Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer's Harvest

While on my bike, I was caught in a downpour.
Whenever I thought it couldn't torrent any more, it did! But the rain was fresh; the humidity broke though I wasn't cold. My eyes were water logged but when I finally made it back to my driveway, I just had to dance. I began twirling and throwing my arms, the weight of the water in my clothing increasing the perpetual motion. But then I stopped, because the neighbors across the street sketch me out. I moved to my pool deck and sat for a bit, admiring the sounds and the lushness of the yard. It was one of those moments where my body felt so tingling and alive, that I was numb. It's exhilarating.

So you may or may not recall the post I did about my overwhelming addiction to the magic of oatmeal (' Your Stomach on the Line ' check that out if you want to review my madness).  Well, here I am to rave about the power and versatility of the vegetable that is present in gardens everywhere: zucchini !!!  Here's some cooking suggestions to try if you haven't:
- grilled; my parents prefer olive oil and dill, I always use oregano and lots of pepper, though brushing it with some honey or maple syrup is amazing
- sliced into strips, salted, drained and boiled like noodles
- breaded with crumbs, an egg, some flour and spices then fried in butter or olive oil
- shredded and cooked the same way, as a sort of zucchini latke/fritter
- tossed in olive oil and herbs with other garden vegetables and roasted in the oven (350-375 degrees) with some cheese until they're tender and golden
- sliced and cooked lightly to use in omelets, egg scrambles and fritattas
- RAW.  Younger, smaller zucchinis have a sweet, soft texture.  A lot of people love lightly frying the blossoms, but I have to admit that I haven't tried it yet.  Anyone?
- Searing the zucchini with curry powder, a bit of cumin and turmeric and chili powder.  I like doing that with rice noodles for an Asian-influenced meal.
- Zucchini cakes, breads and cookies

Yes, cookies!  This vegetable has a magnificent moisture content and mild flavor.  My mom always makes spiced (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) cookies that people can't resist.  These are the ones I made the other day.  In my effort to improve the nutritional content, I only used egg whites and substituted apple sauce for a lot of the butter... and they fell flat!  This time, my mom wins; some things just shouldn't be changed.  I placed dark chocolate wafers in a few of them, though.  I'll just leave the cookie-making to her next time.  Let me know if you'd like the recipe, they're super easy!


In other news, my friend Tucker bought a bus.

Yeah, that's what he keeps calling it anyways.  After Craiglist hunting, phone calls and even driving to Ohio, last weekend he finally drove to Pennsylvania with his Dad and brought home a 1970's white (ish) Volkswagon Westphalia ' bus ' (i.e. hippy van).
I guess the owner before him lived out of the van with his son for three years, and who knows where it's been before that! The inside was plastered with Grateful Dead stickers and this cool tapestry, though he's been very occupied with cleaning, purging and reupholstering.
Nonetheless, Tucker is happy and that much nearer to fulfilling dream of being a road tripping vagabond.  And he paid for the entire thing himself; definitely something to be proud of.

Listening: "Every Morning" by Sugar Ray


-E- said...

it's cause the germans call it a "Kleinbus" (mini-bus).

Maxwell said...

Does Tucker smoke a crap-ton of weed? Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you are legally obligated to be high when driving one of those...

Natalie said...

There's something about being caught in a downpour that's so invigorating!

I honestly have never had zucchini, ever. I am an avid vegetable lover though, so I must try it grilled sometime. It certainly sounds delicious. And yay for cookies even if they're not particularly healthy ;)

Oh my gosh, the VW is so awesome! :D That thing must have seen so much action over the years... so cool.

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and I love yours! The fact that you used "scintillating" and "regurgitation" in the same freaking phrase makes you awesome automatically.

One tiny correction: I'm from Singapore but I've been living in China for the past three years because my parents are working here.

My great-great-grandparents ARE from China though, so I suppose I am from China..sort of.

Allison said...

Love, love, love this post! My mom grows zucchini in her garden, and it's only been in the past year or so (especially now that I'm a vegetarian and need to eat all the veggies I can) that I've grown a taste for it! I've been making zucchini chocolate chip muffins and they are to DIE for - I wouldn't have thought to put them in cookies, but will absolutely have to try it out!
That VW is ridiculous - I can't get over it. It makes me long for Woodstock and tie dye and The Beatles. Love everything about this post!

Anonymous said...

You're turning into quite the food connoisseur! I love it. :)
Zucchini is a great vegetable! It's so versatile -- the ways you can prepare zucchini are endless... The sky's the limit. Also, do you have a herb garden! If not, you definitely think about investing into one. They are easy to take care of, and they're a great way to dress up meals. A much better option than salt, but I digress.
Oh, you know what's better than cookies? COOKIE DOUGH. Mmm. <3 Also, hey, we're allowed to indulge once in awhile! ;)

A VW, how fantastic! Haha, this would certainly hit home for my grandma, she was a fellow Dead Head and sojourned in a hippie compound back in the ~day.