Joys and Frustrations

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In late August, I went up to Shuswap Lake with Lizbet, Heather and my brother-in-law. It was a joyful time being with family, connecting, spending time together, painting, being in nature, but it was also a frustrating time.  I had many things to do at home which I had to drop. At the lake, I had nothing to do.

I had pulled a muscle or a tendon at the back of my knee and one at the front and I could not go on the lovely forest walks that I had trained all year to be able to enjoy.  I was walking with a cane.There were no flat places to walk except the beach and that was only sandy and walkable for the length of the property. After that, it became rocky and hard to traverse.

It forced me into finding amusement elsewhere as my siblings went swimming, boating, canoeing…

One of the things that I found most satisfactory was cooking. The other thing was painting down by the beach.

Both sisters dislike making meals and I rather enjoy it.  They volunteered me to make all meals and I accepted gladly. In fact, if they wanted me to make some meals, I insisted on making them all. Mine is a one-woman kitchen. When it’s not, I get easily frustrated because something I was counting on for dinner has disappeared as an afternoon snack, or used in the lunch offerings.  Okay, I admit.  I’m a Kitchen control freak.

Mrs. Stepford who was back home keeping an eye on my abandoned house from next door, had given me a great zucchini from her garden just as we were leaving.  By the by, it’s October and I’ve had one cucumber from my cucumber plant – all the other squash and gourd plants that I grew have produced nothing; but Mrs. Stepford has had a glorious harvest with vegetables of magnificent proportions – so much so that she has been giving her produce away.

I thought I might just share this recipe with you, especially because I found it visually delightful to make it.

I sliced the zucchini lengthwise in half and hollowed out the soft flesh where the seeds were forming. I had to use an 18 inch Pyrex pan because the zucchini was that long; and I placed the two halves hollow side up. A good tip is to use parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. It sure makes clean up a cinch.

I had two pounds of Roma tomatoes from the farmer’s market in Scotch Creek and diced them up along with some green pepper because if contrasts so nicely. Next I added some onions, also diced. Anything that was left over from this mixture would make a good start on a Greek salad.

I cooked up about as much lean ground hamburger as one would use to make a thick hamburger patty, separating it out as if to make a hash.   This was spiced with salt, pepper, parsley and basil while it was cooking.

In the hollow of the zucchini, I put the tomato, green pepper and onion mix until it filled the hollow to level. I loosened the ground beef mix from the frying pan with a bit of water just to make sure the brownings on the bottom came loose and were added into the mix. That’s what gives the mixture such good taste. This was spread evenly over the zucchini surface. (See the picture up above.)

On top of everything, I put a generous layer of grated Canadian old cheddar cheese, then popped it into the oven and let it cook for a half hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the Zucchini flesh was tender. If the cheese starts to brown too much, then a bit of tin foil will protect it from burning.

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I don’t think there was anything left when we finished dinner.  Mmmm. Good!

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4 Responses to “Joys and Frustrations”

  1. wrjones Says:

    I want to live next door to you.

  2. wrjones Says:

    I’m on my way with a lovely bottle of wine and some Chocolate Vodka and an enormous appetite.

    • lookingforbeauty Says:

      Hi Bill, I wish that you could. We’re having a lost souls dinner on Sunday – anyone who isn’t held back by family dinners and such – and are on their own. We do potluck which means that no one person has to do the whole thing – the pressure is off the cooks! People who don’t bring food bring wine. We’re hoping for six of us. Maybe I should explain that it’s our Thanksgiving holiday this weekend. Everyone working gets the Monday off. Sunday is better for holding a group dinner because you can enjoy yourself and not worry about having to get up and go to work the next day.

      I’ve not been writing and have hardly been painting. I sat CATS! for two weeks and I was supposed to have Internet access and didn’t. I felt really cut off. It’s amazing how dependent we become on these computers. Chocolate Vodka? I’ve never heard of it. K

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