I’ve been having a wonderful time over the last few weeks, as my husband has been here full-time. He had some “use it or lose it” vacation time, and so took a couple of weeks off to spend on the farm. It’s the most time we’ve spent together in one stretch since January 2010! He helped me with markets (SO much easier with two people), made lots of new earrings (see the products tab above for a sample – yes, those ARE rusted fence staples), and generally “got stuff done” around the farm.

RootCellarDoors

Reused hinges, recycled wood for the doors, new handles. The wood is old siding, so the overlap should help keep the snow out.

We finished rebuilding the rotted out doorway to the root cellar, which came out fabulous – solid, rustic and functional all at the same time. We rented a wood chipper and mulched up a huge pile of tree trimmings (you can’t burn wood piles here). And let me tell you, power tools are WAY fun. We now have enough apple wood chips to smoke bacon and salmon for the next 10 years. The garden aisles got the box elder mulch.

We finally got some body work done on the car, from damage that occurred when we hit a deer this spring (it’s hard to drop off a car for a few days when you are by yourself). AND, we went to see Santana and Michael Franti in concert (fabulous) and swam in the Spokane river (Upriver of the paper mill – recommended) on the hottest day of the year. It was a great visit, and was nice to remember what it is like to be married full-time. Needless to say, I didn’t get much blogging done.

Due to the fact that EVERYONE at the farmers markets has summer squash in abundance, AND the fact that one of my markets was skipped due to a local fair being on site for that weekend, we’ve had an abundance of summer squash, despite the fact that I anticipated this scenario and didn’t plant much of it.

CalabacitasIngredients

Corn and garlic were bought from a local grower. Everything else was grown on the farm.

What to make?  Well, besides ubiquitous zucchini bread, and a favorite squash, pepper, sausage, cheese dish that I love, the best way to use up squash is to make Calabacitas.

My understanding is that Calabacitas is more of a New Mexico/Southwest dish than a traditional Mexican dish. All I know is that it rocks, and is a great way to enjoy summer produce at its peak. It is good as a side dish, or you can throw in some beans and make vegetarian tacos!

Calabacitas
Note that all measurements are approximate. Mix and match amounts depending on how much you have on hand and what you like.

  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups diced Summer Squash of your choice (zucchini, yellow, patty pan)
  • 2 ears of Corn cut from the cob (about 2 cups)
  • 2-4 Jalapenos, green chiles, or other pepper with some heat (depending on taste and tolerance – you could use bell peppers if you are really a whimp)
  • 2-4 diced ripe Tomatoes (about a cup)
  • Good handful of fresh chopped Cilantro (optional – some people hate it)
  • Cheese (a nice Mexican queso añejo would be nice here, but jack or whatever you have on hand will work). Cheese is optional, but who are we kidding.
Calabacitas

Don’t over cook the squash. Overcooked squash is, well, why people hate summer squash.

Heat a little oil (canola or olive) over medium high heat. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for about one minute, or until fragrant. Add squash, corn and chiles and saute until softened but not mushy, about 2-3 minutes more. Stir in fresh tomatoes, cilantro and cheese and heat through. Serve immediately. Left overs can be eaten as a cold salad the following day.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2011, where we’re miles away from fall just yet, and wishing for enough hot weather in September to ripen all of the tomatoes.

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