I am very glad the weather is still decent and we are going to have a very nice weekend, because I’m not ready to let go of summer. I’m harvesting the very last of my vegetables, and dreaming of all the fish and seafood I ate while in Spain and Portugal this summer. So before I start thinking and cooking fall recipes, allow me one last one, which transitions very well from summer to fall, and where I can enjoy the last of my homegrown vegetables: calamari and bean salad.
So many zucchinis! When I planted my vegetable garden back in the spring, I didn’t realize I would get such a generous bounty. My friends Cort and Kathleen share the produce from their amazing garden as well, so I’ve ended up with quite a few of them! All the better, since crispy battered zucchini are a hit with my family.
I didn’t realize either, when I dug the holes for the seedlings, how large the zucchini plants would get. Lesson learned for next year: I need more room for the zucchini plants, and more space between them and the next variety of vegetable. But the lesson for this year, which I learned early: wear garden gloves! Those zucchini leaves are very spiky.
Pomegranates from El Taroncheral (photo Marlen Caballero)
Figs from El Taroncheral (photo Paula Sanz Caballero)
You’ve probably had sangría before, maybe even one of the modern versions of it. Sangría is considered Spain’s un-official national beverage. Since it can be made ahead of time, it’s usually served when entertaining. Traditional sangría in Spain includes red wine, soda, some hard liquor, citrus and other fruit, usually stonefruit like peaches, in season in the summer, when sangría is most consumed.
In the last few years I’ve been seeing all sorts of drinks labelled “sangría” that may include alcohol or not, and different fruits not seen in a traditional Spanish sangría. I wouldn’t say those mixes are not sangría. Rather, what I like to think, is that the word sangría has become a generalized term for any drink that includes chunks of fruit —much like paella, which nowadays (and only outside of Spain), many people refer to as any rice dish cooked in a shallow pan and that includes a lot of fish and shellfish. Those dishes, or rather, their names, have become commonplace.
With the higher temperatures, which seem to have come now to stay, lemonade is my drink of choice. I like to make mine, because I can control the amount of sugar I add. And I particularly like lavender lemonade, because lavender is one of my favorite aromas, and I like lemon on just about everything, so putting the two together seems very logical to me. The lavender comes from my garden; the lemons —I wish.
I don’t know about you, but I am finding it hard to focus on autumn recipes, fall products and produce. Today I did my first trip to the pumpkin farm. It was supposed to be my only trip to the pumpkin farm this season, but as it turned out, today was my first of at least two. See, the farm was still closed to the public! I should have been surprised, (more…)
I was hesitant to post the recipe for tomato and onion salad, because honestly, it can’t really be called a recipe. After all, I’m just slicing and tossing together ingredients, there’s no elbow grease, not much elaboration, and the key is in the ingredients, which have to be of the best quality. But when I think about salads in general, (more…)
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I associate potatoes more with fall and winter than with summer. When I think of potatoes, I imagine some deliciously roasted chunks, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary, baked to perfection, with a soft, moist inside and a somewhat crusty outside. And yet, potatoes appear in salads all through the summer, from (more…)
If there’s a dessert that prominently features in our menu during our summers in Spain, it is my sister Susana’s lemon ice cream. She makes an amazing one, everyone’s favorite, and for the most part, with lemons from the property. I’ve talked about El Taroncheral before (click here), the place that probably holds (more…)