Sunday's Kitchen

Meals from the season. From the generosity of friend's farms and gardens.

Remember the tomato greenhouse I told you about earlier this year? (I've mentioned it several times since then also.) I was given 60 lbs of organic greenhouse tomatoes a couple weeks ago. This was the week before we went camping and right around the time of my parent's visit. I dehydrated some, made my signature roasted tomato soup, froze many and even cooked some up to put in jars in the freezer. 

Those frozen stewed tomatoes were the perfect thing to make zucchini lasagna this past Sunday.

Even after saying "no thank you" repeatedly to friends, we have more zucchini than we know what to do with. My easy going vegetable eaters are starting to boycott zucchini. I don't bake, so I'm not making zucchini muffins and zucchini cookies but I did make zucchini apple crisp one night to share with friends. (I make a mean crisp. One of the few things I bake.) 

I suppose I could dehydrate the rest of the zucchini. I've never used dehydrated zucchini before but I can imagine it would be great in winter soups and stews and could be used for backpacking adventures. 

Abounding zucchini aside, Sunday was a golden day. We took a rest from hiking and spent the day finishing personal projects and resting. I did a whack of homeschool planning and am now nearly done. Nearly, but not quite.

The older my kids get the more freedom I have in my days (the kids help around the house a lot, they don't need me physically like they used to, and I'm not the only parent on duty any more) but the more complicated their schooling needs become.

It's a good thing I have more time in my days - I need it so I can try to keep up with my kid's homeschooling. Part of me remembers fondly mornings on the couch with picture books and very simple learning goals, "let's study caterpillars". The other part of me is very happy to be where we are. It's the natural progression of family based, interest-led learning.

It's a good life - the homeschooling journey, our days together, this house in the woods. Sunday was a day where I really felt especially grateful for all I have. A bounty of local food in my kitchen will do that to me. 

A day for planning our school year and cooking healthy food. Nourishing my family, in more ways than one. 

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  • Renee A.

    Renee A. on Sept. 12, 2012, 1:56 p.m.

    Would you mind sharing your crisp recipe?? daughter has been making apple crisp....she tries to make only healthy things but she has been frustrated with the crisp part as it isn't very good, so could you share your recipe with us or if it's a secret recipe ;) ,at least guide us to a good one.She's been wanting to make some again but wants to try a different recipe for the crisp part.Thanks so much!


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 18, 2012, 11:27 a.m.

      Zucchini Apple Crisp "recipe" Disclaimers and cavaets: I don't use recipes very often, I make things up as I go. This is as best as I can remember. Also, this is a company (once in a while) dessert - I used more maple syrup and oil than I would for regular fare for our family. I mix peeled and diced (small pieces) of zucchini with chopped apple. Probably one part zucchini to 4 parts apple. Splashed with maple syrup and cinnamon. Stirred it all up. Make a "crisp" topping with about 2 cups of oats and 1/4 cup (maybe a bit more) flour. I used brown rice flour. To those I added a couple tablespoons coconut oil, salt (1/4 tsp?), more maple syrup. I mixed this all up with a pastry blender (funny I still have one of these considering I don't make pies or the like), you could use a fork.  I layered crisp topping on the apple/zucchini mix. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (approx.) I don't quite remember. You may want to cover if you don't like your crisp getting too brown. I like it that way, but watch that it doesn't burn. And that's the recipe, as best as I can recall. And it was delicious. Our hosts (I took this to a friends' house for a shared supper) had some ice cream in the freezer so this was added if people wanted and my oh my, not vegan, but very yummy!


  • Kika

    Kika on Sept. 12, 2012, 5:31 p.m.

    As you know I've just gone through a major surgery and am largely bed-ridden. It may sound cliche but is nonetheless true that walking through times like this can be an opportunity to renew gratitude for the simple things in life: homecooked meals brought over from friends and church family; reading a novel with my youngest in my bed; sunlight and fresh air pouring in through open windows, a warm blanket and homemade rice bag in the freezer (for swelling :)); conversation with my kids. But also, there is a satisfaction in watching my kids carry on with simple routines (basic chores, homeschooling) though I cannot be so involved as I would like. We've built the relationships and the foundation and are able to carry on quite peacefully because of this. Your post reminded me of this - well, they often do; That the great joys in life don't come b/c of great ambition or monumental wordly accomplishments - in my opinion - but by daily small choices and the forging of strong relationships.xoxo


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 12, 2012, 6:54 p.m.

      Umm... so true Kika. I've been thinking about you a lot this week and these days in your recovery. Glad your family is caring for you.


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Sept. 13, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

    I highly recommend freezing shredded zucchini in small-ish (1 or 2 cup) portions...great for baking/zucchini fritters/etc!


  • Melanie

    Melanie on Sept. 17, 2012, 1:32 a.m.

    Try grating the zucchini and freezing it in one cup portions like that. It is so nice to throw a cup in a pot of soup in the winter or in a casserole or something. Just add frozen to a soup and it will cook in the goodness.


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 17, 2012, 10:29 a.m.

      Melanie, thanks so much. I just did this last week at someone else's suggestion also. I am looking forward to getting a larger freezer next summer. I only have a fridge freezer right now (didn't move my big one) so I am limited in how much I can freeze and for how long. I love freezing things, so easy.


  • Wendy

    Wendy on Sept. 18, 2012, 2:37 a.m.

    Dried zucchini tastes sweeter than I expected. You would probably enjoy it as a snack food.

    Cubed zucchini freezes well and can be thrown in any soup, sauce, bake . . . .

    I'm also curious about the apple crisp with zucchini.



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