Hey guys, I defended my dissertation!

In celebration, I wanted to eat a bunch of baked goods but since I’m not drawing a paycheck this summer I needed to start to make my own. We had a pint of fresh cherries from the farmers’ market that I needed to get rid of, and I ran across this recipe and decided to go for it. I’m glad I did. They’re sweet without being too cake-y, and the crumb topping is excellent.

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We’ve got an odd assortment of things in the gastronomic kitchen right now, and so for dinner tonight we had two very good, though oddly paired, dishes: a tomato salad and roasted root vegetables.

Yesterday morning we disovered, to our dismay, that our tomato plants have the dreaded blight.  They grew so well (7 feet tall!!), but will not be yielding any edible fruit.  So when we  went to the farmers market with our friends Caly and Steve later in the day we were on the hunt for some non-blighted tomatoes.

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We’re still working our way through a big pile of zucchini and squash here at the Gastrono-kitchen.  Gastronomike and I have been talking lately about how we just don’t seem to have a store of zucchini recipes to draw on, which is odd, because everyone with a garden grows, and is innundated with, zucchini and summer squash.  So why is it that we don’t seem to have a big cultural cache of zucchini and summer squash recipes?

Anyway, tonight’s zucchini dish is total comfort food, and was pretty delicious.  Served alongside grilled chicken and steamed yellow wax beans.

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It’s been so cool and rainy out that a nice hot bowl of soup and chunk of homemade bread sounded perfect.

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I’d say that both of these recipes were pretty big successes, though there are definitely tweaks Gastronomike and I want to make for next time.

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This “pizza” has a crust that is made out of grated zucchini.  It was really unusual and kind of interesting to eat.  It’s not a favorite meal for either one of us by any means, but it was a totally solid meal and an unusual way to use up the many, many, many zucchini that are sitting around our kitchen right now.

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No meal, just some garden photos here.  Gastronomike and I are tending to a small garden in the back yard this summer.  It’s been so gray and wet that I’m surprised anything has grown at all, but we’re starting to harvest just a few small things that we are inordinately proud of.

Behold, our harvest so far (minus one cherry tomato which I popped into my mouth before Gastronomike could snap a photo):

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You can see a few little tooth-marks on one of the cucumbers.  At the beginning of the season I built a cage to fit over the top of the garden to keep nibblers away.  Two days ago we took the cage off.  And tooth-marks appeared.  So after we harvested this little crop the cage went back over the garden.

We usually take our food photos with Mike’s camera, so I was surprised to find a bunch of meal photos on my camera when I plugged it into the computer a few minutes ago.  I wish I had documented these meals when we ate them, but as I neglected to do so, we’ll all have to be content with a quick overview of what the posts would have been.

First, here is an oddly focused photo of Mujadarrah made from a recipe Gastronomike’s friend sent us.DSCF3532

We really like this dish and make it every so often.  It’s warm, and yet feels like a cool meal on a hot summer evening.

Speed Recipe: boil a cup of lentils and 2/3 cup rice with a tbsp of cumin, and spread on lipped baking sheet.  Saute an onion (throw in some pine nuts at the end, too) and spread on lentil/rice mixture along with some chopped tomatoes.  Use pitas to scoop up bites, and eat with cucumber-yogurt sauce (chop a cucumber, a pinch of salt, and a few cloves garlic into plain yogurt and squeeze a lemon over it).

Next, here’s a photo of a steak/potato/salad meal I had while Mike was travelling with his grandmother earlier in the summer.

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