Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Squash Soup

Last Saturday's CSA share had lots of summer squash, which has never been a favorite of mine -- until I came up with this recipe last night! Originally I was thinking it would be a white-bean squash soup, then a squash/ parsley number, but as I progressed with my recipe I realized that straight -up and simple was the way to go.

Simple Summer Squash Soup

8-10 medium sized summer squash
One medium yellow onion (between tennis-ball and wiffle ball size)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white wine

Trim the ends off the squashes, peel with a vegetable peeler and slice into roughly ½ thick rounds. In a colander arrange a layer of squash rounds, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt, and keep adding and salting layers until all the squash is in the colander. [Like with eggplant, salting leaches out the excess water in the squash for better flavor.] Let the squash drain for about 15 minutes, press it with your hands to release any extra water, flip the layers over and repeat the process.

As the squash drains, slice the onion in half and then into slim half moon slices. Peel the garlic cloves and slice them into thin slices lengthwise. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large cast-iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cover the pan for about 6 minutes to let the onions sweat and sweeten, stirring occasionally. (Now is a good time to flip the squash in the colander!) Continue to stir the onions and garlic until they begin to caramelize and soften.

When the squash slices have drained, squeeze out the excess water, place the squash on a cutting board and roughly chop the slices so you have ¾ inch –ish pieces. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, keep stirring the onions and garlic until the new oil is warm, and then add the chopped squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.

[FYI -- At this point, if you are tired, you can abandon the idea of soup and use the squash in the pan over pasta –taste it! It’s really good, right? Just eat it as a side OR you can continue on to the last step, which is:

-- Turn off the heat
-- Add the contents of the skillet to a food processor
-- Process until completely blended. It will be thick, and here is where you can add the white wine until you get the desired texture. You could also use vegetable broth, or soy milk for a creamier soup, but I think the wine brings out the simple richness of the summer squash best. Also, it is an excuse to buy a bottle of white for “cooking purposes” which you can drink while cooking, yes?

Monday, July 14, 2008


We got kohlrabi as part of our CSA the last two times, and I found this amazing recipe for Quick Kohlrabi Pickles! (The second time I made it I tried slicing them into skinny slices rather than cubes and think they are even more delicious that way.)


Obama's position on FISA is unforgiveable, especially coming from a so -called expert on Constitutional law. Sad,puke-inducing, the predictable tacking towards the "center". It worked so well for Kerry last time, why not give it another go?

The whole idea that "centrist" politics are somehow "better" or a "compromise" is in the vein of the King Solomon baby-dividing trial --You can't share the baby? Cut it in half! [Awesome idea, maybe I can use the Gonzales vs. Carhart fetal dismemberment plan! You know, if I'm feeling blue state!] In other words, a really bad idea!

God I'm such a fucking square! Look at me, caring all about "facts" and "the rule of law" and "Geneva conventions" and "the Constitution" and "truth" and shit! Maybe there's a magazine that will help me fit in with the cool kids!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Putting The "T" In "Intarsia"

Completed baby sweater for my friend's son! I am glad he was named Townes and not Quentin.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Birthday Dinner

at the ABC Cafe in Ithaca was damn good!


Last week we spent three days at Farm Sanctuary near Watkins Glen, New York. It is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I have ever visited, and Trey and I and OUR DOG had a stellar time. The whole Finger Lakes region is as if lifted from a children's picture book about -- well, farms -- with its rolling hills and crisp skies blue as chickory-flowers.

Farm Sanctuary has only three cabins. In the morning the dog (who I shall refer to as "Sir Specialness") would wake us up very early and one of us would take him for a walk in the dewy morning, where he would snap his jaws at tiny moths fluttering around the daisies and red clover and vetch. We could see the cows on the other side of the field and hear the commotion of the chickens, ducks and geese. The first morning we were dying for breakfast, as we'd been up since 5:30-is and breakfast started at 8:00. The best thing about breakfast is that everything was vegan. It is a great feeling to wake up in a strange place and know that you can eat EVERYTHING there, which is why I ate an entire cherry turnover (and I seriously could give a rat's underpants if I ever ate sugar again, give me a salt lick!) in about 30 seconds. A huge woodchuck was grazing out on the lawn and at long last Trey got to see one, as every time we go anywhere outside the city I see Mr. Woodchuck and Trey does not.

After breakfast we got a tour of the farm and to meet the animals who wanted to come meet us. A cow named Maya licked my hand and it was shocking to feel how raspy her tongue was. I petted a sleepy pig named Sprinkles. I have no trouble believing why cannibals supposedly referred to human meat as long pig as touching a pig's flank feels a lot like touching one's fat grandmother. And if you ever get the chance to look a pig in the eyes, as I did, it's uncanny.

I had what felt like the best birthday to date in that it didn't even need to feel like my birthday -- it was just happy and clean and nice. We took Sir Specialness on a two hour hike through the Watkins Glen State Park, we ate chinese food near the little gazebo in town where The Hepcats were slated to play. For dinner we drove to Ithaca which is an adorable town. The whole day was infused with a bubbly peaceful happiness, which crystallized in the moment when, driving along Route 23 in the late late afternoon, we saw a blindingly white creature crossing the road, so bride-white and ambling that my first insane thought was holy shit a polar bear? when we slowed to a crawl to pull up alongside the albino doe, who met our gaze before springing lazily away into the woods. It felt as if we had seen a unicorn.

And the dog -- oh my god, the dog! I am so besotted with him, he is so good and kind and goofy and trusting and funny and I love him so very much! It has been one month since we took him in and it has been a real sea change, and I should have blogged about it while it was happening but getting up every morning at 5:45 to put on one's slobber-covered dog pants from H&M makes one really sleepy at work. And how quickly you become one of the "dog people!" Swapping rescue stories, recognizing people, avoiding other people, etc. And how I could care less that the house is covered in hair (Sir Specialness sheds like a moose -- I swept the floor Sunday and the amount of hair pre-dustpanned was, I kid you not, the size of a large pizza) and I love the sweet puppy smell of his ears and even when for whatever reason his dog penis is showing I feel a weirdly maternal pride that he's got a really big one instead of, well, vomiting, which is the effect that every other dog dick has had on me since birth. When he smiles and dog laughs it is as if the sun shone an arrow right into my heart. It may sound crazy to some, but Trey and I agreed that the feeling of rightness about choosing Sir Specialness and his choosing us felt just as monumental and right as when we chose each other. Lately ours has been a very happy home.