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.

fun with yellow transparents_july 2016 (18)

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.

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