August 1

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll be 23!

I’ll be celebrating the night away at knit night at lettuce knit, and would be thrilled if you’d come! I probably won’t be there until about eight (since I’m going out for dinner), but it’s always a fun time down at the ol’ snb.

Knitting stuff soon. Really.

it begins

Still low on reveal-able knitting around here, but the knitting’s coming along and will be done very shortly. In the meanwhile, more garden and a super yummy recipe!

Dark green zucchini plant…(actually several plants)
dark green zucchini plant

Crookneck squash plant…
crookneck squash plant

First ever zucchini! (Tofu container for scale, if you know what size that is.) We roasted these ones up on the bbq and had roasted veg and feta wraps for dinner the other night.
our first ever zucchini!

The recipe?
zucchini blossoms

Fried Zucchini Blossoms
Now, I’m not sure about the availability of zucchini blossoms to purchase – they must be available at farmer’s markets sometimes, yes? This was an absolutely fantastic way to eat the. The boyfriend was a bit skeptical at first, but was won over with one bite. As you can see, it’s not a super-exact recipe, but you get the idea.

Ingredients:
– zucchini blossoms – we used half male (so just the flowers) and half female with baby zucchinis attached
– canola oil for frying
– lemon

for the batter:
– approx. 3/4 cup white wine
– approx. 1/4 cup sparkling water
– approx. 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 3/4 tsp. baking powder

for the filling:
– approx. 2 tbsp each chopped fresh basil and mint
– 3/4 cup-ish ricotta cheese (use a smoother variety)
– squeeze of lemon
– salt and pepper

to accompany, a tomato salad:
– halved grape tomatoes
– chopped fresh basil
– drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (the good stuff)
– salt

To prepare:
Clean the flowers well (we did use running water), inside and out, pulling out the flower’s innards to make room for the filling. Trim the ends of the stems and the baby zucchini. Pat dry.

Get the oil heating up to 375 degrees F. A deep-fat thermometer is good for the task. Make the salad (by mixing everything together) so it can sit and meld while you do the other stuff.

ricotta filling

For the filling, mix up all the ingredients, season with salt, pepper and lemon to taste. The filling should be pretty darn yummy on its own! Let sit for a bit while you make the batter.

For the batter, I started with the liquid and added flour, mixing with a fork until it was thick but still drippy. The baking powder really gives the whole thing lightness while the wine is darn tasty.

stuffed zucchini, ready to be fried
(We had some extra non-flowers to fry up as well.)

Tricky part is filling the flowers – you have to be careful not to rip them, but it’s pretty tough to hold them open just right to get the filling in there. Fill the flower “bulb” part quite full, then twist the petals back together at the top.

I don’t have any photos of the dipping because I was doing it, but hold onto the stem of the flower, dunk it in the batter and turn it a few times to coat. Hold it up at an angle to let the excess drip off (you can use your fingers to help get off some of the excess batter off too). Drop into the hot oil (away from you!) and let fry, turning, until golden brown. We did two at a time so the oil temp wouldn’t drop too much.

When they’re golden, drain over paper towels and season immediately with salt. Serve up with lemon squeezed over and tomato salad on the side.

plated fried zucchini

Sorry the photo sucks a bit, but a) I’m not a photographer and b) we were too eager to get eating that I didn’t take time to get a better one. They were SO GOOD. The filling was oozy and melty and yummy; the batter was nice and crispy and light; the flowers themselves had a light and yummy flavour.

We ate them as we fried, so they’d be hot and super fresh. We made a lot and ate them all! Definitely not a low-cal lunch, but it’s a gardener’s treat!

Yum yum yum.

here and there

A little progress, a little progress…

a bit o' progress

The crochet silky wool skirt is coming along. I crocheted two skeins worth of the front/back (they’re both the same), and now I’m starting on the back, just for some variety. It’s going much quicker the second time around. I still have to wait for the rest of my yarn to get here, so it’s not a great hurry or anything. I have to figure out how to put together a little underskirt for it, too.

ripening tiny tim

And my first tomatoes of the season are not the ones in the allotment garden! These are tiny tims, which I picked up on a whim at the garden centre, in pots on my back deck. They’re teeny little plants but are producing a fair amount of tomatoes for their size – I’ve got four plants, so I should be able to harvest some for eatin’ here and there.

Yikes, it’s getting late. Better go water that garden.