|Steamed eggplant experiment|
Eggplants are a tricky for me to cook without lots of oil. It's one of those vegetables that can be blissfully silky or disgusting and spongy depending on the preparation. My favorite Chinese braised eggplants involve deep frying eggplants in peanut oil, and then stir frying them with flavoring oils like chili and sesame. However, I like to use the slender Chinese and Japanese eggplants for that dish and the CSA keeps on sending me the globe eggplants. A Fuchsia Dunlop recipe for steamed eggplant had the potential to be a delicious and healthier way to cook the eggplant, so that was dinner last week. The dipping sauce, a combination of homemade chili oil, black vinegar, sugar, and light soy sauce, made me not miss the deep fried eggplant. However, it is questionable if this is actually healthier because I ended up mixing all of the dipping sauce with the steamed eggplant, which made a great room temperature salad.
|Matcha mochi cupcakes are a win|
|Volunteer downspout mushrooms|
|My only productive zucchini plant|
I still don't have zucchini coming out of my ears. One out of the three plants is producing one or two zucchinis a week although the plants take up quite a bit of valuable garden real estate. The other two plants are producing runty little 3-inch zucchinis that have blossom rot. Still, this is better than last year, and I know what now to do again next year. For example, no zucchini plant should grow in a pot. Although the raven zucchini seed package said it could be done, it is too hard to get the amount of water just right using our irrigation system.
Playing with my julienne tool yields zucchini noodles
I want zucchini coming out of my ears because I love cooking the nutty zucchini in my cast iron skillet with a bit of garlic and olive oil. Low and slow is how I prefer to cook this dish, although in time pinches I have only given it a quick shake in a hot pan. Both versions are good, and both versions take a boatload of zucchini for an adequate portion size (half our plate because we love it so).
Since I'm not crafting anything besides tiny hats and dishcloths, I've been catching up on Arrested Development (Season 4 was the best! Long live George Michael!) and reading. Since May, I've read Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan, Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar (interesting if you've ever pondered the questions of how the DIY revival and feminism can co-exist and if one cancels out the other), The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz (read this now!), and I'm almost done with Wild by Cheryl Strayed (a book I was reluctant to read due to its Oprah endorsement and my disdain for books about women overcoming obstacles, but so far I'm loving it). Most of these books came from my library's ebook lending program, which is the cat's meow. I'm almost done with Wild, so any recommendations on what I should read next? I have Lean In, Inferno (please don't give me crap for this one), Tiger Babies Strike Back, and Fairyland on my hold list.