Friday, August 12, 2011

August Thus Far

Wow, this has been an extraordinarily busy month!  I apologize for not getting my menus out this month.  I am hoping next week to be able to do a normal meal plan.  We have been out of town at least part of each week which has thrown off my schedule entirely.  Of course I have still been planning meals according to what we have on hand, get from our CSA, and what is on sale or what I need to complete a menu.  Here are the highlights from the last couple of weeks.

Calabacitas with Rice and Beans
We absolutely loved the Roasted Eggplant spread from Local Flavors, but switched it up a bit and used the Algerian flatbread (Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day) for dipping instead of the suggested crostini.  It was amazing!  We have been eating a lot of rice and beans with greens and fried eggs or calabacitas - another CSA summer favorite!  I tried a new Ratatouille recipe (similar to the one made in the Ratatouille movie, which we watched earlier this summer) and I believe I like my previous recipe better.  Last night I spontaneously made grilled Ratatouille from EatingWell's In Season cookbook and this may be a replacement for my previous favorite recipe.  I also made chocolate zucchini cake for the first time, but made too many adjustments to the recipe that it turned out drier than I would have liked, although it had great flavor.  More venison fajitas on the menu, Grilled fish (with lemon slices, fresh herbs, leeks, EVOO and S&P all wrapped in some aluminum foil), the with lots of tomatoes from our garden and the CSA we have made various salads and fresh salsa (I even fermented some, but haven't tried it yet since we are still finishing up the fresh stuff).  We also tried a potato-crusted swiss chard quiche which was a bit disappointing as the potatoes were not crunchy, but I might try this again making some changes so the potatoes crisp up.
Mystery Melon

Garden News:  All of our garlic has been harvested, radishes are gone, but a second round is getting closer to being ready to pick and the third round was planted not too long ago.  We also planted some collards, kohlrabi, spinach and more beets for a late fall/winter harvest.  I found some old glass windows left at the end of a neighbor's driveway and hope to use them for making our garden a cold frame this fall and winter.  Just the other day we picked our broccoli and ate that alongside our grilled fish.  We have harvested some purple and yellow beans; I've never seen purple beans before and was very surprised that after cooking them they turned green!  Beans are one of my summer favorites - you just can't get that same flavor from freshly picked beans any other time of the year.  We've been disappointed that our cucumbers have not been doing as well as we had hoped.  I wanted to can some pickles and make pickle relish this year.  I guess if we don't get too many we will have to get a bunch from the farmers market to do some canning.  And our mystery vining plant that grew from our worm compost looks like some type of melon - we had thought it would be cucumbers.  We might be swimming in melons this fall.  Too bad you can't really can those, can you?

Did you plant a garden?  How is it going?  What are you enjoying most?

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