Food/Wine


1) My bookgroup: for being a great bunch of women, a spot of sanity and fun once a month.  We may not take ourselves very seriously, but we’ve become a great circle of friends over the last four years (woot!)  Interesting side note: we tend to talk more about books that we disliked, then books that we like.

 

2) My husband’s steak sauce.  Yum.  One of my friends thinks mr. jolt should start marketing it and make tons o’ money.  I say, let him finish his PhD first, please.  One extra project at a time.  But it truly is divine.  Guests have been known to do all but pick up the plate and lick it.  When we have no guests, I show no such inhibitions, and if no bread is available to mop up the last drops, I use my finger, because it’s THAT GOOD.

 

3) Science experiment books!  BB participated in his school science fair for the first time and because of mr. jolt being away so much we were a little slow to get moving.  But, the library came to the rescue with Last Minute Science Fair Projects, the perfect book for disorganized families everywhere.  We did the pollution catcher experiment, but did it inside the house.  The room with the most particulate in the air was the laundry room – lots of lint.  It beat out the garage and the closet where we keep the kitty litter box.  Let me tell you that book saved our butts.  I have been informed by BB, however, that we used the wrong kind of board to display our experiment methods and results, which I could see when I did a quick walk through of the displays yesterday when I picked up the boys.  Our boards were too flimsy and did not have the apparently ‘standard’ three panel look (we had two panels).  Oh well, now we know for next year.

One of my 2008 goals is to try and be more consistent about eating fruits and vegetables- at least five servings a day.  My query is, can I count wine?  It’s just fermented grape juice, right?  It’s got flavanoids (or whatever they’re called), good for the heart & all that.  Whaddya think?

 I hated summer squash and zucchini as a child.  When I was ten, my mom & stepdad, newly moved to the west coast, created a vast vegetable garden.  They made the first timers’ mistake of planting more than one zucchini plant.  In fact, they planted three (or was it four, the horror has made the memory vague).  After that year, so scarred was I by the experience, I was probably twenty-five before I voluntarily ate zucchini or summer squash again.  That summer we had raw zucchini, sauteed zucchini, baked zucchini with cheese on top, zucchini bread, zucchini pickles, and, in desperation, chocolate zucchini cake (why, why, why would anyone waste good chocolate on zucchini?).

Anyway, now that zucchini and summer squash no longer make me run at the sight of them, I find that I actually enjoy them, but cooked in a way my parents never experimented with: grilled.

The way the jolt family likes them (ok, just me and mr. jolt, the kids aren’t touching it, but your less persnickety ones might) is very simple:

>Clean and slice as many zucchini or summer squash as you want to eat lengthwise into 1/3 or 1/2 inch
>Dredge strips in olive oil (for a lighter meal you could probably just spray with an olive oil cooking spray)
>Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on both sides (for extra kick you can also add garlic powder)
>Grill on medium heat no more than 2 min each side (cook less if you like more crunch) Watch carefully because if overcooked they get mushy quickly.
You can also do something similar in a grill pan on the stove if you are in a grill-less apartment.

Mmmm.  Even I, who once vowed never to eat zucchini again, greatly enjoy it prepared this way. 

So, I may not do a cheese post every week in the summer.  I don’t know about you, but as much as I love cheese, I don’t eat it as often when it’s hot out.  And today it was 83F.  But I promise to talk about other yummy things.  And I will post some cheese items while it’s hot.

Vinho Verde (also spelled Vino Verde) – aka green wine – apparently so called because it is a young wine – is a Portuguese white wine* that is phenomenal for summer.  It is extremely light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day.  It also has relatively low alcohol content compared to most other wines, which is a good thing because it’s very easy to drink it a bit too fast because it goes down quite easy.  It is crisp and and can sometimes seem a bit sparkling.  I have had several different labels, but the one I’ve had most often is Aveleda, which is pretty reliable.   We have been able to find Aveleda even in our relatively limited wine shop here, so I’d think it would be widely available. 

*One of the sites I popped onto for background said that the Vino Verde region produces more red than white wine, but I’ve only ever seen white ones.  I can’t comment on the reds.