Friday, March 15, 2013

Culebra's Free Range Friday


Yes, you may start singing 'Wild Horses'

First up has nothing to do with Culebra but everything to do with food. Well, not everything, I don't have time for that, but a good starting place, will that do? In the email bag today came the offer from Pepper Joe for 7 FREE packs of seeds and...well, I'm just going to put it here. The reason I'm putting it all here is because this is from the newsletter and/or facebook rather than his web site. Since there are those of you who wisely won't go near facebook where even angels fear to tread, we'll do it this way instead.
FREE Seeds!  This Weekend only....7 Packs of Free Seeds...count them SEVEN Free Packs of Seeds at Pepper Joe's with any $20 Purchase. 
Here's our St. Patty's Weekend Special offer:
Typically we give 2 packs of Free Hot Pepper Seeds with every purchase.  Starting right now...This weekend only we're giving away 3 FREE packs of Hot Pepper seeds.....and FOUR Free Herb Seeds!   We'll choose your 3 Free Packs of Hot Pepper Seeds from Pasilla Bajio, Takanotsume, Grenada Seasoning Pepper, Sapporo, Santa Fe Grande, Mexican Habanero and Aji Dulce.  (We'll choose your 3 Free Packs of Hot Pepper Seeds at Random).  Then we toss in another 4 packs of Free Herb seeds. 
 The Free Herb Seeds will be Italian Parsley, Basil, Cilantro and Dill.
That's 7 Free Seed packs total.
This is over a $25 Dollar Value! 
These four delicious Herbs make the perfect companion to our Hot Peppers and Sweet Peppers.
So here's the simple guidelines to get your SEVEN PACKS OF FREE SEEDS:
Just spend $20 Bucks (Split with a friend if you'd like)
Offer good in USA and Canada only (Customs is making it tough to ship seeds overseas)
Put Code FreeSeeds1109 in the COMMENTS section of your order form.
And YES Penny's Tomatoes is running the same offer for St. Patty's weekend.
Get SEVEN packs of Free Seeds....3 Tomato seeds and 4 Herbs.
The Tomatoes will include Homestead, Golden Jubilee, Rutgers and Ace 55 Tomato Seeds. (We'll pick the Free Tomato Seeds at Random). The Herbs will also be Italian Parsley, Basil, Dill and Cilantro....the perfect ingredients to make a great Salsa. This is a $25 Savings....or a $50 Savings if you order from both Companies.  Separate Shipping charges apply.
Again, Same guidelines apply.  $20 minimum order, Valid in USA and Canada only and place code FreeSeeds1109 in the COMMENTS section of order form.
Ok, so that's that part. Free seeds. That means not quite free, when you factor in dirt, water and the sweat of your labor, tomatoes, hot peppers and herbs. And what else are you doing? You're supporting a small company in the US who work hard to do things the right way. What's not to like? No, they aren't a sponsor, but I've been buying seeds from Joe a long time and writing to you all a long time as well...why not hook up two good things!
The other part is from the yard, where playing with the camera keeps me out of trouble. Ok, it kept me out of trouble last night.
The orchid that keeps on giving

My first tomato!!

A ball of bougainvillea
And now, to the food part. I made this for last Sunday's Funday, where everyone brings some sort of noshy food offering to share. Sometimes I just bring crackers and cheese, sometimes I get a little more involved. This was one of those more involved times, but it was still Simon Simple. 
Smoked fish dip in the making

MJ's Smoked Fish Dip
The funny thing about most smoked fish dip recipes is the first ingredient is smoked fish. I mean, how cheating is that? I didn't happen to have any smoked fish lying around (though I have the smokers and mean to use day), but I did happen to have some all natural liquid smoke in a bottle (you can buy some weird stuff at Marshalls, and this was one in that category). I've had this for years as it is powerful stuff and never goes bad. So if you don't have any smoked fish around, and lucky you if you do, don't turn your nose up at using liquid smoke. 
The brand I used is called Lazy Kettle Brand, all natural hickory smoke. I have no idea how they make it, but it works!
2 tilapia (or any firm white fish) fillets
Minced onion, red or white but mild is good
Liquid smoke
Worcestershire sauce
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the fish until it is done, breaking it up gently as it cooks. Mix up in a bowl a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of minced onion, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of liquid smoke and a few drops of lemon juice.  Let the fish cool down, then add it to the sauce mix.
Mince your onion almost to the mush stage
Now comes the fun part. I can pretty much guarantee you are going to want to adjust the flavorings, because of all sorts of reasons. You were shy with the liquid smoke or you want it smokier (I did). Your fillets were bigger than mine, so you need a dab more mayonnaise. You can't taste the worcestershire. Have fun, don't be afraid to play with your food! Secret food tip: the only way you can wreck food with flavorings is to start off with a heavy hand. Start with a little and build from there, remembering that as flavors meld awhile, they will get stronger, but not crazy stronger. Repeat, have fun!
When you get it all done and in its serving container, cut up the green parts of the scallion into 1/2 inch bits and sprinkle over the dip. 

This got a big thumbs up from a lot of people who like and make good food, so I think you can trust it. Buen provecho!! 

Have a fix your fortune to the finest flag Friday. Do something fascinating.



  1. You're killing me! I don't like/eat much fish, but I love smoked fish dip. Lewis introduced me to it in S. Florida. Never thought about making it myself. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Buen provecho! I know you can get smoked fish easily where you are, so all you'd do is omit the liquid smoke (but it's still a great thing to have in the pantry).