"You Should Only Be Happy" ... with Farmers Market bounty
Today, I happified myself with the following: green and yellow beans, Red Haven freestone peaches, cabbage, beautiful multi-colored edible flowers, blueberries, corn, basil, Italian flat-leaf parsley, carrots, onions, garlic, standard-issue zucchini (to bake with) and Romanesque zucchini with ridges (to slice and saute) ... sigh.
If I were Shabbat-observant, it would be prohibited for me to shop, to carry the produce, and to cook and bake with my purchases today. But my idea of a restful Sabbath involves those very activities! One of my very best friends, Wendy, is a good cook who loathes doing it; this would send her stressors off any proverbial charts. But as for me, I've got a weekend of chopping, stirring, tasting, cooking, baking and eating ahead of me, and I can think of almost nothing I enjoy more!
Once I got everything home, I immediately toasted up some pine nuts, chopped some garlic, grated some Asiago cheese, and tossed it all into the blender with my basil leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. I now have some pesto -- though never enough! -- to freeze for future use, stored in ice cube trays to defrost as needed for pasta or pizza or anything else I can think of in the midst of a cold Michigan winter.
I saved the last dribble of the pesto and thinned it out with a bit more oil, then put it to use with the tidbits of leftover bacon from breakfast. I heated some more olive oil in a large skillet, and sauteed some minced garlic for just a moment. I sliced the gorgeous Romanesque zucchini -- which is so beautiful with its star-like points! -- and browned it lightly in the garlic oil, adding some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Once the zucchini was done, I tossed it in the pesto and sprinkled the bacon bits over it, finishing it all off with some grated Asiago for a light lunch along with a flowered salad. Summer meals just don't get much better than this!
I still might bake blueberry muffins or a peach cake, and Jeremy has requested Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting. Perhaps some jam might be in my future ...? Maybe a homemade pizza for dinner, or a corn pudding? A quiche filled with the green and yellow beans, some of the leftover zucchini from lunch, and speckled with parsley? Oh, so many beautiful ingredients, so many ideas, and so little time since it's all so fresh and perishable!
Off to create new enticements, with further updates to come ....
Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 50 cooking contests, and writes about her adventures as she tries to win prizes, feeds hungry teenagers and other loved ones, and generally just has fun in the kitchen. The phrase "You Should Always Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured next to the blog's title) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15, and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here!