Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I am incredibly relieved that I did NOT plant any summer squashes this year in the garden. Because I don't think I could handle a single one more. As it is, my garden is producing copious amounts of cukes. So when I got to the CSA last week and they told me to "pick four cucumbers," I nearly fell over. Eeek!
Well, the cukes are going into a pickling brine today. I already made tzatziki with some, turned others into a salad, and tossed yet others into another salad. I am STILL run over with the buggers. So into pickles they go, to put up for the cuke-less days of winter. (Please tell me there will be cuke-less days in winter.)
Meanwhile, I'm facing down the squashes. I love summer squashes. The rest of the family? Eh... not so much. So I've got to find creative and inventive ways to use entirely too much summer squash. A good dose of it went into the freezer, again for those zucchini-less days of winter. There's been squash fritters, fried squash, stuffed squash, zucchini bread. Tonight's ratatouille... tomorrow, probably squash lasagna. I like squash, right? RIGHT?!
No really, all joking aside, I knew this would be what happened when we made a committment to eat locally and seasonally. Then again, happy things have come my way by doing it. Things like the purple basil that's becoming a heavy part of my ratatouille tonight. Delicious things like eating local cheeses sprinkled on top of free-range egg frittatas. Amazing things, like tasting pea shoots for the first time. Funny things like eating so much squash you begin to fear the saying "You are what you eat."
But the funny thing is, I really am getting in all my fruits and veggies. And for one beautiful week, I got to devour local raspberries. This week is blueberries which will go into our breakfasts...if they don't go directly into my son's stomach. There's something fantastic about eating a cucumber you just pulled off the vine with chives you just snipped. There's something satisfying about seeing your freezer fill with the excess of a season's bounty, like strawberries and squashes, instead of cardboard containers of frozen dinners and ice cream cartons. It's fantastic to have a problem trying to decide where you're going to put your side of beef around all the produce when the cow is done growing. Can we squeak a pig this year? What about lamb? Do we need to split some of the meat to make room?
For now, just give me the internet and a search engine. I have squashes and cukes to process. Hmm, anybody want some?