Thursday, July 19, 2012

Crazy Quilt Summer

Last week I was blessed with an invitation to visit with a friend for lunch. The idea of me offering to bring dessert like in my pre-infant days seemed far fetched when most days I can't even guarantee myself a snack. So I grabbed an empty quart jar and intended to fill it with flowers from a farm stand, only when I got to the stand, the few flowers left were frying in the heat and past their bloom. Ah, the best laid plans. Wondering what to do as the clock ticked, I bought a thin, paltry bouquet of the best of the worst. Since my stem clippers were in the car, I could snatch a few roadside lilies or daisies along the way to fill out the bouquet, piecing together beauty from random places.

This summer has been a case of making it up as we go along, like stitching together a crazy quilt with no plan, discovering hastily added pieces from the remnant pile. Plans have changed with the wind -literally. A gusty storm came through town a few weeks ago and left us without power for days. We were the fortunate ones, as some of our neighbors were stuck in hotels for over a week. No one noticed the Fourth, and the nearby park has remained closed. I showed up for church on Sunday with salad for the potluck a whopping MONTH early. Why yes, I was tired and overwhelmed. Thank you for asking. I'm just clipping flowers along the way during this crazy, mixed up season.

One patch for my crazy quilt arrived in the form of some summer squash from my brother-in-law's garden. I think the best way to enjoy squash is to mix it with corn and make succotash out of it. I found a recipe for a southwest-inspired succotash and adapted it a bit for what I had on hand. It was delicious! The cumin and cilantro made it very flavorful, and a little bit of heavy cream gave it a smooth, silky texture.

Succotash with Summer Squash  (say it ten times real fast)

2-3 jalapeno peppers (or hot pepper of your choice)
olive oil
1 medium red onion, coarsely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, finely cut
2 cups fresh corn (3 ears)
1 large tomato, diced
2 yellow squash, sliced thickly and cut into thirds
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 T lime juice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dice the jalapeno peppers while heating 2T olive oil in a large pan. Cook the jalapenos, onion, and red peppers in oil, stirring constantly for five minutes. Add garlic, black pepper, cumin, and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook for a minute. Add corn, tomatoes, and squash. Season with a shake of more salt and cumin, and then cook covered for 8-10 minutes. Remove lid, and cook for another 5 minutes while stirring until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream, lime juice, and cilantro. It will take about 3 minutes to thicken. Top off with a little more cilantro. Talk about how good it tastes while eating it.


  1. Your succotash sounds delish. I made something similar day before last with squash and zuchhinni...the recipe was pretty flexible and I may add the jalapenos next time!

    I enjoy reading your blog!♥

    1. Tammy, I wish that The Mister and I could find a way to enjoy zucchini other than making it into bread. We are always gifted with a quite a bit of it!

    2. We cut up zuchinni and drizzle it with olive oil and grill it. It's delish!

  2. mmm...sounds delish, Monica! squash like marrow (overgrown zuchinni) or pumpkin? I love to try it when summer arrives here in New Zealand.

    1. Julia, zucchini is a squash, but there are many varieties of it. The yellow summer squash I used is probably closely related, but tastes different. Someone in NZ is surely growing it!

  3. Oh that does sound good! And your way with words is just perfect - the crazy quilt summer of '12. Hey, I'm glad you got to go to lunch!! I hope your church salad holds out until next month. ;) By the way, Christmas is just around the corner. HA HA HA

    1. Ha ha, indeed. If my fermented salad would hold for a month then there would be nothing stopping me from mailing it to you! Keep an eye on that mail box, you don't want it to smell in this heat. ;)

  4. It seems like a record number of folks have lost power from the storms this summer, us too, but for only 18 hrs. or so.

    Your recipe sounds really good with garlic, cumin & cilantro in the mix. We love garlic and consume enough of it to qualify as vampire repellant.

    Loved the crazy quilt analogy. Have a great weekend!

  5. A delightful read, Monica! I had to giggle at your salad a month early. I've done stuff like that... especially when I had babies. lol! Haven't tried your suggested dish yet--though I did repeat it out loud real fast and did pretty good with it. The dish sounds and looks yummy!

  6. Hugs Monica, I can so remember those days!

  7. Quilts are in the air here in the Lancaster area as well, and the tourists I'm sure are buying as many as they could. And thanks for that recipe as it sounds delicious . Richard from Amish Stories.


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