Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heaven Helps Me

Two or three years ago I learned about this book called Edible Landscaping.  I ordered myself a copy and carried it around with me in the car so I could read it whenever I had to sit and wait for something like a doctor's appointment or a music lesson.  I had barely dug into the book when it disappeared.  I waited so long for it to turn up that I forgot about it.  Probably this could have been avoided if I had thought to pray to St. Anthony.  Coming to Catholicism in my mid-30s, somehow I never developed that habit.  I am going to work on that, as I am now 51 and find my old excuse looks a little feeble.

Between the chickens and the drought, the few vegetables we attempted to grow this past summer produced nothing but blooms.  Then in August, I had Nathaniel till up the flower bed that borders our front porch.  I had intended to plant azaleas and gardenias there as soon as we got some rain and the weather cooled down.  That didn't happen in September.  Low and behold, a few weeks ago I noticed a volunteer plant flourishing there.  Now it is covered in yellow blossoms and looks lovely.

It's a squash.

This must be a magical squash, because it talks to me.  Every time I see it, it says, "Remember Edible Landscaping?"

"Yes," I answer.  "I'm going to order a new copy."

Well, this morning, I finally remembered to do it.  I ordered a shiny new 2010 edition from Amazon.  Then I thought, "Hey, isn't this St. Isidore the Farmer's feast day?"  I checked, and it is.  Hmmm.

I think he and St. Anthony are in cahoots.

1 comment:

Eliza said...

Now you need a recipe for both blossoms and pork!

Crispy Squash Blossoms Filled with Pulled Pork and Ricotta Recipe

courtesy Bobby Flay

• 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
• Braised Pork, recipe follows
• Salt and pepper
• 20 squash blossoms
• Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying
• Rice Batter, recipe follows
• Black Pepper Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Discard liquid.
Combine the strained ricotta and shredded pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Fill each squash blossom with the pork-cheese mixture and twist the top of the blossom to secure the filling while frying.
Fill a large, heavy saucepan halfway with oil and heat on the stove until the temperature reaches 360 degrees F.
Dredge each filled squash blossom in the rice batter to coat completely. Fry the squash blossoms in batches until lightly golden brown, turning once. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
Drizzle some of the black pepper vinaigrette in the center of a serving plate and place 2 squash blossoms on top for each serving. Serve hot.
Braised Pork:
1 (2-pound) pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups your favorite BBQ sauce
2 cups rice vinegar
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place pork cubes in a medium roasting pan. Stir together the BBQ sauce, vinegar, and onion and then pour mixture over the pork and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and cook in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Let cool in the braising liquid, then drain the liquid from the meat and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
Rice Batter:
2 cups cold water
2 cups rice flour
Whisk together water and flour until smooth and season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes before using.
Black Pepper Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey in a blender. With the machine running, slowly add the oil until emulsified.