I’m not looking to jinx myself, but the living really is pretty easy.
I’m sitting under my $34.99 Christmas Tree Shoppe umbrella and sweating through every stitch of clothing I have on.
This is not a complaint. It’s just fact.
But also, it is so hot and sunny that I have to sit under the umbrella or hide inside with the air conditioner on and the blinds drawn. That, my friends, is a miracle.
Matt and his father are framing out the space for the new barn floor, and it seems like every time they set aside a day to dusk-till-dawn work, it is a bazillion degrees out. I feel badly about this. We should be at camp (and by this I mean I want to be at camp and I want all of us to pick up and go and I feel the teeniest bit guilty that my tiny work ethic only kicks in only when it is raining or snowing, but really those are good times to lay around and read, too).
My flowers are blooming. Between the frequent appearance of a green John Deere and some helping hands and flowers appearing on my doorstep, it is easy to make the call that we have the best neighbors ever. We get annuals from one side, perennials from the other. As the annuals are blooming now, I’m operating under the assumption that the flowers will not still be in bloom for our September wedding. Oh, well. That’s what supermarket flowers are for. But look at our gardens now:
I just dropped my baby off at music camp (keep your band camp jokes to yourself, thanks. I can’t handle it!) for his first overnight camp. I realized, with every step I took, that it would be five measly years before I did this, moved him into a college dorm, for real. Holy Holy Holy Shit.
Colby and I did get a good dose of time together today; we waited in an hour’s worth of lines for registration, drove back and forth across campus, moved him into his dorm, met his roommate, had lunch, and sat through the full-group (kids – behave, parents – don’t worry) meeting. We simultaneously realized that we were about halfway through July. And then we didn’t mention it again. Please summer, just stay. Please kid-version of Colby, just stay.
This is what we’ve done so far this summer:
This week, more of the same. I have recipes for all of the above (up soon). Do any of you have chard/sturdy green recipes for me? I’m running out of ideas.
Also, I’m a little bit afraid I’m going to be so sick of swiss chard (by the end of the season) that I may never eat a leafy green again.
I’d had enough chard sauteed with garlic and balsamic (Matt could eat it 2x a day, every day). Also, I need to carbo-load so I can dance at PHISH tomorrow, so I thought up a pizza for dinner tonight. BTW, genius pizza stems from the ‘genius’ series of recipes on food 52. I want to go to there.
We were all skeptical, but it was so.effing.good! The chard and onions are a crispy contrast to the melted cheese, and even though I had to pat water from the top (use a paper towel – this usually happens with spinach and peppers, too) everything stayed crispy. A total keeper!
Pizza with Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onions
a good bunch of chard (or kale, I suppose), washed, trimmed, chopped and (kinda) dried
one ball of pizza dough (I’m usually a make-my-own kinda gal, but this dough from Portland Pie Co. is seriously the next best thing)
tomato sauce (plain, from a can, NOT PASTA SAUCE)
a couple of onions
pat of butter
Place fry or saute pan on the stove on medium heat. Throw in a pat of butter and a couple of glugs of olive oil. Slice onions and throw in the (now warm) pan. Let hang out until they are dark brown and miniscule. Cook at least 20-30 minutes. You can do the next steps while these are cooking down.
Take dough out of refrigerator (if you got lazy like me and bought the damn dough). Preheat the oven to 500. Make sure there is nothing in the oven (dirty dishes, pans you don’t have room for, cookies you forgot about last week). Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza stone or baking sheet and plop the dough on top. Slop a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on the blob of dough, and begin to spread it out with your hands. This is gonna sound strange, but it works – place both hands on the dough. Press it into a flattish disk. Then take your hands, fingers closed, and place them on the dough. Begin to slowly spread your fingers out. Move to another place and do it again. Soon enough your dough will be stretched nice and evenly. Believe me.
Disclaimer: If I could go back two hours, I would have pre-baked the shell for 5 or so minutes just because the chard is so watery. I didn’t do that, and didn’t have any major issues, but I think the crust would have been crunchier if I had pre-baked it.
Spread a small can of tomato sauce (or 1/2 a larger one) on the shell. Sprinkle mozzarella (don’t go fresh mozz here – the chard is too watery to deal with any more excess water) liberally. Place big heaps of chopped chard on the pizza and spread out. It should look like veritable mountains of chard. It will shrink so so much. Grate fresh parm over the whole thing. Now do that again. Lots of parm, baby. Place caramelized onions on top of the pizza so that every bite will have crispy onions in it.
Cook, oh, 20-30 minutes or so. This is a loose time guideline. My oven is notoriously iffy. Sit in the kitchen and drink wine, do the dishes, read a book. Whatever you do, just be sure to turn the oven on every 5-10 minutes to check on the pizza. The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbly and the chard and onions are very dark and crispy.
Let cool while you set the table. Eat heartily, my friends.