Mary’s Kitchen: Not Enough Time – Busy In The Kitchen

Mary’s Kitchen: Not Enough Time – Busy In The Kitchen

There just is not enough time in the day! As the summer draws to an end, everything seems to get crazy busy. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind.

I’ve been to a couple different markets, brought home some new treats to try and canned some treats to enjoy later. I had the best intentions of writing about them, but like you – I’m sure – there just has not been enough time to sit down 🙁

The First Week of a Busy Life – Not Enough Time!

The first week my husband was out of town. That left it to me alone to do all the chores and take care of our little pets. Like children, everyone needed attention and loving every day. Not to mention their food and water. By the time I took care of everyone else and made my dinner, I was ready for the couch!


Fortunately for me though I made a new friend, a fellow healthy-foodie-enthusiast. She has a nice garden and gave me some veggies straight from it. It reminded me of my grandparents’ neighbors, they were always exchanging vegetables. A nice practice I think. That way no one has to plant everything they want, but can rely on neighbors to share their plenty. A super way to build a little community of people who care and watch over each other. And an EXCELLENT way to save time by not being in the garden as much!

She shared with me some sweet cherry tomatoes, a couple eggplant, a handful of jalapenos and some Patty Pan squash. A beautiful, colorful bounty!

To be honest, I haven’t cooked with eggplant at home. I’ve made it for others and I’ve eaten at restaurants. But I have never made it for my family. I’d have to think of what I could make with them. The cherry tomatoes and jalapenos though, I knew exactly what to do!

As I’ve been doing, I season and dried the cherry tomatoes and recently enjoyed some in my Greek Quinoa Salad. The tomatoes were so delicious in my salad that I want to make sure I have a nice supply of tomatoes preserved in olive oil to use again 🙂

Slow-Cooker Chunky Salsa with Black Beans and Corn
Slow-Cooker Chunky Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

With the jalapenos I decided that I wanted to make some salsa. I haven’t made some from scratch in years. Time to make it again!

Like I said, lately there was not enough time in a day and a slow-cooker salsa seemed like the way to go. I researched a couple recipes online and made up my own version. The tomatoes I picked up at a local stand were chunked up, skins ‘n all; I added a chopped onion, three of the jalapenos from my friend, chopped cilantro and seasonings. On the low setting, it cooked all day with the lid slightly askew so the extra moisture could escape. The unsealed slow-cooker filled the kitchen with the aroma of cooking tomatoes and jalapenos!

After about 8 hours, I added black beans and corn. Finally my Chunky Salsa with Black Beans and Corn was ready! 🙂

Still Not Enough Time

The next week, with my husband back home, my not enough time problem lessened. I could do “my thing” but not nearly as much as I wished I could. I visited another local market and brought home veggies to enjoy during the week…and more fresh, local tomatoes!

This was a wonderful local farmers market. It featured so many beautiful organic and naturally grown vegetables that I didn’t know where to begin shopping. In addition to the tomatoes, I picked up beets, fingerling potatoes, cabbage and zucchini.

Canned Summer Garden Spaghetti Sauce with fresh eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and roasted garlic
Canned Summer Garden Spaghetti Sauce with fresh eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and roasted garlic

Now it was time to do something with the eggplant. Make spaghetti sauce 🙂

I wanted to incorporate summer vegetables into my sauce and decided that the eggplant would be perfect for this.  As well as summer organic zucchini and roasted garlic, for the added touch.

The pot simmered and bubbled. And the kitchen smelled absolutely delicious!

My efforts only yielded 2 quarts of canned homemade spaghetti sauce. I know though that they will be a very welcome taste of summer when the cold winter winds are blowing.

The rest of the veggies I picked up at the market will have to wait to be enjoyed later. Maybe I’ll whip up another new recipe. But with as busy as the summers get, I’ll probably just enjoy them as a side dish with dinner.

What Do You Do When There’s Not Enough Time?

Do you have any favorite summer vegetable recipes you’d like to share or are looking for? Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form on the right or on my Contact page. I’d be happy to speak with you.

And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂

Enjoy and Be Healthy!

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