This is my garden:
It is a basil plant whom I have named Gary Snyder (I name food plants after literary figures). Gary and I have been cooking together for a while now, and I find him to be quite impressive.
But I was lucky to be able to visit my family's homestead in Upstate NY, where my father has raised a much fuller, organic, composte-fed garden:
Parsley, Basil (don't be jealous Gary Snyder), Chard!
And oh, wait, what's below all this green stuff...?
And of course, zucchini. That's my father, holding his biggest find yet. His garden makes me wish I had a lawn. Carrying any/all of these things on the train home to boston would've been impossible, but the thought of that zucchini made me decide to work (store-bought) zucchini into every recipe I've made lately, from
a simple chick pea pasta
to (even simpler) veggies covered in peanut sauce (my default "healthy" snack [I make an approximate 2:1 ratio of sauce to veggies])
to Heidi Swanson's Lemon Chick Pea Stir Fry (can you tell I've also had quite a bit of chick peas around lately?).
BUT the [vegan]creme-de-la-creme of zucchini-containing recipes I made lately were my Veggie Gyoza - aka Potstickers!
30-40 dumpling wrappers (thanks, Super 88 Market!)
1 box silken tofu (Mori-Nu, for example)
1 small zucchini, grated
1 small carrot, grated
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup spinach, chopped or shredded (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1-inch knob ginger, minced
2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 Cup say sauce/tamari
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (except the wrappers) and stir savagely until it is one big mush.
Take a wrapper.
Put on 1-2 Tbsp of the filling.
Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water. Crease one side of the wrapper so it bunches nicely. Repeat until you run out of filling. At this point, you have three options: 1.) freeze the potstickers for later use. 2.) Steam the potstickers for 10 minutes, or 3.) the more-work-but-more-tasty way: lightly oil a pan and fry the postickers, flat side down, no stirring, on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan, cover it quickly, and cook for 5 minutes, until all the liquid has turned to steam. Serve with a 2:1 mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, with a touch of mirin/sugar (if you like).
I froze about a bazillion of these when I made them, so I'm sure you'll see them again.
And let's be honest, you are all just reading this far because you were hoping for a chicken update. Fear not! The chickens are doing well. The pullets are now full grown, grumpy hens:
And the rooster and old chickens are doing well, though apparently the rooster may have some chickeny version of pneumonia. Poor fellow!
I'll be visiting NY again sometime this month; I'll try to refrain from too much chicken news, but I'll let you know if Rooster's pneumonia clears up.
ALSO, in good news, this whole "quitting the 9-5 to go back to school" thing means I will probably have a little more time to update this blog! Hopefully we'll be back to once a week starting this month.