|photo by chardeniii on flickr|
My muslces ache as I lay stomach-down on the hot, interlocking brick that frames our pool. I stretch my arms out before me and survey my hands covered in hedge trimmings and dirt; a result of yardwork and garden clean up. I slip them over the pool's edge and into the water.
Despite this unseasonably hot day, the icy temperature shocks my skin as the clippings float away, down to mix with the other dead creatures of the season that rest lifelessy at the bottom. My hands are shaking due to handling multiple gas-powered lawn tools and the still water is a calming welcome.
The work of a hammer is going on in the distance. Four of them, in fact. The kids (today I'll call them SG, Stitch and Geddy) are busy helping Music Man build a shed. They're proud to sport their leather tool belts buckled at the smallest notch. I think they like wearing them more than putting them to use, but when that shed is complete, they'll take pride in all the work, I'm sure. Stitch often stands back and is amazed at how this entire structure started from just one board and one nail. Geddy is begging to have a turn climbing up to the rafters.
I enjoy this time of year when we seem to be back in project mode until the next round of summer fun befalls us. Music Man is sad about the falling leaves. He loves summer and is trying to keep his grumpiness at a simmer for my sake.
Here is a seasonal harvest veggie dish that is a great side for any meal and a perfect compliment to this time of year. I prefer it on its own with garlic bread on the side. It's a 'make ahead' recipe. Also, there is a lot of chopping so I had the food processor help me out with the onions and carrots (my own power tool for the kitchen).
|photo by kattebelletje on flickr|
8 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
8 carrots, diced
16 cherry tomatoes
2 red onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bow,l mix zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, onions and peppers. In a smaller bowl combine oil, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a large roasting pan, roast the vegetables, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have split and the edges of some of the vegetables are starting to crisp. Remove from the oven and stir before returning to the oven for another 20 minutes. At this time reduce heat to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and continue cooking until vegetables are tender, turning every 20 minutes.