Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Summer Squash Recipe and Blueberry Pests

The summer squash is coming in nicely now.  I wanted to share a new recipe we've been grooving on.  The original recipe is here.  As the last bag of avocados I bought ended up in the compost (don't you hate it when you get a bad batch?),  I've yet to try the recipe with them.  But I will.  (update: I've made it with avocado, & love it both ways ).  Here's the version I've been making.

Quinoa with Summer Squash

1 cup quinoa
1 cup yellow summer squash, diced and sauteed in a little olive oil until the edges get a bit brown (8-10 mins)
1-2 tbs onion, diced small
1 avocado, chopped

Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add the quinoa, reduce to a simmer & cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Let cool.  Place the quinoa in a bowl, along with the squash and onion.


1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lime
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Whisk ingredients together.  Pour over quinoa and combine.  Enjoy at room temperature.  Serves 4.

 I'm not fond of raw onion, and add it to the squash as I'm turning the heat off, so it's not exactly cooked, but not quite raw either.  Instead of fresh lime, I've used this... no measure, just a few good squirts until it tasted right.  *Update: it's fabulous with fresh lime, though good with the other stuff.  I plan to try some fresh parsley in it too.  I've been wanting to use quinoa more often, as it's such a great grain.  It's gluten free, and seems to be the perfect summer grain, cooking up in only 15 minutes.  This recipe is a good, encouraging start to that.

When I first began growing blueberries, I read in more than one place that they have no pests.  To that, I say hogwash.  From the beginning, here on the homestead, there have been challenges with tiny worms.  The photo below shows the sort of damage they do.  Early in the season, I try to pull off any parts showing signs of them, which often show up as dark berries and drooping stems. That has helped minimize the damage.  I have read about them in the past, but have forgotten their name.  Sorry about that.

This year, we had a new pest.  Tent caterpillars, seen below.  We hand picked them (there were dozens) and tried to feed them to the chickens, but they didn't want anything to do with them.  I can't say I blame them, ugly little critters that they are.  You can see the damage they're doing to the leaves.

Now the chickens have found the blueberries, and eat all the ripe ones they can jump and reach.  Oh well, I don't mind them so much.  They're desired members of the homestead, after all.  And they turn those berries into eggs. Speaking of chickens...  poor Pickles, the Burger King chick, is the low chick on the totem pole.  We've been keeping him/her (we're still not sure) in a separate space, as the other chickens peck the skin off his neck when they're kept together.  We do let them all free-range in the evenings, but keep Pickles nearby if we're out, or keeps our ears on them, and that's worked out well.  They're mostly too busy with all the wonders on the homestead to bother Pickles.  We're now sure 2 of the Delaware/Lakenvelder chicks are roosters, and have decided to offer them to good homes, as the rooster we have is the best ever, and we just don't want to deal with the typical aggressive posturing of several roosters.  If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in one or both roosters, drop me an email, and we can fix you right up.


cookingwithgas said...

do you need to come pick blueberries? We are happy to share ours with you.
WE have been checking close for pest and with all this rain have spotted a few extras.

Linda Starr said...

never would have thought of combining squash and quinoa, sounds delicious

Laurie said...

There's been no dearth of rain, has there, Meredith?

It is a tasty one, Linda.