September is one of my favourite months. I feel like I’m turning a new page. Weddings come to a close, the super charged bustle is gone. I come up with the most ideas this time of year which for some in my family is not always a good thing. I feel a mixture of exhausted and “fired up” about what could be coming up. The downside is that I’m missing all my girls. Aubrey Rose is the lone farm girl left for a couple of weeks! I dropped Grace off at McGill, Carlyle is finishing her fourth year at Western, and Olivia is the rockstar representing Canada at the Junior Commonwealth Games in Samoa for Rugby. Aubrey Rose is embarking on a new chapter - new high school and grade 9. I remember that year so clearly and am glad not to have to revisit it.
Other great news is that South Pond is part of a new TV show - about all the different events that we do and how they come together. It will be a series on a new network called Makeful, run by Blue Ant Productions. It’s exciting to be part of the filming. Who knows where that might lead…
The last burst of heat this summer as turned our tomatoes into objects of art and beauty. I have a variety of heirlooms in the garden and each has a the most delicious flavour and character. It’s almost like being part of a wine tasting every time I go down to the garden. I carry one of our lemon salts in my pocket, ready at a moments notice to bite into one. I’m kidding. But that would be a good idea. What garden wouldn’t be complete without a mountain of zucchini’s? They are almost always an explosion of vines and greenery making a mess of the rows, yet such a pleasure to grow and to eat. My absolute favourite are zucchini boats. When I first started working in Toronto, there was a french restaurant nearby that served only lunch and breakfast and they always served zucchini boats. It was a weekly standard for lunch in the summer.
I made mine this past week for my girls and Shawn - this was a bit of a stretch for Shawn who is a big tomato guy but zucchini not so much. I started with the best onions from Jessica Foote’s Lunar Rhythm Gardens, then roasted some garlic of our own, our tomatoes, a little cheese and yum. Simple and delicious. Nick had made some fresh bread that day and honestly, it’s hard to have a better dinner. Unless pie for dessert was involved.
Zucchini Boats (makes 2)
Begin with all the freshest vegetables that you can find.
1 zucchini of medium or small size
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
4 medium size tomatoes quartered
1 handful of fresh herbs: parsley, chives, basil or oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup feta or mozzarella cheese
Cut the zucchini down the middle lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and flesh being careful to leave the skin and enough of the flesh so that it is sturdy enough to hold the filling.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat the oil in an iron skillet or pan and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until they are soft not brown. Add the garlic and the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until everything is soft and the water from the tomatoes has been substantially reduced. Add the herbs and the salt. Lay the zucchini halves on a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. Put the tomato mixture into the zucchini and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.