the next day I turned the smoker into a planter

Ok – do you know the difference between a gratin and a casserole?

I had to look it up because I wasn’t sure if it was just some snooty word that meant casserole.  Turns out there is a difference.  Casserole is a recipe that you  bake all in one dish which may or may not contain cheese.  A gratin is a dish that contains cheese.  And just incase you aren’t confused enough lets throw in au-gratin.

Recently around Coral Cottage, a little of this and little of that has been going on.

We smoked a pig.

This old rusted junk heap has done us proud for a lotta years.  I bought it at an auction at least 15 years ago, paid $5.00 for it.  One of the best $5.00 investments.


For the past several years we have used a tree branch as a handle for the top.  Now the side handles are all but gone too.


The gauge has been stuck on Ideal for a number of years too.


I made a dry rub of brown sugar,salt, pepper, hot paprika,garlic, fresh turmeric and I don’t remember what else.  That marinated on the butt, for about 14 hours.


Adding the rest of the pan drippings after about 3-4 hours


close the lid


1-IMG_4556 1-IMG_4560

About 6 hours later. I pulled it off the smoker and wrapped it with foil and let it sit for an hour or two.  Then it was ready for pulling.  I made both a sweet tomato based sauce and a vinegar with fresh herbs and garlic.  I like to mix the two sauces.

Once I pulled the pork, I put on a dish of baked beans.

They were on the smoker for an hour or two.


I have to admit, I’ve never done the beans this way before.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but this bowl used to be white.  The smoke completely covered the outside of the dish I thought it was ruined.  The beans turned out excellent and the next morning when I came down to see the aftermath, Mr. Cottage had worked magic on that bowl and you would never know it had been used in the smoker.


Smoked Pig = Luau  = tiki party

Actually we have had so much rain that we are now growing mosquitos and the tikis are burning full flame what seems all the time.

I don’t know if they help or not.

Really, I’m not complaining.

Okay, yes I am.  We have had TOO much rain.

Our high hopes of a big harvest this year have been dashed in so many ways.  Many of our plants have died from the rain and or have rot/mildew and other undesirable issues.

Breaks our hearts.

This week we will have too much heat and humidity and I’ll be complaining about that.

Bounty from the vegetable garden.

Squash and cukes

Squash and cukes

For every squash, and cucumber I’ve managed to pick I’ve done a little dance.  I will also admit they have been very good.

She sugar snap peas, Yum I stand in the garden and eat them straight off the vine.

As is often the case, I had a lot of squash ready all at one time.  I’ve cooked many squash casseroles over the years – they are usually pretty much the same.

Here is a recipe that I got from Cook’s Country – my new favorite recipe source.  This one is different, and not soggy.

Summer Squash Gratin.

Summer Squash Gratin

Summer Squash Gratin


Mr. Cottage does not like olives, I know, what is wrong with him?  When I made this, I omitted the olives.  The second night, I put aside a smaller serving for myself and added the olives – WOW amazing what it does to this dish.  So if you are debating if you should bother when them or not and you like them, do add them.  AWESOME!

The tiki burns into the wee hours of the night!

The next day, I turned the smoker into a planter.

smoker turned into planter

smoker turned into planter

See you later Bye!


squash or one-eyed squid

Macro Monday – squash

I  attach my favorite macro lens and head out to the garden.

Our squash plants are finally putting on a good show.

1-IMG_6463 1-IMG_6464 1-IMG_6466

Do you see it?


I see plants that resemble underwater oddities.  You know deep ocean intricacies.

1-IMG_6469 1-IMG_6470 1-IMG_6473










Oh and those wicked thorny hairs.

Is that squash or a sea urchin?

sea urchin


1-IMG_65141-IMG_6515 1-IMG_6517

Beware of the white fury monster that lurks behind the leaves.

1-IMG_6525 1-IMG_6524

In a day or two my plate will be full with one-eyed squid.


See you later, Bye!