What Vegetables to Plant During the Month of May

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May has arrived and this month continues to be a great month to start a new garden or to continue working in your existing garden.  You can still plant all of the fruits and vegetables that we listed for you for April: cantaloupe, honey dew melon, watermelon, bell peppers, corn, cucumbers, green beans, hot peppers, lima beans, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.  In addition to April’s items, you can now plant the following vegetables for May: crowder peas, eggplant, field peas, okra, peanuts, and popcorn.  To plant these items, we recommend using Daddy Pete’s Perennial Pleaser or you can use Daddy Pete’s Potting Mix.  If you are amending your existing garden, you can use Daddy Pete’s Cow Manure, Daddy Pete’s Kickin’ Chickin, or Daddy Pete’s Mushroom Compost.

Okra Planting Tip: If you soak your okra seeds in warm water the night before you plant them, more seeds tend to germinate.

MAY VEGETABLES

  • Okra
  • Peanuts
  • Popcorn
  • Crowder Peas
  • Eggplant
  • Field Peas
CROWDER PEAS WITH TOMATOES AND GREEN ONIONS   INGREDIENTS FOR THE CROWDER PEAS 2 cups crowder peas 4 cups chicken broth Fat of choice: 1 tablespoon bacon grease OR 1 oz. salt pork OR 1 tablespoon jarred ham base 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste FOR THE SALAD Cooked crowder peas 1/2 cup tomatoes (heirloom if you can get them), chopped 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced (light green and green parts only) Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste Hot sauce, to taste (optional)   INSTRUCTIONS To cook the crowder peas: Put the crowder peas in a pot and cover with chicken broth. Add in your fat (bacon grease or salt pork or ham base) and the dried thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until peas are tender but not overcooked. (See notes.) Drain and place in a bowl. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed. (Note: You can save the cooking liquid to use in soups or to cook rice.) Once the beans have cooled slightly, add in the chopped tomatoes and green onions, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with hot sauce. RECIPE NOTES Start checking the crowder peas 15 minutes into the cooking time to see if they're tender and keep an eye on them after that. Also keep in mind they’ll keep cooking for a bit off the heat, so make sure to remove them once they’re tender so they don’t get mushy.   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

CROWDER PEAS WITH TOMATOES AND GREEN ONIONS

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CROWDER PEAS

2 cups crowder peas

4 cups chicken broth

Fat of choice: 1 tablespoon bacon grease OR 1 oz. salt pork OR 1 tablespoon jarred ham base

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD

Cooked crowder peas

1/2 cup tomatoes (heirloom if you can get them), chopped

1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced (light green and green parts only)

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

To cook the crowder peas:

Put the crowder peas in a pot and cover with chicken broth.

Add in your fat (bacon grease or salt pork or ham base) and the dried thyme.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until peas are tender but not overcooked. (See notes.)

Drain and place in a bowl. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed. (Note: You can save the cooking liquid to use in soups or to cook rice.)

Once the beans have cooled slightly, add in the chopped tomatoes and green onions, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with hot sauce.

RECIPE NOTES

Start checking the crowder peas 15 minutes into the cooking time to see if they're tender and keep an eye on them after that. Also keep in mind they’ll keep cooking for a bit off the heat, so make sure to remove them once they’re tender so they don’t get mushy.

 

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CLASSIC FRESH FIELD PEAS   INGREDIENTS 2 Smoked Ham Hocks or purchased smoked ham hocks 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion 3 tablespoons bacon drippings 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 cups shelled fresh field peas (about 1 lb.) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper   INSTRUCTIONS Bring hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot drippings in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add peas and onion mixture to Dutch oven with ham hocks; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove hocks; drain peas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove and chop ham from hock bones; discard bones. Stir ham into peas, if desired.   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

CLASSIC FRESH FIELD PEAS

 

INGREDIENTS

2 Smoked Ham Hocks or purchased smoked ham hocks

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

3 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups shelled fresh field peas (about 1 lb.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot drippings in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add peas and onion mixture to Dutch oven with ham hocks; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove hocks; drain peas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove and chop ham from hock bones; discard bones. Stir ham into peas, if desired.

 

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MOM'S BEST PEANUT BRITTLE RECIPE   INGREDIENTS 2 cups sugar 1 cup Karo Syrup (light) 1 cup water 2 cups raw peanuts ¼ cup butter 1½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp vanilla extra butter for greasing cookie sheet   INSTRUCTIONS Grease a cookie sheet with butter and set it aside. Combine butter, baking soda and vanilla in a bowl and set aside Combine sugar, Karo and water in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until mixture spins a thread when drizzled from your spoon. Sounds crazy but you'll know what I am talking about when it happens. Add peanuts and stir while cooking until mixture turns light brown (approx same color as a paper bag) Add the bowl of butter, baking soda and vanilla that you prepared and set aside earlier. Mix until butter is melted and mixture is foam-y from the baking soda, Pour out onto your prepared cookie sheet and use to forks to spread it out as thinly as you can (approx ¼") Let cool completely and use a butter knife to break it into pieces. (see picture below)   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

MOM'S BEST PEANUT BRITTLE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sugar

1 cup Karo Syrup (light)

1 cup water

2 cups raw peanuts

¼ cup butter

1½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

extra butter for greasing cookie sheet

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Grease a cookie sheet with butter and set it aside.

Combine butter, baking soda and vanilla in a bowl and set aside

Combine sugar, Karo and water in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until mixture spins a thread when drizzled from your spoon. Sounds crazy but you'll know what I am talking about when it happens.

Add peanuts and stir while cooking until mixture turns light brown (approx same color as a paper bag)

Add the bowl of butter, baking soda and vanilla that you prepared and set aside earlier.

Mix until butter is melted and mixture is foam-y from the baking soda, Pour out onto your prepared cookie sheet and use to forks to spread it out as thinly as you can (approx ¼")

Let cool completely and use a butter knife to break it into pieces. (see picture below)

 

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HEALTHY AND EASY BAKED EGGPLANT PARMESAN   INGREDIENTS 1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (12 to 14 slices) 2 large eggs ⅔ cup plain panko bread crumbs 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper cooking oil spray 2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or Rao's brand) 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly into as many slices as your eggplant 1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped   INSTRUCTIONS Line 2 baking sheets with a double layer of paper towels and spread the eggplant slices among the sheets evenly. Liberally salt the eggplant slices, using about a teaspoon total of salt, and let them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. Using fresh paper towels, wipe the tops of the eggplant to remove excess salt and firmly press to release any remaining liquid. Dry on both sides and transfer to a plate. Wipe the baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray well with cooking oil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. In another medium shallow bowl, combine the panko, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dip one slice of eggplant into the egg, coating both sides, and then press ONE side into the bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with all remaining slices. Spray the tops of the eggplant slices well with cooking oil and bake until the eggplant is soft and the crust is crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce on each, followed by a slice of mozzarella. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve.   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

HEALTHY AND EASY BAKED EGGPLANT PARMESAN

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (12 to 14 slices)

2 large eggs

⅔ cup plain panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

cooking oil spray

2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or Rao's brand)

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly into as many slices as your eggplant

1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Line 2 baking sheets with a double layer of paper towels and spread the eggplant slices among the sheets evenly. Liberally salt the eggplant slices, using about a teaspoon total of salt, and let them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. Using fresh paper towels, wipe the tops of the eggplant to remove excess salt and firmly press to release any remaining liquid. Dry on both sides and transfer to a plate. Wipe the baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray well with cooking oil.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. In another medium shallow bowl, combine the panko, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Dip one slice of eggplant into the egg, coating both sides, and then press ONE side into the bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with all remaining slices.

Spray the tops of the eggplant slices well with cooking oil and bake until the eggplant is soft and the crust is crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce on each, followed by a slice of mozzarella. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve.

 

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OKRA PILAF   INGREDIENTS 4 slices of bacon (about 5 ounces), chopped 1 cup chopped yellow onion 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 2 cups okra, sliced into disks, 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (fresh or frozen, thawed) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste) 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (use less salt if using seasoned broth) 1 cup long-grain rice 1 3/4 cup chicken stock*   INSTRUCTIONS *Review the instructions on your package of rice for how much liquid is needed for your particular brand of rice. Some rice calls for a 1:1 1/2 ratio, some 1:2 ratio, rice to liquid. Use whatever ratio is indicated by your rice package. Fry the bacon: Spread the chopped bacon out in a pot so it covers the bottom completely and turn the heat to medium. Fry it until it's crispy, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add onion, bell pepper: Add the onion and green pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add okra, cayenne, salt, and rice: Add the okra and increase the heat to high. Add the cayenne, salt and rice and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, cover and cook: Stir in the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Fluff rice, stir in bacon: Fluff up the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped bacon.   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

OKRA PILAF

 

INGREDIENTS

4 slices of bacon (about 5 ounces), chopped

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 cups okra, sliced into disks, 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (fresh or frozen, thawed)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt (use less salt if using seasoned broth)

1 cup long-grain rice

1 3/4 cup chicken stock*

 

INSTRUCTIONS

*Review the instructions on your package of rice for how much liquid is needed for your particular brand of rice. Some rice calls for a 1:1 1/2 ratio, some 1:2 ratio, rice to liquid. Use whatever ratio is indicated by your rice package.

Fry the bacon: Spread the chopped bacon out in a pot so it covers the bottom completely and turn the heat to medium. Fry it until it's crispy, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.

Add onion, bell pepper: Add the onion and green pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. 

Add okra, cayenne, salt, and rice: Add the okra and increase the heat to high. Add the cayenne, salt and rice and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, cover and cook: Stir in the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.

Fluff rice, stir in bacon: Fluff up the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped bacon.

 

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MUDDY BUDDY POPCORN   INGREDIENTS 8 cups popped popcorn 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could also use milk chocolate) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract   INSTRUCTIONS Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels. Place the powdered sugar in a resealable gallon-sized bag. In a medium-sized microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave, cooking for 30 second intervals and stirring after each interval until the chocolate and peanut butter combination is completely smooth (mine was completely melted after 90 seconds, but it will depend on your microwave). Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour melted chocolate over the popcorn and mix with a large rubber spatula until it completely coats each piece of popcorn. Carefully spoon the popcorn into the resealable bag (I promise that it will all fit). Zip the bag closed and shake until all the popcorn is coated with the powdered sugar. Once the popcorn is coated, pour into a large bowl and serve. If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container for up to two days (I doubt it will last that long!).   VIEW RECIPE SOURCE

MUDDY BUDDY POPCORN

 

INGREDIENTS

8 cups popped popcorn

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could also use milk chocolate)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels.

Place the powdered sugar in a resealable gallon-sized bag.

In a medium-sized microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave, cooking for 30 second intervals and stirring after each interval until the chocolate and peanut butter combination is completely smooth (mine was completely melted after 90 seconds, but it will depend on your microwave). Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour melted chocolate over the popcorn and mix with a large rubber spatula until it completely coats each piece of popcorn.

Carefully spoon the popcorn into the resealable bag (I promise that it will all fit). Zip the bag closed and shake until all the popcorn is coated with the powdered sugar.

Once the popcorn is coated, pour into a large bowl and serve. If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container for up to two days (I doubt it will last that long!).

 

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