Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Summer's Bounty Challenge

Today is World Kitchen Garden Day.  According to the  Kitchen Gardner International's website:

Courtesy Kitchen Gardner's International
"KGI initiated Kitchen Garden Day in 2003 as a healthy response to "Snack Food Month" organized by the International Snack Food Association each February. The thinking was that if the makers of potato chips, pretzels and fluorescent orange cheese doodles could spend 28 days and millions of dollars promoting their foods, the world's kitchen gardeners should be able to have at least a day for celebrating theirs.
 Hallelujah!  For a kitchen gardener, everyday is a celebration and noteworthy.  It also has it's challenges.

At this time of year, everything planted is ready to harvest.  Earlier this year, John and I planted earlier this year thrice the volume of plants than we had in the past.




My challenge, how to use everything up.   The New York Times version of Ratatouille should do the trick.  Click here for the recipe.

Don't let the long ingredient list and considerable length of time detour you from trying this. This one is worth it.

On the surface, Ratatouille is just a medley of summer vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions and fresh herbs.  All of which I have in my garden.  This dish, if given the lengthy time to slow roast in the oven,  reveals so much of summer's depth when finally eaten.

To start, roast peppers to ultimately peel the skins
A warmed piperade of peppers, onions and garlic is placed on the bottom of the casserole
While the piperade is being warmed, prep the vegis

Layer the vegis over the piperade
Slow roast at 275 degrees for 2 hrs. 30 min.  Top with a thyme vinaigrette.  Eat!

Our bellies have many challenges lying before them with all the desirable packaged goods presented us.  The health ramifications of too much of it are endless.  On this day of celebrating one's labors I'm reminded that these challenges and how we address them have the power to shape our character singularly and collectively.  If we choose to, we can manage our way through anything.

How do you use up your bounty?

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