Yeah, so I think I'm like that now, but for farmers.
Because WHOA does my vegetable garden suck it this year.
I mean, yes, it's the end of the summer and usually shit looks like shit by now, but it's basically looked this sad since, like, June, and when we got back from our backpacking trip I hobbled out there on my peg leg and ripped the beans out of that empty bed you see there because I couldn't take it anymore.
It was depressing.
It's possible that with finishing my horticulture degree, starting a new farm job and going on a two week backpacking trip that tried to kill me, I *may* have neglected my vegetable garden, like, the tiniest bit.
I should probably be ashamed of myself, but as is my way, I'm just forgetting about it and moving on.
Enter the winter garden.
|Red baron onions were so awesome last year, I'm putting in a hundred this year, which is twice as many as last year for those of you who are keeping count. Which is weird of you to do, I just want to say.|
|Dill and cilantro were so badass all winter last year even when the hard frost came, so that's happening again, too. En mass.|
Plus, I've organized the direct sow stuff (Pacific Gold and Ruby Streaks mustard greens, Romance and Nelson carrots, Hollow Crown parsnips, Cherry Belle and French Breakfast radishes, arugula, buckwheat, Aquadulce fava beans, Rocky Top lettuce) that will go in once it stops being in the fucking nineties all the live long day FINALLY GAH.
I'm over summer, people. Specifically, the heat. It's to the point where I'm saying Fall with a capital F to see if I can't bring about the end of this molten summer. It's not working.
Thankfully, for the sake of our winter tomato eating and Other Foods of Summer Which I Failed To Grow eating, I've discovered the best perk of working on a farm and that is the peer pressure to PLEASE TAKE SOME FUCKING WHATEVER YOU WANT OUT OF THE COOLERS BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH.
|Yes, hi, I will have 22 pounds of dry farmed tomatoes thank you.|
And then PLEASE GO HARVEST WHATEVER YOU WANT FROM THE FIELD RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WHOA.
|"Plant it, eat it, throw it at the neighbor kids - just take some of this garlic."|
|"The dry farmed tomatoes are in - let's go taste them." = favorite thing I've ever heard someone say.|
|"Oh, and pick as many as you want. There are lots." = second favorite thing I've ever heard someone say.|
|That's a lot of zucchini to leave on neighbors' porches.|
|These peppers were too big for retail sales, so OOPSY DARN I'll have to take a flat home.|
|Also I bought a pie from the farm stand because obviously.|
And then I finally, after being in a total cooking/eating/dealing with only dehydrated food rut, I took all of that goodness into my kitchen and made a new thing.
Herbed cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms
- A few dozen squash blossoms (pick the males, which are the flowers without the little squash growing on the bottom), rinsed, dried and stamen removed (that's the pointy part in the flower with the pollen all over it)
- 8 oz plain soft farmer's cheese
- A few handfuls of fresh herbs (I used parsley, dill, cilantro, savory and basil), chopped
- 1 cup white flour
- 1T sea salt
- 1T fresh ground pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup vegetable oil
Mix the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and cheese until the herbs are distributed evenly throughout the cheese.
Carefully unravel the blossoms and press a tablespoon or two of the cheese mixture into the stamen-less center of each blossom and twist it closed.
|Then set it up decoratively on a plate and spend way too long taking pictures of your handiwork because LOOK HOW FANCY.|
|This one was the king I decided.|
Then start your oil heating in a deep fry pan over medium heat until it shimmers and mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Crack your egg into another bowl, whisk it up and set up your conga line to the fry pan.
Then, because you're a dick and probably also because you've been drinking this whole time, take the first stuffed blossom with your handy tongs and completely bypass the conga line and stick the thing right in the hot oil without battering it.
Then realize the error of your ways, rescue it out of the oil, send it through the conga line while hoping that the hot oil won't start cooking the egg, see that it totally does, replace the egg in the bowl, dip the semi-cooked egg battered blossom in the flour mixture, put it gently in the hot oil, move your cocktail to the bar where you won't be able to constantly sip from it, and then proceed to dip, batter and fry the rest of the blossoms without error.
When you're done frying your battered blossoms to a golden brown by just letting them slowly fry over medium heat instead of trying to speed things up by overheating and thus burning them over high heat, make a quick caprese salad with what's left of your farm haul, put out some good balsamic vinegar to dip your blossoms into and have the most indulgent dinner since the last time you made fried chicken.
|Sure, fried stuffed zucchini blossoms should probably be an appetizer, but eh.|
Eat them all in one sitting because they don't save for shit.