Summer morning.







Good morning, garden.

Good morning, hills.

Good morning, rain.

Good morning favorite tea in my favorite cup.

I'm waking up slowly today after staying up too late last night reading my favorite canning book.

A canning book. Until 11:30. Seriously. Who does that?

Me I guess.

Because it's zucchini season. And I need a serious plan. Involving summer squash pretending to be cucumbers in a whole lot of preserves.

Because yesterday at LüSa I heard a motorcycle roar up the sidewalk to our door. In walked a friend with a large cooler of summer squash that had been ratchet strapped to the cycle seat. 

Smiling big he said, "See ya!" and left – laughing – as fast as he had come.

Summer is like that.

And despite sharing those squash with the rest of our crew, I have a load of yellow squash to process. And that's not counting all the zucchini in my garden. Nor the green beans that are coming on fast. And yes, tomatoes are just around the corner.

And while I'm a spring and fall girl at heart, I do love the harvest and the process of putting food by each summer. So. Much.

And yes, I think I know what we'll be doing this weekend…


What's your favorite way to enjoy the bounty of summer squash that comes each August? I think we all could use some fresh ideas.




27 thoughts on “Summer morning.

  1. KC says:

    I like to put it in sweet breads or cookies, fritters, ratatouille. Last year I tried to blanch and freeze them but I ended up with a huge block of yellow squash ice.

  2. Marie says:

    Ah summer squash, not my favorite, but so easy to grow and such a good summer veg! My favorite way to disguise it, er, use it is in massive pans of roasted ratatouille. Between our own garden and our CSA share I’ve got tons of summer squash, eggplant, peppers and onions. I’m using canned tomatoes this week, since we don’t have any yet, but moving forward I’ll be using fresh. I just do a big chunky chop of everything, toss with fresh herbs, olive oil and sea salt, and roast in the oven at 375ish for however long it takes to get to the perfect degree of soft, carmelized, deliciousness. This makes many a quick meal at our house with brown rice, or as a side. It cans or freezes well and is very flexible. I make from 2 – 4 large roasting pans (13″ x 9″) a week of this from now through the end of the harvest. Always a little different, but a staple in our kitchen for late summer meals.

  3. Lisa Strand says:

    Once again your photography does not disappoint. Beautiful! We too enjoyed a morning of puddle jumping, garden admiring and playing peek-a-boo with the sun. Good Morning, World!

  4. Kim says:

    Enjoy! We have been putting food up for winter like crazy around here. Summer squash…we have been shredding and freezing in little piles. Once frozen transferred to a freezer bag. Works great to throw in baked goods, soups, sauces, etc over the winter.

  5. Lynne says:

    I’ve seen this book online and wanted to try it out, but I have a question for you. Does it have many canning recipes that aren’t chock full of refined sugar?

  6. knitting mole says:

    haha! A drive-by squashing of the best form!
    btw…I keep thinking when I hear of everyone’s summer harvests, “why the heck don’t I have anything coming out of the garden yet?? (except Italian parsley, which I have by the boat load). must be because they are in a different climate”…but you’re in Wisconsin! I’m in Illinois! We have the same darn climate! wtf? I really must have planted too late 🙁

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    She often calls for honey and not a crazy amount. Often if a recipe calls for another sweet (like agave) she’ll also give an unrefined sweetener option. It works for us.

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    We don’t have a ton coming on. Truly. The zucchini aren’t crazy yet, and we are pulling in beans, but not putting-by amounts. Eating for dinner amounts. Other than that, we’re pretty late over here. There is always August…

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Okay. Now I’m making her canned peaches in vanilla syrup and lo and behold, lots of sugar. I’m subbing honey. I’ve made them before but for the life of me don’t recall what I used. (I know it wasn’t sugar…) So yes and no would be a better answer to your question, but it’s work-around-able.

  10. Tara says:

    That is a great canning book! One of the few books I lugged with me across the country… unfortunately, we have no garden yet to speak of, so no canning for me right now. The grapes (although previously untended) will be coming in soon though, so work is ahead of me. Beautiful photography!!!

  11. Lynne says:

    I’m always scared to sub one sweetener for another in canning recipes, since so many sites tell you not to adjust them or you’ll risk spoiled food. I’m glad to know that you do sub and have good luck with it.

  12. Miriam says:

    We make stuffed squash/zucchini, eggplants, and green peppers. We stuff them w/ a ground beef and rice mix that consists of salt, pepper, cumin, oil, all-spice (bahart (spices) from a middle-eastern store), then let them simmer in a tomato sauce..such a wonderful comfort food. (called Kusa Mahshi in Arabic). You may need to look it up on youtube to see how it’s stuffed. :)it is a process.

    My husband taught me a wonderful zucchini dip. You chop up the zucchini in big pieces and let them simmer in water till soft. Let cool and peel off the skin. Put in a bowl, add garlic and salt, and smash add a cup or two of plain yogurt and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour or so, then serve on a plate, drizzled w/ olive oil. Serve, dip w/ pita bread. Scrumptious in the summer.

  13. Little Mountain Haven says:

    we canned zucchini pickles our first year growing them in the garden, they were delish. We were true newbies and grew *cough* 12 plants as we had no idea how prolific they are!
    I love making latkes out of them!
    freeze into ‘pucks’ for future use:
    we bake and stuff them, super yummy. zucchini parmesan. zucchini pasta!!! a nice raw wheat free treat that’s light on hot summer days.

    that canning book looks amazing! I might/will have to pick it up.

  14. Karla says:

    I have that canning book and hope to put it to use this year. Since I don’t feel like spending a fortune on canning jars, we do freeze things, but last year I canned some homemade ketchup. Since we always get lots of tomatoes, this year I hope to put away some red sauce for pizza toppings. I’ve also been experimenting with pickles, so that’s also on my list. My grandparents have concord grapes and I was thinking of trying my hand at some jam, although the last time I tried it didn’t really thicken up. Hmmmm.

  15. knitting mole & atomic vault says:

    Haha, true…I did spot a flower on my bean vines this weekend, so I guess I just need to be patient. And a couple of my cherry tomatoes are ripening…and I think my cucumber will be going crazy any time now. Just one pickle size now, but tons of pinky-finger size, and you know if you don’t watch out those cukes will overwhelm you! 🙂
    Guess I needed to be patient 🙂

  16. Beatrice says:

    I don’t know how you do it, but you make me laugh or cry with every. single. post. Amazing, and so true. I was just thinking about this very issue, as I cropped a mess out of one photo, and then threw another mess behind my couch for another.

  17. amy delaterre says:

    I didn’t read the other comments, so I’m sorry if this is redundant, but I like to shred summer squash and freeze it, then use it mostly in spinach lasagna in the winter, sometimes in soups… also zuchinni (I am spelling that wrong) bread, and, even better, shredded squash in chocolate cake, oh my!

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