Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kitchen Gremlins

 I remember liking everything my mom cooked except liver & onions and stuffed zucchini. You’ll likely never find liver & onions on the list of options to eat at my house (for obvious reasons), and it wasn’t until after thirty-six years of cooking for my family and a love for gardening that I even attempted to make stuffed zucchini (which, by the way was delicious).

I, like most gardeners, have experienced the bittersweet dilemma of what to do with a plethora of summer squash. Zucchini bread is delicious with its sweet taste and little flecks of green, but that only takes care of one or two squash.
A dish my children named “Gremlin” was a favorite at our house. I make it by taking the summer squash and grating it fine in the food processor. Next I stir-fry it with a little olive oil and garlic; then top it off with grated cheese. It got the name Gremlin from a popular eighties movie with the same name. In this movie the little monster-like gremlin gets chopped up in the food processor where it is hiding. Watching me make this side dish reminded the kids of that scene from the movie – hence, the name Gremlin for zucchini smothered in cheese.

I make something else that has no name but delights my taste buds every time I eat it. I start with an onion cut length wise into slivers (toe nails, according to my kids, but I won’t go there), sautéed in a little coconut oil and garlic. Once the onion is translucent and starts to brown, I add sliced yellow and green summer squash. Next come fresh mushrooms and the whole thing cooks just until the squash is tender and the mushrooms are soft. The final touch is a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese to top it all off.

It’s a mystery to me why every time I eat this I’m so thrilled with my creation and why it never seems to get old or boring. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the majority of the ingredients I have nurtured from seed, or if I just like how it all tastes together, but I do love it.

It’s amazing how delicious simple ingredients can taste when put together with love, humor, and fond memories.