Sunday, July 3, 2011

The awning is here!

Only two hours after the awning-installer-guys arrived on Friday morning, all of the work was done.  After roasting and baking in our own kitchen for nearly six summers, shade has finally arrived on the back of our house.

I know the kitchen sorta looks like a cave here, especially over toward the right, but that is EXACTLY the point.  I was practically doing cartwheels when I saw that the plants out back would still get plenty of light, but area around my countertops and sink would not.  I think this picture was taken around 5:30pm-ish?  I had just returned from the Kennett farmer's market and because my kitchen wasn't 100 degrees I actually got to work prepping the stuff I had bought (rather than waiting until 10pm when I can be certain that the sun is gone).

I'm hoping to make zucchini pancakes and zucchini bread with the squash. I have a recipe for the pancakes, but I need to find a good one for the bread.  I probably have one somewhere in my books, but I need to search for it. I've been on a beet kick lately. I just love how they taste with salt.  This time, they had golden beets in addition to the typical red variety.  They're easy to prep: cut the greens off, wash the beets, wrap them up in foil packets (with four or so in a packet), and roast them at 450F for one hour.  Then, I put on my dishwashing gloves and peel the skins off once they've cooled. (If you don't have gloves, expect your fingers to stay pink for a while. And don't wear anything too precious while doing this.) This time, I actually cooked the greens too. I always feel bad throwing them out because so many people have told me that I should do something with them. I washed and chopped those, put them in the salad spinner, and then sauteed them with olive oil and garlic. I won't lie: I was VERY apprehensive about tasting these.  They're really not that pretty, so my skepticism was pretty overwhelming.  I put a small serving over some rice I had in the fridge and ... was happy to discover that they taste exactly like spinach.  I love spinach ... so I guess I love beet greens too?

So easy to see why beets are used for pigments and dyes.

Beet salad with last week's arugula and herbs de provence sheep cheese from the farmer's market.

There are more than enough beets in the fridge to last me the week and soon there will be plenty of zucchini pancakes to go with them.  In the meantime, I will be reading my book under the awning ...

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