Summer squash #2

Recent harvest from our garden.

Recent harvest from our garden.

For squash #2 of the summer, I chose another kid-friendly dish, although not as friendly as the dish chosen for squash #1.  I took the yellow squash pictured above, grated it, squeezed a bit of the water out of it, and then mixed it with 8 eggs, 3/4 tsp salt, 2 garlic cloves, and a bit of basil to make a frittata.  Matt is on a grain-free, dairy-free 10-day diet of sorts, so I wanted to make this o.k. for him, otherwise, I’d add some cheese and milk.  Leftover rice or pasta, cooked sliced potatoes, or any other cooked vegetable would also work.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

In the summer, I love frittatas, pizzas, and stir-frys, because they’ll work with any veggies you have hanging around, including zucchinis and summer squash.  So far, I only have 2 squash plants producing and I’ve already harvested 3 large squashes.  I’m excited to see what will happen when the rest start cranking them out.

Zucchini #1 of ?

And suddenly, it is July.  How did we get here so fast?  My smallish garden is beginning to yield a good amount of food for our family and fittingly, we harvested our very first zucchini of the season which we ate for dinner on July 1.

Zucchini is notorious for being such a prolific producer that farmers big and small must give zucchini away to willing or unwilling friends and neighbors.  I’ve been quoted as saying that my family can eat as much zucchini as the universe throws our way, so I thought it might be fun for me to document exactly how many summer squash, zucchini or otherwise, our family can eat this summer and how we do it.  Maybe it will help someone somewhere deal with their own zucchini backlog.

For our very first zucchini, I wanted something to get the kids excited.  My 3-year-old and 1-year-old worked together to pick the zucchini and carry it into the house, so the excitement was already high.  I didn’t want to kill it with something that seemed a little too vegetable-heavy for their childish tastes.  So to ease them into our hopefully bumper crop of zucchini, I started with a pancake recipe that was like breakfast pancakes, not savory pancakes.  Seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and topped with some raw, grass-fed butter and local maple syrup, these pancakes were in high demand.  Next time, we’ll need to make a double batch.  Best thing is that these were so popular, the 3-year-old is excited to eat zucchini again and I know that he would love these for breakfast.  Sneaking zucchini in for breakfast . . . that’s what I call keeping up with your zucchini!

The recipe I followed is Zucchini Bread Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen, although I used a box grater because I hate to dirty my processor for one easy-to-grate zucchini.

Any favorite zucchini recipes you want to throw our way?

15 reasons my clothes are hanging around

Spring is in the air and that means it is time to begin hanging my laundry outside to dry again.  Here are my favorite reasons for relying on my clothesline all spring, summer, and fall-long.

  1. Everything hung outside smells like fresh air and sunshine.
  2. Gets me (and often the boys with me) outside for more time.
  3. I get to enjoy early morning sounds like birds singing to start the day.
  4. More sustainable because it uses zero electricity.
  5. Saves me about 40 cents per load.
  6. Saves some wear and tear on my clothes because they don’t shed all that lint.
  7. Sheets hung to dry outside feel amazing to sleep on.
  8. Sunshine removes stains and odors from cloth diapers.
  9. Makes towels feel more absorbent.
  10. Socks are matched in the hanging process.
  11. Causes me to be more aware of the weather and when it will rain.
  12. Often gives me a chance to see my neighbor on her way to work and have a chat.
  13. Hanging clothes is a very relaxing chore for me.
  14. I quickly notice if the washing machine did not remove some dirt or stain.
  15. Hanging laundry reminds me of my grandmother.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite reason for hanging laundry inside or outside?

thiscrunchylife_clothesline
NapaneeGal via Compfight cc

Digital Diet: update 3.

Week 2 was the hardest so far and now all is calm again in week 3. I’m not sure why but I really started to create excuses and reasons to why we would need the Internet at home. What if I need to complete a business need? What if my wife needs it to work from home? I have a global company, I can’t be disconnected at all? These are a few of the reasons I concocted in week 2 but have settled into week 3 comfortable with the idea of no home Internet. In fact, I’ve begun to look at this as another step in my minimalist lifestyle. Un-wiring my house from the digital world. Here’s what’s been done thus far.

1. Internet disconnected.
2. Apple TV swapped for an iPod Touch with a composite cable.
3. Apple Time Capsule moved to my office to backup my iMac.
4. Sold 3 extra iPhones. I had a backup device for myself to use while my everyday iPhone would be charging. Didn’t want to miss an iMessage.
5. Our iPad Mini does not see as much use nowadays.
6. I’ve been playing more Legos with Porter.

Last thing I need to do is swap out my Nest thermostat for a none networking device and then our house is back to analog. It’s really weird to have a disconnected house but it feels good. This move has sparked some ideas for home products for those of us without Internet. I’m currently gathering a team to construct a prototype.

All in all, I’m happy with the change and my wife could care less. I was the one who was all geeked out about not having Internet. We’re saving nearly $800 a year and we made some decent cash to put towards a deep freezer for this seasons wonderful harvest of fruits and vegetables.

Now that I’m not distracted by pixels I’ll be out back making mud pies with Porter.

FDA: Federal Department of A**bags

Our government is out of control. Obama recently appointed former Monsanto VP as the director of the FDA. Monsanto VP? Really?

Now if you don’t know who Monsanto is have a spin around Google, the info will horrify you. For those of you who think I’m just picking on Obama, your wrong. I have plenty to disagree with from the previous administration.

I just can’t believe how in control business is in this country. That’s who controls our government, all the politicians are just puppets for their Sugar Daddy’s.

Eat local. Eat natural. Get crunchy. End of rant.

Read more here.

Ditching paper towels

Jen’s post a few weeks back about ditching paper towels has inspired me to do the same. This week at the grocery I avoided purchasing them even though my wife had them on the list. I couldn’t help but think about how much of a waste they are. Not only are you tossing money in the garbage but also a lot of unnecessary paper waste. With that, they have been eliminated at this household.

Today I was cleaning out one of my t-shirt drawers, ditching any shirts that were faded or had holes in them. Got out the rotary cutter and board and went to town making rags. I’ve got quite a nice pile out of 4 shirts and now after a rag is used it will go in a bucket of borax solution to soak before washing instead of the trash.

Thanks Jen for the inspiration.

* Here’s a little fact I learned this week. 40% of food purchased in the US goes into the garbage. Sad!