I started writing this nearly a month ago--days before my sister's wedding, when the summer gourds were reproducing like mad in my garden. Well, things went pear shaped (me, the misshapen zucchini, but thankfully not the wedding) and the post went on hold. My sister still got married (hallelujah!) and it's mid September and the zucchini continue to fornicate like rabbits. So I'm in luck, and so are you if you've got pounds of the stuff sitting on your counter or growing like wildfire in the backyard (or on fire sale at the farmer's market). With chocolate is the best way to eat zucchini...or in the dead of winter curried up on a grilled cheese sandwich when the bounty of summer squash dances in your head like a vision (that recipe up next). Until then, I dread a few days away for fear of monster zucchini hiding under the vines, discovered and begging not to be wasted.
In the past 24 hours I've made protein and omega 3 packed nut power bars, dehydrated 10 pounds of ripe peaches, prepped cannelini beans for a spread with rosemary, made 2 quarts of green smoothie, repurposed leftover grilled zucchini in a rice paper wrap with a homemade spicy peanut sauce garnished with basil, radishes and carrots from the garden, and made 12 pints of one of my favorite "pickles", curried yellow squash and zucchini. Last week a friend and I canned 60 pounds of tart yellow plums into one of my favorite honey sweetened jams and compotes. But I don't want to talk about any of that. We're trying to eat healthier here at the homestead, so the sourdough baking has been put on pause and mornings are filled with the whir of the Vitamix pureeing its way through a bushel of beet greens, spinach, kale, or carrot tops. I feel great but just can't get all that excited about green smoothies, despite having all the ingredients fresh from the garden. But I can get excited about bon bons. Specifically, mint ice cream bon bons, dipped in a homemade dark chocolate 'magic shell'. No kale, no vitamix involved. A little bit of sugar, cream, mint, a chocolate shell, and a lot of guilt.
I took the knee pads off and baked a tart -- all dolled up in baggy soil-stained jeans, hunter boots with not a trace of 'urban cool' left in them, and a thermal (with a few holes), I'm less 'tart' than I used to be. So I'll stick to tarts of the pie variety. We had a friend over for dinner recently, which if you know me personally, you already know, gave me an excuse to bake.