Menus Returning Soon!

a truckload of produce at the farmers' market

Getting ready to set up at the farmers’ market – over 1800 lbs of produce!

So I’ve received a few comments about missing menus.  Why haven’t I posted any?  Am I giving up my all-organic, all-unprocessed diet ambitions?  Or did all of the health stuff I talk about on the why page suddenly reverse itself?

Alas, I’m still fighting the autoimmune problem (though it has improved a great deal).  It’s more like the weekly menu has taken a summer vacation.

The end of the school year is crazy busy for most teachers.  For band directors at private boarding schools with many complex ceremonial needs, it’s insane.  Add to that running an organic farm, and, well, planned eating is a bit challenging.  Eating is a bit challenging…  Thus, I intentionally didn’t plan the last couple weeks of classes and all-day faculty meetings.

Immediately following that, I was way behind on the farm, due to health problems in the winter and the school schedule, but our annual Hole in the Woodstock event was just a couple of weeks away.  So, crazy days there.

From there on out, the garden has been dominating life.  Two days a week of farmers’ markets (a market may only appear to be a few hours from the outside, but it’s way more than a full days’ work!), a full day of harvesting for both…  Those are times it’s difficult to do a meal.

Ironically, they’re also times full of great food!  Every morning begins with a walk down each garden bed checking on the progress of our 2 1/2 acres of veggies.  There’s a lot of sampling that goes on during those walks!  And, of course, I spent a fair bit of time developing recipes for the onslaught of zucchini!

So, all told, I don’t really need to plan menus in the summer.  Much of my eating isn’t even in meals anyway.  However, school’s starting to come back to life.  We’ve had a few meetings and workshops already, and the band is back this weekend.  Then we jump in, with the matriculation ceremony during the eclipse!

So, I’ll be posting menus again shortly.  The next couple of weeks are going to be weird transition stuff, so I may not do so until classes get going.  But stay tuned, and we’ll be back at it soon!

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boat

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boat

So, I wanted something a little different for the daily zucchini adventure today.  Something a bit more filling.  Something savory and rich.  And I enjoyed the squash and Italian Sausage flavor combination from my Rotini Tromboncini the other day.

Well, our main zucchini variety is Costata Romanesca, an Italian heirloom variety that we really love.  Italian zucchini, Italian sausage….  What could be more faux-Italian (yet really American) than pizza? Continue reading

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes with wild blackberries

Zucchini Pancakes with fresh wild blackberries

Back to creative outlets for our zucchini glut.  Zucchini for breakfast (or brunch)!  Pancakes are an underutilized food group.  They can be savory or sweet, salty or caramelized.  Eggy, floury, or, in this case, loaded with zucchini.  This is a great way to boost the nutritional profile of your pancake, yet still good with berries and maple syrup (grade B, of course!).   Continue reading

Rotini Tromboncini

Tromboncini Rotini – A tasty, colorful, and unique summer dinner

Taking another break from the mass influx of zucchini, it’s time to play with tromboncini squash again.  I love Troboncini – they are extremely versatile, functioning as both a winter and a summer squash.  Their flavor is somewhere between a zucchini and a butternut.  And they have a long, seedless neck.

The parmesan tromboncini discs I made the other day were really yummy.  But let’s face it, that’s an appetizer.  We needed something more substantial for dinner.  And colorful.  Time for squash and pasta! Continue reading

Parmesan Tromboncini Discs

Parmesan Tromboncini Discs

Parmesan Tromboncini Discs

Even though we’re getting slammed with zucchini, the Tromboncini squash are also starting to come in.  Tromboncini are uncommon, but I’m not sure why.  They’re very productive, at least in terms of pounds of food produced (though most of the squash tend to be large, so you don’t necessarily have large numbers of them).  They are easy to use – they have a long neck that is entirely seedless, then a bulb on the end that contains all of the seeds, and a skin that’s only slightly thicker than zucchini, so most recipes don’t need peeling.  They are versatile – they can function both as a summer squash and as a winter squash (though they don’t store quite as long as, say, a butternut).  And they are very tasty, with a flavor somewhere between a zucchini and an acorn squash.

Anyway, we have converted a few true believers at market.  Most people are afraid to try them, but those who do usually come back for more.  But, due either to the massive pile of zucchini on our table, or too few brave culinarians, we had a few left after this week’s markets.  So, yesterday was a day to be creative with Tromboncini.   Continue reading

Zucchini Carbonara

Zucchini Carbonara

Classic Pasta Carbonara, with a Zucchini twist

I was flipping through The Flavor Bible, looking for ways to use my excessive zucchini harvest, and I noticed several flavors I love being highly recommended, including thyme, parmesan, cream, and black pepper.  Wait a minute!  Those plus bacon (which makes everything better) are all the flavors that make the classic pasta carbonara sauce!

Surely I could make something of that!  So I did.

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Zucchini Season – Lock Your Car Doors

Chad's Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

“What can I do with all of my zucchini?”  “Google Zucchini Recipes.”  “Here, take a zucchini.  I insist.”  These are common queries among gardeners this time of year.  If you live in a small town like Culver, you may not lock your car doors, except for his time of year – when you fear someone might leave a pile of zucchini in it!

Zucchini is extremely seasonal, and generally quite productive.  Thus, people tend to look for unique zucchini ideas, recipes that use a lot of zucchini, or that will use them in new ways,   Continue reading

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad's Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

It’s the heart of zucchini season, and so that means zucchini bread.  I ran out of printed copies of my recipe at the market, and since, I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me for my recipe, with the urgency of most people with a refrigerator overpacked with squash.

Well, I promised I’d post it this week.  I just barely made it, but here it is for your weekend!

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