Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CSA Week 10 and Zucchini Chips

After a busy and rather noisy few weeks, tonight I find myself alone.
I'm a bit later in the evening doing this weekly CSA blog post because in this time of quiet I am finally getting to my meditation course that I planned on starting at least half a year ago. I don't have a whole lot of time alone, so this little stretch seemed like a good opportunity.
Last night I found my eyes closing at a few points in the lecture, so tonight I made it my priority.
Tonight I was reading in the newspaper about the high cost of stress in the workplace. Assuming the facts are correct, 500,000 people miss work everyday in Canada because of a mental health issue.
I am delighted that I can live the way I do, and I never miss work because of stress or for any other reason. I'd be stressed out if I did because this is what I do for a living.

I love what I do.
But farming can be stressful in it's own right. The weather can be wonky causing crop failures, chefs can depart their workplace leaving you hanging, payments can be slow to come if they ever do at all and equipment can break down causing unforeseen expenses.
Then there is the reality that our food is terrifically cheap, which is what people expect. The work  and expense of getting good food out to people is just simply not compensated.  So you have to do other things and diversify and hold it all together.
Becoming a single parent and supporting this farm and all my friends here on my own it has become a whole lot more stressful.
Hence the meditation, which also gives me a bit of "me " time.

Today's baskets were summer, summer and more summer. Despite the chill in the air, the summer crops are peaking. Zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, kale or chard, basils, rosemary, parsley, eggplants, cucumbers, garlic and mouse melons found a home in the baskets today.
I generally never have an overabundance of zucchini, but this year it is exceptionally happy. Absent for the most part are the squash bugs and cucumber beetles that tend to destroy it. The zucchini is happy and so am I.

The cool evenings are ensuring that the tomatoes in the field are slow to ripen. So there are not as many colours in the baskets yet....but they will come.
Well, you've done kale chips. Why not zucchini chips?

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips

1 (large) zucchini, cut into 1/8" - 1/4" slices
  • 1/3 cup whole grain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine in a small mixing bowl, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Dip zucchini slices into milk and dredge into bread crumbs to coat both sides. Note: It may be necessary to press crumbs onto zucchini slices to ensure the crumbs stick.
Arrange zucchini on a non-stick cookie sheet and lightly mist with a non-stick cooking spray.  Or, place zucchini on a wire rack sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
If using a rack, place rack on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, turn over and continue baking until golden, approximately 10-15 minutes (being careful not to burn). Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.

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