Eat It Before It Eats You…

22nd July, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Sides, easy, vegetarian

Every summer, it happens. Someone you know arrives at your door with an immense paper sack and a terrifying story to tell. Their soil is really rich, they explain; they’ve been cultivating it and amending with all the compost from the kitchen scraps and chicken coups. The weather has been especially good, you know. And, they forgot to prune before going on holiday, and the plants went totally out of control, stimulated by freak sunspot activity and increased gamma radiation from ozone layer depletion. And, their kid just discovered these while retrieving the dog’s ball after it had been thrown into the green danger zone where Fluffy won’t wander for fear of being devoured herself.

Yes, it’s the attack of the giant summer squash, the immense zucchini and yellow crooknecks that are almost apologetically presented to every co-worker, friend, and neighbor that can be reached by bicycle-drawn wheelbarrow. And, now, the zucchini that ate Cleveland sits menacingly on your kitchen counter, staring at you relentlessly with its unblinking green eye. What to do with it?

When these alien space squash and near-geriatric marrows reach such biblical proportions, they’re no longer really suitable for steaming or sautés, the preparations preferred for younger fruits. As they grow, they toughen and much of their sweetness is replaced by stronger, slightly more bitter flavours. But, all is not lost. Don’t just think of zucchini bread and baseball bats when these monsters invade. Roast them! It’s a great technique for imparting both tenderness and sweetness to the great beasts. Read more…»

French Vanilla Ice Cream with Blueberry/Tequila Coulis

13th July, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Desserts, easy

Cooking, eating, entertaining should be fun. For all the fuss, for all the serious talk about celebrity chefs, competitions, all the haute couture in food that’s dominating the media, it seems that a lot of people may have forgotten that what really matters is that we have fun in the kitchen, and at table. And, what’s more fun than a little surprise? So, when some friends were coming to dinner the other night, I figured I’d surprise them with something fun and simple for dessert.

Those who know me fairly well will understand that it’s already a bit surprising anytime I volunteer to take on the dessert course, as well as the rest of the meal. I tend to spend most of my time on the savory side of the kitchen, where I’m most at home, and leave the sweeties to someone else. “What can we bring?” will almost always get the same answer. “Oh, let’s see. Hmm. Hey, I know! Why don’t you bring something for dessert. I’ll take care of the rest.” It gets me off the hook. Read more…»