Stuffed Shells

Fall is slowly but surely staring to creep in–field hockey practices have started, football is on the TV, the mornings are gloriously cool, and the farmers market is  starting to be filled with apples and fall treats, like butternut squash.

For me, the start of fall is when I start craving some major comfort food–cheesy baked goodness, really.  Of late I’ve really wanted stuffed shells, but a certain dear husband of mine doesn’t like them.  Or butternut squash.  So tonight while I’m bach-ing it for the evening, I decided to combine the two, and man is it good!  I whipped up some homemade ricotta with skim milk (not quite as good/rich as the batch made with half and half–surprise, surprise, I know!), added some savory rosemary and thyme, stuffed the shells and laid them on top of a layer of petitie diced butternut squash.  The whole thing got a good dose of tomato sauce, and then some mozzarella cheese.   I didn’t have a recipe, but the method was simple enough, and let me tell you the house smelled absolutely DELICIOUS, and the shells 100% hit the spot!  Can anyone say lunch for the rest of the week?  😉

Long time coming

I know, I know…it’s been way too long.  After the cricket incident, I was having a hard time getting out to the back forty to do much of anything.  That paired with the extreme heat we’ve had, and our gardening “efforts” have been lack luster.

Hope was about to be lost when we realized that the tomatoes in the kitchen garden had pretty much run their course.  And much to my delight, it wasn’t too overgrown, and it wasn’t too terribly buggy.  Close to no crickets–I was excited!  So last weekend we ripped up all but two tomato and one pepper plants, and put in some peas and some butternut squash.

I’m excited to see how the “tee-pee” method works with trellising the peas, and I’m very excited to have the butternut squash closer to the house…no one’s sneaking away with them this time around!

State of the Garden

This weekend really only consisted of staking and weeding.  But good golly what a weekend of just those two things can do!

It’s looking good, folks;  I hate to even say it, but the vast majority of the weeds are out, and everything that needs to be staked is up and running.  As we get closer to being out of town, the garden is getting closer to having a neighbor coming in and be able to determine what needs to be picked, and what is ok to stay.

We’re excited, though.  Almost all of the tomato plants have some sort of fruit on them (and those with blossom rot have been picked off), the corn is growing in leaps and bounds, and any of the beans that are left over probably won’t even flower until we get back.

It’s not perfect, by any standards, but I think JGL and I have a whole tickler list of things that we want to note for next year:  what worked well, what didn’t, and things to remember for the next summer.

In the meantime, though, we’re very grateful for what we do have, and for the harvest we’ll have in a few weeks time!