I bet you can't guess what I had for breakfast this morning. Go on - try! Nope, not yogurt and granola. Not a nice cool smoothie, either. I had...hot oatmeal and raisins! Why? Because it was 46-freakin degrees!
Yes, Dear Diary, we are, apparently, in a state of troughiness, according to the weather gurus. While it was downright invigorating, I doubt it will do much for my plentiful, green tomatoes. Bernisima loves this weather. Does it mean that summer is over? It was just a fast and furious, hot flash in the pan of the year?
Saturday was a tough day, Dear Diary. It was Kay's Memorial Service and, although it was meant to bring closure through the celebration of her life (and what a life!), it didn't close things for me. I know that these sharp, raw memories will soften with age, but Holy Crap (as Kay would say), it hurts like hell. And it hurts LOTS of people like hell. The celebration was perfect - a capella songs sung by her daughter and *daughters* - such beautiful voices in a beautiful, vaulted church. Her son sang her a song, and her granddaughter played guitar and sang in an equally beautiful voice. Kay's life was much about song and music, so it was perfect. Her husband had written a poem to her that was so crammed full of pain and passion that it completely pushed me over the edge and did me in. I missed the bonfire that night, as I fell into a deep, silent sleep that kept the phone from waking me. Just as well.
And, Dear Diary, I am reading a book entitled: The Seasons on Henry's Farm: a Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm (how's that for a title?) It is a wonderful book. One of those books you never want to end. I think I would have preferred "5 Years of Food and Life..." Terra Brockman is an amazing writer. (And a BIG thank you to Jenyfer for introducing this book into my life.) It charged me right up and yesterday I decided to tackle the growing mound of Ronde Nice squash that was growing in my fridge and garden. When I'm not quite sure what to do with some food item, I wander over to my Italian neighbor, Linda's and drop innocent hints. Such as...."I've got these lovely round zucchinis and I am going to stuff them. Hmmm. With what, I wonder?" My luck held, as her sister and mother are visiting - so the ensuing conversation went something like this:
L: "Ricotta, spinach and onions"
AM: "Nutmeg would be nice"
L: "Garlic - don't forget the garlic"
Moma: "Some nice breadcrumbs and a little Romano, too, sweetie."
L: "A little EVO and tomato on top, I think."
By the time I left, I had a recipe zipping about in my noggin and I proceeded to adapt it (since I almost never have all the ingredients suggested.) and came up with this:
Into a food processor, put 3 large garlic cloves and a bunch of young, tender Swiss Chard (spinach would be wonderful, too.) Process it quickly, dump in a bowl and mix a container of ricotta, one whole egg, lots of nutmeg, some Parmesan (didn't have Romano) cheese and blend well. Cut four Ronde Nice squash in half and scoop out seeds and some of the flesh to make a bowl. Spoon filling in squash bowls. Combine bread crumbs (I use GF Panko crumbs) and more cheese (Parm) and sprinkle liberally on top. Whiz together a large chopped tomato, a few sprigs of fresh basil and about 2T of EVO in the processor and drizzle across the top of the bowls.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until crumbs are golden and squash is tender. I baked mine about 30-35 mins.
And maybe you would know this, Dear Diary - are chocolate covered gummie bears considered part of your 5-a-day fruit requirement? Would you get back to me on this?