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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’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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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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We had been planning to take a picnic dinner over to campus and watch the movie on the quad tonight with all the Summer Start students.  We’ve done that every year since we’ve been here and always really enjoyed it (despite the run of terrible movies they’ve chosen in recent years).  But today it’s cold and has been raining all day.  The university obviously has an alternate rain location and the event is going on as planned, but for us most of the fun is in watching the movie en plein air.  So instead, we stayed home and ate our picnic dinner at the kitchen table.  Here you see a combination of rice-paper rolls with veggies and noodles inside, and collard leaf rolls with spiced chicken inside, along with peanut sauce for dipping.  We still have about half of this meal left in the fridge right now– I guess that’s what happens when you don’t slowly munch on it for the duration of a movie.  I’m looking forward to finishing it tomorrow for lunch.

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Gastronomike and I both really love hummus, and so we made a huge double-batch to have in the house for the next week or so.

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