Monday, August 8, 2011

Electricity? Who Needs Electricity?

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Today we had a series of powerful rain storms that had me running all over the house closing windows, mopping up water, and resetting clocks. After a half dozen times of resetting the clocks I finally stopped and let them blink. I'm kind of stupid. Still this kept me busy for much of the late afternoon. Luckily this all this happened after I picked up the farm vegetables so I was spared the labor of having to schlep vegetables through this downpour.

2011 Farm Share, Week 9

Here's what we got this week: Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, one bunch of thyme, another pound of summer squash, two more cucumbers, two Walla Walla onions, three okra, one basket of Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, one bunch of carrots, three Biscayne Peppers, one Black Bell Eggplant, two pounds of slicing tomatoes, a bag of white nectarines and peaches, a box of Donut Peaches, one box of sugar plums.

Getting this quantity of vegetables for two people requires a great deal of strategy. Today I decided to attack the zucchini straight off. I would be damned if this summer squash was going to beat me this week!

Tree Falls in Electrical Storm

Unfortunately, after the sun came out and the rain subsided a tree down the street gave out and fell on top of some power lines killing power for about four hours. We probably should have gone out for dinner but that's exactly what a weak person would do. We're too brave to let a little power outage send us out to eat. We may have only had use of the stove top but, I wasn't going to let that stop me.

Cornmeal Fried Summer Squash with Chopped Tomato

I sliced up the green, yellow, and pattypan squash into thin slices, salted and peppered them, then let them sweat a little. After they sweat I drained the moister before coating them in cornmeal, salt, pepper, parsley, and cayenne. I fried the slices in olive oil and served with a "salsa" I made from diced yellow and red tomatoes, opal basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

The eggplant also didn't stand a chance. Normally eggplants just arrive in our farm share pickup and silently smirk at me, knowing that I'm not terribly crazy about eggplant and that it would enjoy at least a week or two of relaxing inside my fridge.

Not this week.

Roasted Eggplant with Sweet and Sour Duck Sauce

I pretended as if I was going to put it in the fridge then quickly sliced its top off then bisected it cleanly down the middle. I salted and peppered it and tossed it in the oven at 425 degrees to roast it until I became tender. Luckily I'd finished roasting it just as the power went out.

Whilst rummaging in my fridge I discovered this sweet and sour duck sauce that I'd made seven months ago. I probably should have used it up four or five months ago but it got lost in the freezer and time was of the essence in using it up as quickly as possible.

After the eggplant halves had browned up nicely I topped them with the reheated sauce and returned them to the oven to stew.

On the side I was going to simply serve buttered egg noodles with chopped parsley. However, I forgot since there wasn't adequate light where I'd left the egg noodles out. I think I'm going to start using that as an excuse for everything going forward.

La Chouffe

Tonight's beer was my master stroke. I had been eyeing this one for a long, long time. It is a Belgian ale called La Chouffe from, not surprisingly, La Chouffe. I have been wanting to try this for a while because I love Belgian beers and I love gnomes.

The unfortuante thing about this beer is that it looks like it was designed to make my in-laws hate it. Firstly it is a Belgian beer, my father-in-law's least favorite thing on the Earth aside from refrigerating condiments. The whole line of beers is gnome-themed which happens to be my mother-in-law's second least favorite thing on Earth just after monkeys. So, by my calculations, the only thing that would be better designed to repel them would be a monkey-themed Belgian beer.

Victory Golden Monkey claims to be Belgian-style and even though I've had it and I know my father-in-law would like it, I know he would pretend to hate it because of the world "Belgian" on the bottle. But I don't know if anything brewed outside the borders of Belgium itself would really make him feign disgust in the same way.

All this being said, the La Chouffe was fantastic. Just my kind of beer.

After dinner we walked to the ice cream shop, got a few cones, and wandered around observing the relative water levels of the brook. Well, observing them as much as we could in the dark.

Shortly after 9:30 PM the power came back on and, luckily, I had written most of this prior to making dinner.

Barbecues are not the only area of my time management expertise.


Lisa Marie said...

Your beers always look so expensive. I got both a Red Dog AND a LaBatt Max Ice tallboy for under four dollars yesterday.

Unknown said...

My beers are often not cheap but my philosophy is that I'd rather have 1 good beer in an evening than many bad beer. I am all about quality over quantity.

I'd rather drink nothing at all than drink bad beer.

uberlours said...

I am very much against beers that are brewed using cooking herbs. The majority of the beers that seem to use cooking herbs seem to be brewed in Belgium. Ergo my avoidance of beers brewed in Belgium on the chance that they might taste of thyme or basil or lavender etc etc.I feel the same way about beers using rice as an ingredient, so no Budweiser either
I did once go to the Grumpy Troll near Madison WI, but it was a disappointment.

Lisa I do have a 30 pack of PBR that you can take back next time you are in Naperville. $9.99 before tax. At that price you can have 2.

Unknown said...

I too am not in favor of cooking herbs in beer. I find them interesting to sample once or twice but not good for repeat drinking.