For the Record
I had a very full weekend.
18.5 billable hours between Saturday AM and Sunday PM does not make for a very good hostess.
But, I managed to fit in some breaks for some nice meals with our guests, including one where we had to drive on the freeway.
Apparently, a PT Cruiser can flip through the air and roll for a total of 3 rotations or more, including one going over the front end, and another where the car appears to be suspended and spinning on its long axis, shedding glass from a fountain of sparkles that begins with a car suspended higher than the tops of the other cars on the freeway. I thought that type of crash only happened in the movies, but, it turns out, it can happen in real life.
More impressively, it is possible (if you have a good driver, thanks E!) to observe a PT Cruiser do this ridiculous performance while riding only 2 cars behind it and to watch it finally come to rest on broken rims, right side-up, 4 lanes away from where the flipping started without hitting a single car.
Most amazing, it is possible for the driver to find herself seat-belted in facing on-coming traffic at 30 degree angle, completely alert, only slightly bloody on her hands and knees, calmly (in shock, most likely) sitting behind the exploded airbag, staring at the sunken safety glass blanket, above the dropped engine, beside the crushed door, looking curiously across the broad expanse of freeway where all of her personal items have scattered (don't turn your head!) and able to answer your questions when you are the first person on the scene and call 911.
I'm still processing that one.
In less dramatic news, Garlic scapes are a wacky botanic miracle, taking the warm weather queue to spontaneously twist into a tangled mess of curly hair on the top of your hard-neck garlic crop.
When cooked, they have the consistency of green beans and taste slightly spicy and very earthy with only a warm hint of their garlic nature. They are definitely one of the reasons to consider growing garlic yourself.
B is an awesome out-of-state houseguest who worked with me to start a home-cooked dinner of garden and farmer's market leftovers in our fridge. I had hoped it would turn out well because the starting ingredients has so much California-produce potential. When I had to stop cooking to take my half-hour conference call (that ended up being an hour of course), she just kept on cooking and prepared the meal in my absence so that when I finally got a break, I could enjoy it with E and the guests. Bonus, it turned out delicious.
Summertime Pasta Bake
For the Vegetables:
-1 red onion chopped
-1 cup chopped garlic scapes (chop into 1-inch long pieces until you reach the portion of the scape stem once it gets slightly woody)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped
-2 lbs mixed summer squash, washed and chopped
-4 Heirloom tomatoes
For the Pesto:
-6 cloves garlic
-1/2 C pecans (all we had, turned out great)
-1 C mixed basil from the garden
-1/2 C olive oil
-1 T salt
-2 T red pepper flakes
For the bake:
-2 C fresh mozzarella pearls
For the pasta:
-1 box penne, water, salt
1. Sautée onions & garlic scapes in olive for 1-2 minutes & pre-heat oven to 450F.
2. Add Cauliflower & continue to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add squash & cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, pour off excess liquid (reserve) and stir for 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and cover.
6. Prepare pasta according to directions (this step may be done first, if you prefer) and strain, return to pasta pot.
7. While pasta is boiling make the pesto in cuisinart.
8. Toss the pesto, pasta, and vegetables in the pasta pot. Arrange in baking dishes.
9. Top baking dishes with mozzarella and pour reserved vegetable juice on top. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.