Cucurbits and Cake

If you tuned in for yesterday’s episode, you’ll remember that it was pretty mopey. I was Out. Of. Energy.

But I slept! After a lazy night watching a couple of Monty Python’s Flying Circus episodes and a couple of Mad Men episodes, I slept like a rock for about 9 hours. Did a full set of my new PT exercises and had breakfast.

Cuc & Onion Refrigerator Pickles. Don't they look happy?

And then I decided to play in the kitchen! I am becoming more functional in the kitchen, since at least now I can put enough weight on my right leg to balance while standing at the counter. But since I still need my walker to move around, it takes some creativity to carry things. I can tuck small items – measuring cups, utensils, spice jars, etc – into my walker basket to carry them, but to transport, for example, a bowl of zucchini, I need to pass it to myself as follows: Take bowl out of cupboard – Place on counter – Load with zucchini – Move self ahead of bowl – Reach back for bowl and place it ahead of me – Move self between counter and table – Reach back for bowl and put on table – Move self to chair – Plant self – Realize I also need a compost bowl – Unplant self – You get the idea. So food preparation can really be considered a workout…right?

Anyhow, both our fruit & veggie CSA shares have been abundant the past few weeks, and it happens to be…cucurbit season. Zucchini season. The time when everyone and their brother is trying to pass off zucchini and squash to unsuspecting friends and family, assuring them that you can “just grate it and freeze it!” or “make some zucchini bread!” or “roast it up!” I know because I spent eight years encouraging enthusiasm of zucchini. And most of it is genuine. Zucs are low in calories, high in fiber, ever so mildly sweet, and delicious when picked young. It’s when they become gunboats that they get challenging. I particularly dislike large zucchini and squash seeds. They’re slithery and slimy and blecch. So, to deal with the eight – count ’em – eight zucchini and six cucumbers in our fridge today, I got pickley with it. Kind of like getting jiggy with it, but much, much less cool.

Zuc, Carrot, Onion & Garlic Fridge Pickles

So once planted at the kitchen table with all of my cucurbits, bowls, salt, vinegar, sugar, spices & mandoline (the cutting tool, not the musical instrument), I got slicing. After 1.5 NPR podcasts  – like I said, much less cool than getting jiggy – I had a full bowl of cucumber & onion refrigerator pickles and a full bowl of zucchini / carrot / onion / garlic refrigerator pickles. They’re all marinating their little hearts out right now, and eventually I’ll find some jars to put them in. I have copious canning jars – impulse buys at Iowa auctions – I just need to get to them and clean them out. I will be so happy to be able to fit into my pantry again!

On the farm, I always made one Chocolate Zucchini Cake a season, iced with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is so absurdly good. The staff loved it and I loved it, and I was always ready for it to be gone after a couple of days. There’s only so many times you can have it before it becomes just too much. So since there are only 2 of us cake-eaters here – and since a zucchini cake is way beyond my current logistical abilities – I decided not to make one this year.

An architectural and gastronomic delight. The leftovers will probably last two more days. 🙂

But we did have us some fine cake this week. Friday night we ate at The Corner Tavern in Newark with Michael’s mom, as we do most weekends. We have their menu memorized and usually know what we’ll be ordering before we get there. After the fresh Italian bread, salads & pastas, we usually get one dessert with three forks. This time it was their Towering Chocolate Cake, a four-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, so tall that it needs to be supported by flying buttresses in the form of wafer cookies. It was especially amazing on Friday – moist, fudgy, really flavorful, with plenty of silky smooth frosting. Because let’s be honest. In almost all cases, cake is a vehicle for frosting. This was a really good vehicle – no Dodge Neon here – but nonetheless a vehicle.

Suffice it to say (Suffice? This is one of my longest, most rambling posts yet!) that I’m feeling more energetic today and am glad of it. When I look back at the past weeks, I realize how much more I’m up and around now, which I think takes more energy than I realize. So here’s to another week; I’m curious to see where I’ll be at the end of it!

Making three more zucchini disappear. Zucchini Tofu Pesto stir fry!

Yep, yum


About solveighanson

I'm a (late) thirtysomething Plant Breeding Ph.D. student, daughter / sister / auntie, vegetable fan, yogi, sometime cyclist, and enthusiastic if infrequent baker. I started this blog in the summer of 2010 to trace my recovery from a pelvic fracture sustained in a cycling accident. That healing process was truly transformative, and since then I seem to have written mostly about the transformations that have followed. And hence the title of the blog: Don't call me a butterfly, because I'm not done changing.
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2 Responses to Cucurbits and Cake

  1. Ruth H says:

    Glad to see what a good night’s rest did for you! Building stamina in the kitchen has lots of benefits and from the looks of your pictures, some tasty benefits too!

  2. Kim Ammon says:

    you can bake me chocolate zucchini bread any day of the week!

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