Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summertime Snacking

Summertime is great. I always think of it as the season of free food. It's when all of the overly ambitious vegetable gardeners realize that just maybe they went overboard with the tomato and basil plants; that no one can eat that much pesto in a year, let alone a month. You know there's a problem when co-workers hide in the bathroom from that well meaning soul making office rounds with yet another twenty pound bag of zucchini. It's also when you realize that forcing that same, well meaning soul into a ten box purchase of thin mints from your little scout a couple of months ago is about to bite you in the ass.

I, however, have a different approach. I take all that is offered. You've got a river of yellow squash flowing through your yard? Sweet! I'm there. Oh, and by the way, may I snip a few squash blossoms to stuff and deep fry? You're openly inviting the squirrels to eat your mountainous tomato plants? Never fear, I can whip those tomatoes and basil into a tasty tomato sauce that I will can for the winter months. Green beans? Yes, yes and yes. I want it all. And not just for stocking up for when there's snow on the ground, but for snackies now. All it takes is the basics and you can turn all of this:
...into this:

You can use a wide variety of hard or semi-hard cheeses to make the crisps. Lately I've been using UnieKass Parrano Robusto for this recipe and just plain eating but you can certainly use what's most available to you.



Jenny said...

I'm not much of a cook... ok, I've actually been asked NOT to cook, but that's a long story... anyhoo, THIS recipe looks eazy enough for me to tackle, so I'm printing it out. Thanks Shamu!

Big Shamu said...

Watch those crisps closely in the oven She Who Shall Not Cook Boxer, or else they will continue to ask you not to cook. Have fun!

h said...

Nice recipe. Smart post. I wonder if anyone's ever started a business based on the "gardens/trees producing too much" phenomenon? There's an old dude on Troll Island who asks for permission to harvest excess avocados, maters, grapefruit, lemons, etc.. But I don't think he actually makes a business of it.

sparringK9 said...

not too long ago i was in a garden that had trees designated for animals only - mostly figs and pears. the "production" trees were netted.

i love fresh summer foods. i dont like edamame cause they just taste like was to me.

sparringK9 said...

er...taste like WAX is what i meant

Big Shamu said...

K9, not sure about the "wax" experience you've had with your edamame. I always like steaming them in some sort of broth to kick up the flavor.
I love the idea of for the animals trees and production trees.
Troll, I wouldn't put it past some folks to try that with those farmer's markets. Great gig if you have generous enough friends.

Anonymous said...

Holy fried goodness Shamu!

moi said...

I'm like you. Send all garden overflow Moi's way! One of the things I miss most about my mom was that she was a champion basil grower. Six, seven, eight monster plants at a time that never bolted and she made so much pesto, she would freeze it in ice cube containers she stacked by the dozens in her freezer – looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. I can't grow basil to save my life. Lavender, on the other hand, I'm a champ at that. But it tastes like soap to Moi, so I don't cook with it.

P.S. Edamame plus cheese crisps = Oh Happy Day!