Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weekday Pics

I thought I'd show you some pictures I took after work this week. "After work" is my favorite time, especially in summer when it's light 'til 9:00 and I can do a little weeding when I get home from the office. For me, weeding is a very pleasant activity because it always involves plenty of leisurely gazing into the distance and daydreaming about new improvements and additions. This week, for example, I was picturing a gazebo with a hammock in it, and an arch made of branches decorated with vines and dangling crystal prisms. I'm going to try to make that arch, I swear, but right now I'll just show you the pictures I promised, of actual things in my yard:

I'm really pleased with my caladiums these days. I'm just crazy about their different patterns and colors, and I like their colorful names too: Red Flash, Scarlet Beauty, Rosebud, Stardust, June Bride, White Queen, White Christmas. . . . In one of my pots, I often see a fine fat toad hanging out. (I'm sorry I couldn't get a picture.) The caladiums provide good shelter, I'm sure, being shaped like little umbrellas and quite waterproof.







When I was picking tomatoes on Monday I heard a rustling in the mulch. I looked down and there amid the shady miniature forest of tomato plants was a box turtle busily eating a fallen Sun Gold. He looked up at me with tomato on his face, and then he went back to his eating. He started working on a nearby Roma, but it was rather large and firm and he was having trouble getting a grip on it. He kept trying to bite it and it kept rolling away.

The turtle was so easy to understand, so sympathetic, so "human." I split open a soft, overripe Riesentraube and gave it to him, and he didn't even get scared. He simply started eating my small gift. And then he looked up at me again, wearing a little beard made of tomato guts.





Rob and I picked four lovely Ping Tung Long eggplants on Tuesday. I couldn't believe how shiny they were, and how purple, so I made Rob pose with them for a picture, so I'd have proof of their perfection.

"Look down at them," I said, "like you're admiring them."

"Oh, this is going to be so stupid," he said. But as you can see he did as I instructed.



We made a big vegan lasagna in order to use up the eggplant and some more of our tomatoes. It was so delicious, layered with ruffly, chewy whole-wheat noodles and a rich, oily, satisfying "cheese" concocted almost entirely from ground walnuts. It also included an entire jar of kalamata olives and allowed me to bust out my favorite Fiestaware baking dish, a big golden yellow one I got for my birthday. The lasagna made for a very festive meal. We had cabbage salad with it, and huge hot slices of buttered, toasted Cuban bread.



Vegan Walnut Lasagna

Ingredients:

Lasagna:
8 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oriental eggplants, chopped
Salt
1 3-oz package sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted and chopped
1 8-oz jar pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
2-4 cups homemade marinara sauce
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 batch Walnut Cheese

Walnut Cheese:
1 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp water
½ tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp Italian herbs (oregano, parsley, etc.)
½ tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Boil noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside on a cookie sheet. (Oil the cookie sheet to prevent sticking).

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is tender. Add eggplant and a little salt and cook. Set aside.

To make the Walnut Cheese, toast walnuts in a lightly oiled skillet on medium-low heat until golden brown. In a food processor or blender, grind the walnuts and mix with water, vinegar, herbs, and salt. You should end up with a smooth paste.

Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and arrange a layer of noodles at the bottom. Spread a layer of cheese over the noodles and spoon on sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and the eggplant/onion mixture. Repeat until you reach the top. End with a layer of noodles. Pour marinara sauce over that last layer of noodles. Top the sauce with a sprinkling of Panko. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

9 comments:

  1. Your caladiums are pretty! --Maria

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Maria! Happy Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your caladiums are very pretty and happy looking.

    Love the photo of your husband, priceless. The things hubbies will do for love. :-)

    Your lasagna looks and sound delicious!

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was smiling while reading your post and my daughter asks, "what are you reading?". "One of my favorite blogs" I replied. . . which is so true. I just love the photo and explanation of Rob holding the eggplants. And I love your caladiums too. Meems from "Hoe and Shovel" turned me on to these. I only have a few, but they are on my wish list.

    And the turtle photos? Priceless.

    eli

    ReplyDelete
  5. That photo of Rob admiring your eggplant had me quacking up! What a good sport.

    I want to try that walnut cheese recipe. It sounds so easy. Love your baking dish!

    I feel so at home reading your blog. You always make me feel welcome. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. beautiful capture...lovely mouthwatering recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ha - I'm happy Rob obliges...my husband does the same. :) Love the photos - so beautiful, and I just adore turtles. The lasagna sounds delicious. I agree with Daisy - the way you write and your photographs are always so inviting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to try making that lasagna! Great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So those are called caladiums! I've seen them a lot but never knew what they were. I really like them! I'll have to plant some at my place. I love your little turtle visitor! How sweet that you fed him a tomato. That second photo is so cute! Your lasagna sounds so delicious; I'll have to give it a try!

    ReplyDelete