Thursday, June 4, 2009

The first squash!

The other night when the sun started to go down and it was pleasant enough to walk through the garden without breaking a sweat, I wandered through to see what I could make for dinner. I picked my very first squash of the season! I picked a handful of two patty pan varieties that were ready. One is called sunburst and its bright yellow the other is called flying saucer and its yellow with green tips. I didn’t harvest any blossoms because you need to do that in the morning. I wandered down to the pea patch to see if any peas were ripe for the pickin’. I managed to harvest a good handful of peas too, then I went about robbing the potato beds but had no success I got two tiny little spuds, not enough to make it in the meal.

For me, the best feeling in the whole wide world is to prepare and eat something I grew. Something I raised up from a wee little seed into something that will nourish me and bring joy to my table. There is a process I love about growing food: First, it’s getting the soil ready, this happens far before the seed is planted or in some case even ordered. Then there is planting the seed and watering it to keep the soil moist to ensure germination. Then miraculously the seed sprouts and now the task becomes about protecting it from the weeds and other things, (like cut worms) and watching it grow.

Then just when you’ve almost forgot why you even planted your garden you see the first blossoms, then it’s the fruit. And then comes the long awaited harvest and soon after comes preparing something wonderful. But, were not finished there; then it’s about continuing to harvest and water and keeping the plants free of weeds and such. And like all life on this planet eventually the seed that became a plant to feed me must die. I take all of the dead plants that gave so much to me and compost them to someday be food for other plants. This I love, from start to finish I love.

I’ll be honest I love greens but it was really exciting to eat something else! Greens on my end are almost though their cycle and soon the beds will become beans, more squash and more corn. Can’t wait to pick my first tomato!
Here is what I ended up making for dinner. It’s real simple and gets you outside with your grill.
1 pound or so of patty pan squash
6 oz fresh English peas or tender shell peas
2 lg cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon nice olive oil
A Good pinch of sea salt
A couple of turns of the pepper mill

Toss all this together and wrap tightly in foil and throw on the grill. Now, if you happen to be grilling steak or something, the squash will take a little longer so keep that in mind. I estimated the squash will take about 10-15 minutes. You want to hear it sizzling in that foil. Be careful upon opening the foil, steam burns hurt!
Top with a couple of ounces of lavender chevre (or should I say lavender "fish bait") ask for it by name at my booth at the cherry street market.

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