Friday, April 27, 2012

Zucchini and Boggle

What do zucchini and Boggle have in common? I'll get to that. But first, some breaking news...

Guess what Ethan and I made last night? Tortillas. Yes, our own 100% fresh-ground whole wheat, lard-free tortillas. I mixed up the dough in the food processor, formed it into 10 little golf balls, and let it rest on the counter for an hour. Then I proceeded to throw flour over every inch of the kitchen, including my purse:

I pressed each ball flat between my palms, sprinkled on even more flour, and rolled out little circles with a Pampered Chef pastry roller (a small wooden handle with tiny rollers at each end) that I had heretofore never used in the 10 years or so since I paid way to much money for it. It was perfect for the job! My circles were almost... circular.

As I finished each tortilla, I carefully peeled it up and handed it over to Ethan, who was manning the electric skillet. (We tried an iron skillet first, but the sides were too high and it was hard to get them flat and to flip them; we kept burning our fingers.) Ethan watched for the bubbles and then carefully flipped each tortilla.

Look at this lovely stack:

While we waited for the electric skillet to heat up, I devoured one of the rejects. "Oh, this is SO good," I raved. "You've got to try one, Ethan. Here, put on some butter and honey."

"Nah," he said, eying our misshapen, slightly holey first attempts. "Are you going to start making all our tortillas now?"

I nodded vigorously. "For sure."


"Because they're healthier, softer, tastier, and even cheaper."

"You know, sometimes things you buy at the store taste better."

I rolled my eyes. "Puh-lease. You've never even tasted a tortilla fresh off the griddle. Really, try one."


He stayed with me until the tenth and final tortilla, and then he was out of there. I was afraid the tortillas would be too thick to roll into enchiladas, but I was wrong. They were soft and pliable, and just the right size. (Actually, they came in various sizes, which was just fine.)

Chicken Enchiladas

And Ethan changed his tune at dinner time. He and Allyson devoured the two remaining rejects at the table and asked for more. Guess we should have made 20.

So Back to the Zucchini
Back up a few days to last Saturday. Ethan, a couple of friends, and Allyson were getting ready for their first swim of the season (actually Allyson's second). Meanwhile, I was making a cake that looked like a giant oreo for Ethan's 15th birthday party that evening.

Allyson asked me to help her put on her new swimsuit from Nana, but I told her she'd have to wait until I got to a stopping point. She pleaded and pleaded, but I kept telling her to wait a minute. At last she said, "I'll try to put it on by myself." And there were ten blissfully quiet minutes after she disappeared into the bathroom.

She emerged triumphant. "I did it! I'm wearing my new zucchini."

"I think you mean bikini," Ethan's friend Clayton said.

"Yes, it's my bikini. Will you hand me the boggles, please?"

Allyson's New Zucchini

Speaking of Zucchini
And in gardening news... For the past few years, planting The Family Garden has marked the beginning of spring. But this year spring came later for us because we've been horribly busy lately. Bill and Allyson had planted some seeds several weeks ago...
The Tall Ones are Green Beans

...and the cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, and cantaloupe were all thriving in our window seat. They finally got around to transplanting them to the garden last Sunday, just when I was afraid they would perish from lack of root space. Bill spent the whole afternoon lovingly tending to them while Allyson dug up worms and occasionally mounded up some dirt around a seedling. I wasn't even around to take pictures this time because I was busy cooking.

The very next morning, I heard Bill hollering in the backyard. "You stupid dog! Do you know how long I spent...? Four hours. FOUR HOURS. Go get in your pen. Yes, go before I... Git!"

I was pretty sure I knew what had happened. I pictured Lola cavorting in the moonlit garden, or skulking around in it at first light.

But I asked him about it anyway when he finally came back inside. Just as I'd suspected, Lola the Garden Wrecker had struck again. She'd jumped the fence, dug a bunch of holes, uprooted a few plants, and trampled the green beans flat, breaking some of the stalks.

"I can't believe she was able to get over the fence," he said. Now Allyson and I had told him several times before that we'd caught Lola in the garden, but I guess he just didn't believe us until he saw the evidence for himself.

"Do you think the plants will survive?" I asked.

He sighed. "Maybe. All I know is Lola's going to live in her pen for awhile."

And that's what she did, for about three days. She could only come out when Bill was there to watch her. Today he relented and let her out while he was at work. I'll keep you posted.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Lovely plants. I'm trying with tomatoes and pepers this year. Here's hoping.

God bless.

Gentz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Victor - May your tomatoes and peppers be fruitful and multiply.

Gentle - Feel free to come and get Lola for a playdate whenever you like. How about a sleepover? I bet she would love to get at your garden too!


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