Monday, July 28, 2008

Does the backgarden count as local?

Stayed put at the farm all day yesterday. Read, ate, wrote, ate - that was the order of the day, and I can say it was all quite fulfilling and I never once felt lazy. There are some massive zucchini in the kitchen garden that beckoned to me - it seems that since coming to Italy, the zucchini family and I have made amends (we had been on the outs since a soggy stir fry situation). I wasn't entirely sure what we would end up with, but I knew it was going to be stuffed, and that I wanted to use up the mushrooms that were in the fridge. K set to work making a potato and tomato sauce dish, while I went to work on my stuffing. The result was delicious - I baked the skin of the zucchini while preparing the stuffing, resulting in a juicy little number. We also decided that the barbecued figs of Saturday couldn't go unchallenged, so we baked up what proved to be some pretty descent competitors by making a batch of baked pears that were scrumptious.

Big Green Yummy Monsters
1 massive zucchini
1 white onion - diced
2 tsp of olive oil
5 oyster mushrooms - diced
pepper, oregano and sage to taste

I cut the zucchini in half and hollowed out the middle, reserving the insides for the stuffing, and set them to bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. The stuffing was quite simple, and included dicing the remaining ingredients into small chunks, adding them to a warmed up and oiled pan and letting them brown through. Finally, I added the stuffing to the zucchini 'skin' and baked the whole big delicious party for another 20 minutes.

Baked Pears

8 tiny Italian pears
a handful of walnuts
2 tsps of maple syrup

Again, as simple as the recipe from Saturday: slice the fruit, add it to a pan, cover in maple syrup and bake for about 40 minutes. I added the nuts half way through this time, rather than right at the end. They were a bit more caramelized and much tastier.

While I was upstairs grabbing the desert, K decided to go for a quick walk around the animal lodgings that are adjacent to our outdoor dining spot. He said hey to Hootie, talked to the chickens and then noticed that one of the black cats was looking at him with that "oh crap, I have been spotted look". K's lensed eyes noticed that a little yellow streak was dodging clay pots and newly transferred plants in the nursery beds that the cat was sneaking around escaped duckling, not even 36 hours old, was being harassed by this big black feline. Kevin alerted the proper authorities and has now been crowned the patron saint of ducklings (we are in Italy thank you). How much more can a vegancowgirl ask for than have a future husband who goes around the Italian countryside saving the lives of ducklings?

*Please note that I am by no way ignoring my pledge to use local products in my use of maple syrup. I bought it on Saturday and have no intention of letting it go to rot. I think that might just be a bit too antithetical to my whole reason for being a vegan in the first place.


sweetpotato said...

I've also got two HUGE zucchini's from the garden, I couldn't decide what to do with them either. The only logical thing right now seems to be to stuff them like yours! It looks great!

VeganCowGirl said...

Do it! I have also been so bold as to cover the tops with bread crumbs. That can be yummy too!


sweetpotato said...

Mmmm! I can't wait for dinner now.
PS: I'm adding you to mine also!

Bianca said...

A day of reading, eating, and writing sounds awesome...especially on an Italian farm with cute baby ducks! Lucky!