The Challenge, and a simple summer squash recipe

As I mentioned in the last post, there’s an exciting week coming up in October. Friends of ours broached the subject, and Novella Carpenter did an entire month (chronicled in her book, Farm City, and continued on her blog Ghost Town Farm). Its taking the phrase “eating local” to a whole new microclimate. The challenge: Only eat food grown in our yard for a week.

Now, my husband and I tried this for a few days last summer. It was poorly planned and done on a whim,  so we failed after about 2 days.  I just didn’t have my heart in it – and like many things in life (running 50 miles in a day, for example), you’ve got to dig deep and commit to make it work.

Millet

This time around, we’re developing rules around what’s allowed (olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar) foraging, and trading (between our yards, and if we can trade with others not participating in the challenge).  And oh, the planning!

Tomatoes, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, green beans, kale, barley, millet, buckwheat, potatoes, corn, eggplant, bell peppers, onions… the list goes on. What will be ready in October? What will ripen before that? How will I preserve it? My mom gave me a ton of canning jars at Christmas, and her big canning kettle, so I’m really looking forward to batches of dilly beans and whatever other projects crop up this summer.

Tonight I picked the 2nd and 3rd squashes of the season – and just learned that what I previously believe to be Lungo Biango, is actually Golden Pippin. (Doesn’t really matter- its just got a really nice firm texture.) Right now squash is still a novelty, but I know in a month or two I’ll be pulling out all the creative stops. So tonight I made the simplest of dinners: squash, kale and eggs. I suppose its also relevant to note, that this  dinner completely qualifies for The Challenge!

Simple summer squash saute 

2 medium summer squash, sliced into half or quarter moons

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 big handful kale, chopped

1 handful of herbs (I used lemon thyme, marjoram, and oregano), chopped

2 eggs per person

Saute the squash for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add kale and garlic, saute til wilted. Add the herbs and a few grinds of salt and pepper.  Dish onto two plates.

Add a little more olive oil in the pan. Crack 2-4 eggs, cook how you like (once the whites are fairly set, I flip mine and turn off the heat. I like the yolks still runny but the whites done). Serve on top of squash. (A squirt of Sriracha would be a nice touch.)

Note: This is a pretty light dinner, which is perfect if you feel like indulging in dessert (we usually d0). I whipped up this gluten-free peach-apricot-plum-berry crisp tonight, and I must say – it was pretty good!

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