Life On Regal-Hill: Aug. 18, 2010

Walking along the road each morning I see many things and I usually learn something along the way. Besides the wildlife I see I have noticed that there is not much water in the brook as it makes its way toward the reservoir. I also noticed that the birds I see and hear change with the seasons.

This morning’s walk was no exception. I didn’t see any deer, although I surprised one yesterday morning as it was getting a drink in the brook. It startled me. I was thankful it wasn’t a bear.

The amount of water in the brook seems to stay the same even after we get a good shower. I think it would take several days of steady rain to bring the water up.

The morning birds are always busy singing and flying. This morning I saw a small reddish colored bird. I have no idea what it is. It was the size of a goldfinch.

The wildflowers are especially interesting. They begin in the spring with dandelions. Soon the wild violets, daisies, musk mallow, forget-me-nots and bee balm have appeared here and there in various places along the road and stream. This morning I saw one lonely yellow flower. I picked it and carried it back to the house. It is different than the other yellow flowers in blossom this time of year. It had four slightly notched petals that were a lemon shade of yellow and a very pretty center with a cross-like stigma across the top of the style. After looking in my flower book I decided it was the evening primrose. According to another book on flowers they open in early evening and remain open until the following morning. Its season is July to September and their habitat can be roadsides, where I found this one.

You probably have lots of zucchini right now. Try these recipes to use it up.

Crescent Zucchini Pie
1 tube (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
6 Tablespoons cubed butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Separate crescent dough into eight triangles and place in a greased nine-inch deep-dish pie plate with points toward center. Press dough onto the bottom and up the sides of plate to form a crust. Seal seams. Spread with mustard.

In a large skillet, sauté zucchini and onion in butter until tender. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheeses, seasonings and zucchini mixture. Pour into crust.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cover edges loosely with foil if crust browns too quickly.

Yield: 6 servings
Taste of Home Simple & Delicious July/August 2009

Zucchini Relish
4 cups diced zucchini
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced
2 Tablespoons salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
dash onion salt
dash ground turmeric.

In a large bowl, combine the vegetables; sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand for 3 hours; rinse and drain.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil. Stir in zucchini mixture and return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least two days.

Yield: 4 cups
Taste of Home June/July 2010