with a cool summer breeze gently blowing. It just couldn’t have been a better day.
Thought you might like to try this cool and refreshing salsa from my friends in the mountains.
Grape & Cucumber Salsa
1 cup seedless green grapes, quartered
1 cup seedless red grapes, quartered
3/4 cup finely chopped peeled English cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield 6 (1/2 cup) servings.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
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