Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tantalizing tastes of summer

So, we had some volunteer squash come up in the compost bin. And to my chagrin, they're doing better than anything I planted. ::sigh:: I call them MobySquash. They're almost white with light green stripes, shaped like a gourd and just as big. But you can cook 'em up and they're Really Tasty. We're going to stuff them tonight with an Italian herb stuffing (sage and oregano and thyme from the garden, of course) and make some fresh bruschetta to go along with it. My Roma tomatoes are coming in, as well as multitudes of the Sweet 100s. My Big Boys didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but I have vowed to redeem myself next year - better garden, better soil. The red and green bell peppers are also coming along nicely - the greens are especially happy. (I'm thinking fajitas are in our near future!)

We had a catastrophe in the carrot patch, tho. Not the rabbits, but the caterpillars. I've been so happy that the hornworms and the squash vine borers hadn't taken over the tomatoes and zukes that I didn't even consider something might attack my tiny little patch of carrots! Nooooo-o-o-o-o!!!!!

And the blueberries. We picked a gallon last Monday at the local U-pick place (I apparently offered up the few berries on my two bushes to the birds this year, drat them all.) We froze most of them, but five cups are waiting in the fridge ... I found a recipe for a blueberry pie in a graham cracker crust with a crumb topping.... AND it uses Splenda. WooHoo!

Finally, completely unrelated to the summer harvest but equally tasty..... I will never purchase packaged granola again. I discovered a very easy recipe for a fraction of the cost. Rolled oats, chopped toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, honey, canola oil and cinnamon. Perfection. My new favorite breakfast is 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt sprinkled liberally with granola and some fresh blueberries. Can't get any better than that.

Oh, and eggplant! I completely forgot the eggplant! I'm not a huge fan, but the philosopher has come up with one sure-fire recipe... grill the eggplant and some onion with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Get some tasty cheese - mozzarella or monterey jack - and put it all on flat fajita sized tortilla. Cover with a second tortilla and grill until the cheese is melted. Presto - eggplant quesadillas! (You can add some chicken to the first grilling mix too, if you want some extra protein). And of course, I'll never, ever turn down the philosopher's eggplant parmigiana, either.

Sigh. I should never make these posts two hours before lunch.


J said...

My dad uses/used light plastic netting over his bushes and it seems to work really well.

The main problem with them is that you either have to have a frame to keep it above the bush's branches, or resign yourself to untangling the netting from the bush when you want to pick the blueberries and when you take the netting off.

After the first couples years of that, we just started leaving the netting on (branches and leaves grew right through the holes) and ripping holes in the netting to pick the blueberries. Even a little bit of netting seems to be very efficacious in keeping birds out.

Zana said...

Ooooh - excellent idea! Thanks!