Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Peace, Squash and Thankfulness

On my walk this morning, I was happy to see a young doe and buck munching happily, when I arrived at the back field. They smelled me before long, but didn't see me for a time, so I got to enjoy their beauty. I'm thankful for that. We've been in summer squash bliss here lately. I must admit, I don't love the taste of either summer or winter squash, but if I doctor them up in some manner, they're good eating. Both of them grow so well here, I've been searching for good recipes, and having done that, I want to share them with you. The first one is a Zucchini and Ricotta Galette from the Smitten Kitchen. It requires the most work of all the recipes, and requires a lot of waiting time. So, I'd suggest you read it over before you commit. I didn't, & that night, we sat down to dinner at 10:30! It's worth it. This next recipe was Ruby Brown's, the mother of my Mom's partner:

Calabazas con Elote (Italian Squash with Corn)
1 pound zucchini (4 smallish), washed & cut in 1/4" rings
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can whole kernel corn (or the equivalent fresh)
3 medium tomatoes, cut in 1/8's
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pepper

In large frying pan, heat 4 tbs olive oil. Add onion & saute for 3 mins or until tender. Add zucchini & saute for 5 mins, turning often. Add corn, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring for 10 mins or until squash is just tender. Serves 6.

Next is my Mom's zucchini soup. Not new to me, but it hit the spot, along with some homemade bread, on a recent rainy night. Sorry, I have no measurements for this one, but will give suggestions. Feel free to improvise.

Mom's Zucchini Soup

Saute onions & garlic in olive oil. Add zucchini (4 cups) & fresh tomato (1-2), chopped up, and celery (1 stalk), chopped, a handful of basil, chopped and some parsley (optional). Cover with water, and cook until squash is tender. Add small pasta (optional), such as stars, last 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
After ladling into bowls, top with a good amount of Romano cheese.  *If you save the rinds from your Romano cheese, this is a good time to use them.  Just throw in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, then fish out when soup is done.  This typically makes enough for the two of us with a little left over.

Spaghetti Squash Florentine

1 small (1.5 lb) spaghetti squash
2 c spinach, firmly packed (I used lambs quarters)
1 tbs butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs heavy cream or sour cream
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil/spray a baking sheet. Halve squash lengthwise & scoop out & discard seeds. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet & bake 40 mins, or until flesh is just tender. Meanwhile, cut spinach into very thin strips & set aside. Set the squash right side up to cool. Once cool, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti-like strands of squash into a small bowl. You should have approx. 2 cups.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash, spinach & nutmeg, and stir until the spinach is wilted & the mixture is well-combined, approx 2 mins. Stir in heavy cream or sour cream, & season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Today, I'm making my second batch this week of Green Tea soap. I'm stocking up, getting ready for the Seagrove Potters for Peace event. Tomorrow, I'm off to Virginia Beach with Teresa. Every so often, we just need a road trip. J will be holding down the homestead in my absence. Eat well, and have a marvelous weekend, friends!


cookingwithgas said...

Yummy- have a great trip!
The soap looks like fudge!
I have to get those sweets out of my brain.

Victoria said...

Wowee...fabulous post! Dazzled by all the recipes..they looks special and heartwarming too! and I loove the title of your post....very cool..sounds likea world tour or festival underway! I know I'd definately go!
have a happy day..thanks for sharing your magic!