Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CSA Week 5 and Tomato Zucchini Bake

I'm a bit late getting the post up for this week. It should have been last night, CSA day, but Niagara Falls intervened.
Over the past 8 days my family played host to a girl from Brooklyn through The Fresh Air Fund .
It was our second year participating and we had a different girl each year. Last year our girl was such a character, she was loud, boisterous and so much fun. The young gal we had this year was lovely too, but so very quiet and reserved.
I can't imagine what they thought of our lifestyle, and I don't think either of them will be a convert to country living. But they both enjoyed all our four legged and feathered family members, tenting, bonfires and of course Niagara Falls.
And I messed up. I thought tomorrow was the departure day, but as it turns out it was early this morning. So after basket delivery yesterday we made the requisite trip to Niagara Falls, hence no blog post.
In addition to having a house guest there sure has been lot going on. Someone asked me a while ago what I think about when I am in the garden hour after hour, day after day. The time really flies by fast and my mind is always busy. I think about things that have happened, analyze situations, try to arrive at solutions or snappy responses. And lately there has been so much to think about that I've really tried to block all my thoughts because they are driving me crazy. But it doesn't ever work.
One of my elderly friends has been really struggling lately. I've been keeping really busy trying to make sure she is getting the basics taken care of on a daily basis, but it is starting to wear me down too. Enter her adult children and the situation is downright difficult. Everyone has different ideas about what is best, but more than anything they just want their own lives to carry on as always, and with an elderly parent whose needs are great, things need to change.
I have felt so much like a social worker again this past while, in the trenches again. I forgot how exhausting it can be, and how much better a physical exhaustion is than emotional/mental exhaustion. When I'm physically tired, I sleep. But these issues are keeping me up at night. I worry too much and sometimes I wonder how I got myself in this position.
Getting older in a rural setting has it's own unique challenges. Without a car or family nearby you become dependent on the goodwill of those around you in order to stay in the environment you love. It's tough, but I get it.  Once you leave the country setting because of age, you don't come back. Giving up your home, some degree of independence and the wonderful familiarity of it all forever has to be the hardest thing. And it will be hard for me to see her go when that time does come in the not so distant future, so we all try to do the best we can for now.

Back to the CSA baskets for the week. Yes, they are getting heavy, a few folks extra-so because of rather large zucchinis. In addition there were onions, a good few tomatoes, kale, basil, sweet marjoram, summer savory, beets, carrots, mixed lettuce, cucumber and a few mouse melons.

I had expected beans for this week, but the nights have been so cool, that they are slow to come along. But once they come it will be like opening the floodgates. There are so many, and so many different kinds. Get ready!

David of Niagara Gourmet sent this recipe along that will use up some of the zucchini.
David said he substituted unripened cheese for the parmesan and liked it very much. We'll be using vegan cheese and I bet it will be great too. Thanks!
(This recipe is from Health)

Tomato Zucchini Bake


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound sliced zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/4 pounds sliced vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray, and alternately layer sliced zucchini, corn kernels, and sliced tomatoes. Combine panko and Parmesan, and sprinkle on top. Bake, uncovered, in the center of oven 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cover with foil, and bake for 10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.

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