Lightly fried pattypan squash with brown butter corn and cotija

Earlier this week, I concocted a marvelous new dish whose star was a gorgeous white pattypan squash I grew in my garden. 

Most pattypans I come across in the DC area are the yellow-skinned variety. During the summertime, they're third in the quantity available line to yellow squash and green zucchini, all of which I usually grill or thinly shave and serve raw in a salad of sorts.

When I saw that those growing in my garden were the white-skinned version, I was reminded of those I've not seen since my childhood. Mom and Nanny cooked a lot of squash. Squash casserole, boiled squash, stuffed squash, lightly fried squash....White-skinned scalloped squash were prevalent in the summers, and Nanny and Mom sliced them into rounds, dipped them in an egg-milk mixture before dredging them in generously salted and peppered flour, and then frying them quickly in hot canola oil.

The batter was so light, barely clinging to the delicate squash. Parmesan grated over the top was the finishing touch. Mom would eat the slices straight from the paper towel-lined plate she'd transferred them to from the oil.

Long story short, this week when I sent Mom a photo of my blue ribbon squash, she reminded me of that old recipe, and I decided to take things just a step further by adding brown butter corn and chives, avocado and tomato slices, and grated Cotija cheese. 

It was an absolute hit, if I say so myself. A lovely way to take advantage of the season! You can find the recipe here

Okra and the 4th

So I realized last night that in my crisper drawer were the okra that T bought last Sunday. So fresh were they when purchased that they'd maintained their proud shape and verdant green hue. No need to risk missing the window: part of dinner they would be!

Do y'all know what okra love? Not gumbo, but bacon! Okra smothered in bacon drippings? 

There is NO slime in well-prepared okra: fried, smothered, grilled... Don't wash before cooking, and you're in great shape. 

So last night: bacon, okra, corn and more bacon. Delicious!

And watermelon and feta and watercress. And tomatoes and pea tendrils and blue cheese. And bourbon shrubs. And there you have it. 

I freaking love okra. Love it.

Today I spent large swaths of time either running (6.25 miles; legs now crying) or putting together the three-layer ice cream cake Jack requested for his birthday. My oldest baby turns 9 in the morning, and I just can't believe it. I mean, I can, but at the same time, wow. 

He does not like regular cake, and I enjoy learning something new each year as I make a new, celebratory, non-cake dessert.

Let me tell you the main thing I've learned so far: do NOT make your own Oreos. Accept the fake-o, chemical shit in the Nabisco ones and love them. They are the best. By far.

Tom bought Jack an inexpensive drone for his birthday and is playing with it right now like he's a seven-year-old who just received the most awesome thing IN THE WHOLE WORLD. It is crashing repeatedly into the windows, and the pets are vexed out of their minds. Men = boys = always kids.

Happy almost-4th, y'all!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

The kids are such great travelers, but today was hella long. The drive between DC and Wrightsville Beach is about three hours past crazy-inducing, but it's so nice to be there that it's worth it. 

We were sad to leave by also very happy to pull up in front of home. Home. That word conjures so much. During the last couple miles, we talked about what we looked forward to returning to: Nutmeg, "my room," "my bed," amongst others. 

Walking in did not disappoint. Hugs all around for pets and things familiar. I cleaned out the fridge, Tom mowed, the kids crafted a buffet of Minecraft-related perler bead things.

And then dinner. Thanks to our freezer (shrimp), crisper drawers (corn) and garden (greens and herbs), we ate well and were thankful to do so. Off to bed now.