Monday, August 15, 2011

Food Trials and Gardening in Florida

I made Cheesy Zucchini Bake the other day. Not bad and very healthy. Its just that it is a tough sell at my house where loads of flavor are normal fare. Since I made the recipe about 1/3 bigger by adding fresh mushrooms and extra squash, I was not going to toss it out. Can't really freeze zucchini well. The alternative?

Please note, the picture to the left is from another blog, not my actual dinner. Most of you know my camera stinks, especially with food pics.

I drained off the juices that were in the bottom of the pan, browned 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef with some minced garlic and diced fresh sweet onion in a large skillet, added 2 jars of marinara sauce, and slid all the leftover squash in to simmer. Voila! A chili-like dish that can stand alone, or be served over pasta or rice. Sort of like this recipe, which reminded me of my childhood.

Once upon a time, we had a garden and my mother made something wonderful out of nearly baseball bat sized zucchini. (I think she learned not to skip checking the garden for more than a day at a time after that crop!)  She sliced the zucchinis down the middle lengthwise, parboiled them, scooped out the seeds and filled them with a meatsauce mixture like you would make into lasagna. Topped with Italian cheeses and baked, it really was like lasagna without noodles when you got a slice of that on your plate. The end.

Next up for me will be the Zucchini-Banana-Flaxseed Muffins as found in Everyday Food magazine. Minus the flax seed. I don't have any. I am pretty sure if I bought it, it would be much more than I'll ever use. What is flax seed? Is it like Wheat Germ? That stuff is not right. Like sawdust mixed into perfectly good food and ruining it. Seriously.  I'll make the zucchini banana muffins straight up, thank you.

I must admit I am jealous of all the bloggers who have grown big crops this summer and are now canning their rewards for winter. They must be in much more temperate climates than our lovely Pensacola. I dare them to come here and try to have a Summer garden with a full time job. I was spoiled by the ease of gardening in Southern California. There, you can literally throw a peach pit over your shoulder and have a fruit-bearing tree in a few years. Here, you will look like a Swamp Creature just trying to fight the weeds, the heat, the awful humidity, the fire ants, the Cow Ants, snakes, mosquitoes, berry vines, etc after work.  ( I think we should have a European type schedule, where everyone takes August off, because even the corn has given up and burned out by August. )

Market prices have never seemed so bad after a season of coming into the house drenched in sweat and a bad attitude.

And on that note, Bon Appetit!


polwig said...

Looks delicious and I love how you cut them into little bite size circles not half way like most.

quiltzyx said...

Zucchini with the meat sauce & cheese sounds really good! I'll have to remember that one.

Yeah, I don't get the whole wheat germ thing either. I did try chia powder - supposed to help with diabetes - only to find out that I am VERY allergic. sigh.