On the farm where I grew up in central Missouri, we celebrated the Fourth of July with a fish fry. We caught blue gill, bass, crappie, and catfish in my grandfather’s stocked ponds or from nearby Perche Creek.



After my brother, cousins, and I played games until dark and then chased fireflies, my grandmother would set out dessert–a simple blackberry pie, shortcake and berries with homemade ice cream, or a pineapple upside down cake. A grownup would surprise us kids with sparklers that we would light and wave as we ran around in the dark.



Feeling nostalgic for those old days and ways of celebrating, I’m going to shuck and cook corn on the cob and grill some salmon with fresh veggies from the garden for this–our eighth celebration of this holiday on the farmette. There’s a ton of summer squash that I’ll douse with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning before grilling.



For the salmon, I make a easy-peasy mango-lime-cilantro salsa. Chop red onion and red and green bell pepper. Cube slices of fresh mango. Take a handful of cilantro that’s been tightly rolled and chop it into ribbons. Mix everything together, sprinkle with sugar, and generously drizzled with fresh lime juice. Serve well chilled over the grilled salmon.



pineapple cake lg email




I’ve already whipped up a pineapple upside down cake and baked it in my 10-inch cast iron skillet. To save time, I used a yellow cake mix and added a dash of rum and pineapple juice for flavor. Recipe is below.






1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter


1 1/4 cups sugar


7-8 slices of canned pineapple


7-8 maraschino cherries


1 box yellow cake mix


1 Tablespoon dark rum


1/8 cup pineapple juice




Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit



Sugar and butter mixture must turn golden brown before batter is added

Sugar and butter mixture must turn golden brown before batter is added



In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar turns light brown (roughly 5 to 7 minutes).  Remove from heat. Carefully lay in the pineapple slices. Place a cherry in the center of each fruit ring.


Make the cake according to directions on the box. Add the rum to the batter. Pour over the pineapple slices in the skillet.




Before batter is added, the fruit is arranged in the cast iron skillet

Before batter is added, the fruit is arranged in the cast iron skillet




Place the skillet on the middle rack in the oven and bake the cake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Guard against over browning of the top. If necessary, lay a layer of aluminum foil over the cake near the end of the bake time. Use a knife around the cake edges to loosen from the skillet. Turn upside down onto a cake plate. Enjoy.







If you’re interested in farmette topics and storytelling, check out my Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries. All three books in the series are available in numerous formats and can be ordered¬† from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere online as well as from traditional bookstores everywhere.



These cozy mysteries make great summer reading and they include delicious recipes, tips for keeping bees and chickens, and facts and tidbits about growing heirloom vegetables and herbs.



Please see more at http://tinyurl.com/ya5vhhpm





Check out my newest mystery (Sept. 2017)

Check out my newest mystery (Sept. 2017)







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