Bread & Butter Pickles

September 14th, 2012 / Comments 1

tomato sandwich sm Bread & Butter Pickles

Tomato Sandwiches by Don & Charles

When I was at Fable Farm picking up our CSA share, I got a basket full of cherry tomatoes that Charles and our friend Don used to make a plate full of amazing tomato sandwiches with just a smear of mayo and an artful sprinkling of fresh dill. The pile of zucchini there reminded me of the first time I made pickles with my cousin Sis and her mother, Aunt Ann, who we called Antenna. It was a hot, sticky day in late August and they invited me to the cool cellar to help.

There were baskets of pickling cucumbers, bunches of fresh dill, dill seeds, garlic, jugs of vinegar, boxes of mason jars, rubber rings and lids, enough supplies for a small factory. The cellar was primitive, with two large laundry sinks and two gas burners that were used exclusively for pickling or canning.

I was the cucumber-sorter, a perfect job for a hot day. I stood on an up-turned box, up to my elbows in cold water. Cucumbers floated in cold water in the deep sinks. … read more

Ten Step Curried Summer Squash Soup

September 27th, 2010 / comments 3

Our friends Annie and Andre came to spend the weekend and our fridge was overflowing with vegetables.

curry flowers c egbert Ten Step Curried Summer Squash Soup

I used my ten step plan to make a pot of Curried Summer Squash Soup that chased the chill and absorbed some of the squash overload. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Good Keeper Squash Dinner Party

October 14th, 2009 / comments 7

Gossip has it that Peter Peter the pumpkin eater, and his wife were having domestic difficulties.

Scare Crow 01 c egbert Good Keeper Squash Dinner Party

Perhaps Mrs. Peter would have been happier if Mr. Peter had been willing to expand his diet to include other squash rather than sticking to the somewhat dry, perhaps a bit boring, pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong. Pumpkins have an interesting past, after all Cinderella would have had to walk to the ball if there hadn’t been a pumpkin in her kitchen.

bowl of squash1 Good Keeper Squash Dinner Party

Pumpkins, like all winter squash, grow in the summer and are harvested when the fruit and seeds have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. Summer squash is in the market all winter and winter squash is available in the late summer, fall and winter. It might be less confusing if winter squash were called Good Keeper Squash and summer squash were called Eat Soon Squash.

The assortment of Good Keeper Squash at the farmers’ market this week included varieties I’d never cooked. I bought carnival, acorn, buttercup, butternut, and Hubbard squash. The bag weighted twenty-three pounds!  That’s a lot of squash – dinner party time! I invited friends to a squash sampling dinner party, and began to consider how to include five varieties of squash in one meal. I set guidelines – there would be no baked or mashed squash topped with maple syrup, brown sugar and/or marshmallows. I decided to roast a pork loin to accompany the squash. With others bringing an appetizer, a salad and a dessert I had four hours to cook. Luckily, my range has two ovens.

Dinner was a success, a autumn harvest meal with friends and conversation interspersed with irreverent jokes including one whose punch line was “They’ll call us vegetables.” It’s not a stretch to say that each of our friends is a Good Keeper.

Here’s how I did it: … read more

Patty Pan Squash Cake

August 28th, 2009 / comments 10

It has been too rainy for tomatoes and potatoes to thrive but the patty pan squash plant in my garden has been working hard to keep my spirit up.

pattypan 02 Patty Pan Squash Cake

It is often used as a “pan for baking a patty” therefore the name – patty pan. It is also called sunburst squash, scaloppini, button squash or patisson.

The feminine name and demure behavior of my plant cause me to think of it as a she.  Certainly less insistent than her Italian cousin zucchini, she doesn’t overrun other plants with exuberant vines or produce so many squash that I have to resort to late night squash deliveries to unsuspecting neighbors. Blossoms with long stems, (the male flowers), are plentiful and a tasty treat, either as an addition to an omelet or stuffed, battered and fried to be served as an appetizer.

Small squash, the size of quail eggs, are lovely roasted with potatoes, carrots, oil and garlic.  Medium squash, up to six inches in diameter, blanched in boiling water for five minutes, stuffed with a mixture of sauteed vegetables and cooked rice, topped with cheese or seasoned breadcrumbs and baked, are a perfect vegetarian main course.

Patty pan squash larger than six inches star in my favorite carrotless carrot cake.

note: If you think patty pan squash is a strange ingredient in a cake, take a look at this recipe on my friend Drick’s blog by clicking here.  I’m amazed!

Mixer 02 Patty Pan Squash Cake

Here’s how I did it. … read more

Lamb Burgers – Thinking about by President Obama in Cairo

June 6th, 2009 / Comments 0

Inspired by President Obama speech in Cairo I decided to make a dinner with tastes of the Middle East.

A+Camel+02 Lamb Burgers   Thinking about by President Obama in Cairo
I decided that the menu would be lamb burgers, hummus, yogurt, butternut squash and pita bread.  Here’s how I made it. [/donot print] … read more

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