My kvetching about the garden results this year was premature. For one thing, I did not get seven pounds of potatoes as previously reported, but more like twelve. (Someday I will learn how to read my kitchen scale.) While not a stellar crop, it's not as bad as I thought. Neither are the tomatoes: Friday 22 pounds became 14 pints of "juice" - instead of sorting out the salsa, paste, juice, and early tomatoes, I just threw them all into the sauce maker and stuck the jars in the freezer. And there is a gallon of green beans in the refrigerator which I will probably cook up and eat through the week. There are more tomatoes and green beans in the garden, too, so the harvest isn't as miserable as I thought.
I finished reading The Feast Nearby and decided to try some of the recipes Saturday: zucchini bread, Danish cucumbers, and seffa medfouna (saffron-braised chicken with steamed vermicelli). My initial conclusion is Robin Mather and I have different tastes in food. For one thing, the zucchini bread is more like zucchini cake - good, but way too sweet for me. Also, I favor whole wheat over white flour and honey over sugar. The cucumbers are okay - I wish I had had some burpless ones from my garden because I think they would have worked better than the store-bought-but-homegrown ones I used. Also, I think I would favor a milder marinade. I did not try steaming vermicelli - basmati rice seemed like a perfectly good alternative - but the chicken itself was very tasty. And yet, the amount of oil in the recipe is daunting, especially since I forgot to remove the skin on the chicken, which contributed more fat. And the flavors were rather intense. I had borrowed this book from the library, contemplated purchasing it, but now I'm not so sure.
The heat has abated some today as rain moves through the region, and tomorrow is supposed to be dry and cooler. I'm looking forward to laboring in the yard.