When I Can’t Find Words

I’ve been flying under the radar lately, been on a self-inflicted hiatus. This happens when I have trouble finding words and the best thing is to unplug. I retreat to my kitchen during such times. Albeit highly caloric, it’s one of the best places for thinking. This past week, I found that with the bounty in my garden, I have no excuses not to be healthy. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

zucchini and quick breads_july 2016 (8)

parsley, zucchini, and onion from the garden

It’s the beginnings of a very tasty and easy Zucchini Onion Pie.

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***ZUCCHINI ONION PIE***

3 eggs, 1 C grated Parmesan, 1/2 C oil, 1 T fresh, minced parsley, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 tea salt, 1/8 tea pepper, 3 C chopped zucchini, 1 C baking mix, 1 small onion, chopped. In large bowl, mix first seven ingredients. Stir in zucchini,  baking mix and onion. Pour into greased pie pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min,or top lightly browned. Yield: 6 servings. I served this with baked salmon and fresh cherries.

 ***BAKING MIX***

I make my own–also quite easy–so I’ve included this as a guide (retrieved from the Internet). I make it “my own” by adding whichever flours I have on hand. Store in the fridge.

zucchini and quick breads_july 2016 (4)

zucchini and quick breads_july 2016 (5)

can use coconut oil or margarine in place of butter*

*If you’d like the larger amount, contact me.

It’s also that time of year when I can’t use bananas fast enough (because I prefer berries,  peaches, and whatever else is fresh) and can only freeze so many.

***BANANA WALNUT CORNBREAD***

This sounded SO GOOD that I had no choice, I had to make it. I was slightly disappointed that the flavors were not stronger, but this is highly personal. It is very moist and makes eating regular cornbread seem rather boring.

banana walnut cornbread_july 2016

from allrecipes.com

***HOME CANNED APPLESAUCE***

When my three kids were young, I made this each year from the yellow transparent apples in our orchard. These first photos of our apples were taken a couple weeks before they were ready to cook.

I’ve learned a few handy tips about making applesauce through the years.

1. Because the cooking can take a while, I omit peeling.

2. If using yellow transparent apples when they first turn yellow, the skins cook nicely, helping eliminate the need for peeling. If used early enough, there are very few worms or other critters. We don’t spray.

3. Using a food mill also helps eliminate the need for peeling.

I quarter the apples, inspect for bugs, and throw them in the pot, seeds and all (I use my pressure cooker pot–no lid–only for the cooking). I can’t say enough how handy it is using a food mill for large amounts. I keep the heat on medium because it can be rather nasty when/if it starts to splatter. Controlling the amount of water–and ending up with less runny applesauce–is easier as well when the heat is kept down. This also reduces the chance of burned apples on the bottom of the pan. It must be stirred constantly. Wear good shoes.

At this point I scoop large amounts of cooked applesauce into my food mill and grind out any remaining skins and seeds. I use a large dutch oven.

I add sugar and cinnamon here. For this dutch oven full, I add maybe 1/2 cup sugar. We like it less sugary. From here I can into hot quart jars.

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furniture and quickbreads_july 2016 (2)

We probably have enough for this year (although our sons are known for putting away copious amounts).

***ZUCCHINI BANANA BREAD***

zucchini and quick breads_july 2016 (19)

I add ~ 1/2 C chopped walnuts

For two loaves:

2 1/2 C flour, 1/2 C cornmeal, 1 1/2 tea baking powder, 1 1/2 tea baking soda, 1 tea salt, 2 tea cinnamon, 2 C mashed bananas (about three large), 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 C brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2/3 C oil, 2 tea vanilla, 1 1/2 C shredded zucchini, 1/2 C chopped walnuts,  optional.

Mix dry ingredients (not sugars) in bowl and set aside. Mix all wet ingredients (with sugars) in separate bowl and set aside. Allow zucchini to drain on towels to reduce extra moisture. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then fold in zucchini and nuts. Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

As mentioned, I HAVE NO EXCUSES not to be healthy (with this book in my house).

zucchini and quick breads_july 2016 (1)

Zucchini picked last night…I better get busy.

  23 comments for “When I Can’t Find Words

  1. August 1, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    It all looks so wonderful Karen. Nothing wrong with taking a self imposed break into the kitchen and away from technology, in fact I’d say it was highly therapeutic. Enjoy your harvests Karen, I myself have just taken a banana berry cake out of the oven! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 26, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    You’ve been so busy taking advantage of the bounty of this season. And the results look wonderful. I’m going to try the banana walnut cornbread for sure. I chuckled when I read that you, too, have trouble eating all your bananas when so many other wonderful fruits are available. Every summer when I realize I don’t need to buy as many bananas, I’m surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 28, 2016 at 8:31 am

      As I write this, I have two over ripe bananas on my counter. Sigh. 😉 But, those will go into the freezer; no cooking today as it will be in the low 90s. I made my zucchini onion pie last night for a surprise visit by our son so there is enough for tonight without having to heat up my kitchen. 🙂

      Like

  3. July 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Looks delicious. I use the same trick for applesauce. Love my food mill

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      We were gone last year when our very best apples for applesauce were ready! I was so bummed. I hope this year we get a lot because what you see here was the very best applesauce I’ve ever made. Delish! 🙂

      Like

  4. July 23, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I think the best thing to do when the words don’t come is to take a step back and let your batteries recharge. And healthy cooking seems like a great way to do that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 26, 2016 at 11:02 am

      It’s so true, Ann. I’m still slightly wordless, but that is OK. I’d rather take a step back than put up bad posts. My batteries are still charging….(but thank you for your kind words and stopping by). ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. July 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    My goodness, you have been busy. I’m busy in different ways and haven’t written in 2 months. :*( It all looks really good. How kind of you to share the recipes. Have a wonderfilled weekend ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Thank you, Marlene. I am so glad our applesauce is done, what with the warm weather ahead this week. But, berries and applesauce both done by mid July? Unheard of around here. I love sharing recipes…I just hope others find joy in the cooking and baking as I do. How’s your summer going?

      Like

      • July 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

        My summer has been as busy as yours in different ways. 🙂 It’s been good. 😉

        Like

  6. Amy
    July 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    How lucky you are to have this alternative to writing. For me, cooking is just another tedious chore I do out of obligation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 26, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Yes, I agree but my habit is highly caloric. I have to be careful, especially since I love to bake bread. I bought a new bread book over the weekend to feed my habit…and when I get around to baking something, I’ll share the book, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. July 22, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    We do love your words when you’re up to it 😉 but we’ll gladly accept these lovely pictures and yummy food suggestions instead in the intervals 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 26, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Thank you so much, Turtle. I thought of you this past weekend when we visited the beach for a day. We stopped in an antique store and I saw a turtle made of blue and white rocks. It was beautiful. I’ll find a way to work it into a post. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. July 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Wow!! I want to come to your house! ❤️💜❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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