and the cotton is (or in my case, weeds are) high.
Summertime is also the time for farmers' markets, where you can get your organic veggies and heirloom tomatoes. While heirloom tomatoes are a Big Thing right now, it is important to preserve the diversity of varieties in other vegetables.
While I was looking for directions on how to make a self-watering planter from 5 gallon buckets I came across this chart from National Geographic Food Ark, which demonstrates that there has been a precipitous decline in the number of vegetable varieties that are available.
The site notes that of the 66 crops surveyed about 93 percent of the varieties had gone extinct between 1903 and 1983. "So what?" you ask. Remember the potato famine? One variety of potato, one fungus (phytophthora infestans). Or the Great French Wine Blight which was caused by aphids. And don't forget the current plight of the banana (see, for example, Yes, We Will Have No Bananas), of which there is only one variety commercially available--and it is currently being decimated by a blight. More varieties means more genetic diversity and a greater possibility of resistant varieties. If you are interested in growing some heirloom varieties of you own, check out the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange or the Seed Savers Exchange. And the great thing is that by buying and growing a wider range of fruit and vegetable varieties you not only help preserve diversity, you get some good eats, too.
Speaking of good eats, both breads for this assignment ate pretty good.
The Red Wine and Cheese Bread did not have much whole wheat in it only a 1/2 cup in the half recipe I made (and 1/4 cup of rye--much less than a pocket full). It did have 3/4 of a cup a red wine, which gave it a kind of rosy tint, and 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar (I used a light sharp cheddar from Trader Joe's). None of my tasters, including my Special Guest Taster, Hildy, really noticed the flavor of either the red wine or the cheese, but everyone thought the bread was pretty good. When I told them that there was red wine and cheese in the bread, they all decided that they could taste a subtle flavor of both--but then my group can be kind of suggestible--whenever they watch a medical program they are sure they have whatever disease or condition is featured on the show.
I baked my Red Wine and cheese Bread as a boule
and I think it came out right purty.
I used some of the remaining dough to make a Swiss chard and mushroom pizza on the grill, cooked directly on the grates. We ate it before I thought to take its picture. It seems we must add Pizza to Time and Tide.
I decided to use the dough to make baguettes, using my perforated baguette pan.
With the chunks of potato, I thought this was a very interesting, and pretty tasty, bread.
And finally, since I still had some of each dough, I mooshed them together and made a hybrid Herbed Red Wine with Cheese, Potato, and Roasted Garlic Bread.