Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our last night of true freedom


Alas, it is the last official night of summer.  Tomorrow, Mr. PT and I will wake up at the ungodly hour of 6:00am, put our work clothes on, and head to our respective schools to teach the youth of America.


We had a fantastic final weekend.  Yesterday, we enjoyed a quiet Saturday morning with toast and coffee, then rode our bikes to the gym for a quick strength workout (but long enough to make me incredibly sore today).  We then hit up the local farmer's market for fresh bread and finally landed at Big Al's Healthy Stuff where we got to sit on the front porch, feel the cool breeze, and listen to our buddies play jazz tunes.

But the fun didn't stop there!

After getting munched on by mosquitoes doing yard work, Mr. PT and I had a quick shower/shave and headed to our friends Liz and Andy's house for a lovely home-cooked meal.  Now, when I say home-cooked, I mean seriously home cooking!  Liz and Andy have the most impressive garden I've ever seen.  Actually, they kind of have three gardens.  Actually, their whole back yard is pretty much a garden.  It's amazing.  Herbs, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, artichokes, melons, zucchinis, name it, they grow it.  

Their goal was to prepare a meal using ingredients grown within a 100 mile radius.  So we enjoyed kebobs with fresh veggies, local meats, pickled squash, local bread, and peach AND rhubarb strawberry pie with fresh crust.

Holy mackeral, it was fantastic.

The best part was that we all filled our bellies and felt light and airy as we walked to our cars to leave.  That is the the glory of eating fresh.

Anywho, this morning we awoke to a lovely rain that Roanoke desperately needed.  After the rain stopped, the air remained a cool 65 degrees all day.  I got my 4 mile run in this morning, while Mr. PT hit the trails this evening.  While he was gone, I prepared my own 100 mile radius meal using the assorted fruits and vegetables I continue to get from my farm share.

It's chilly in our little house!  So I baked up some summer squash and topped toasty bread with warm, softened vegetables tossed in balsamic.  We enjoyed some fresh watermelon and plums for dessert (Mr. PT sneaked ice cream later!).

This squash, called delicata squash, is similar to acorn squash.  My farm share people instructed me to do this with it:

You will need:
  • 2 delicata squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (I used lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the squash cut side down into a baking dish. Pour water into the dish to about 1/4 inch deep.
  2. Bake in preheated oven until the squash pierces easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the butter with the lime juice and chili powder in a small bowl. Mix in the lime zest, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the butter mixture into the cooked squash, and serve immediately.
For the vegetables, just toss red onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes with olive oil, and a pinch of salt/pepper.  When soft, turn off heat and add about 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar.  Serve warm over bread.

Although it is sad to see summer vacation end, Mr. PT and I had a lovely summer filled with friends, family, and fantastic fresh food.  Mr. PT and I have goals for the upcoming 9 months, both personal and professional, which is both exciting and scary!

Combine with a run in the rain.  It's still warm, so you can enjoy the feeling of getting soaked and not freezing cold!  Make sure you wear a hat to keep the water out of your eyes and protect your phone/ipod if you carry one!  Beware of thunder/lightning and have fun!

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