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It's not the heat. It's the … heat.

Yes, it's the humidity, too, but damn. This heat is relentless and miserable and I don't even live in Florida! My morning garden-perimeter walk leaves me sweaty at 6 a.m. I'm so glad I don't work on a road crew. I'm thrilled that I don't have to look forward to putting a roof on someone's house today. Thank God (or the Goddess, or another deity of your choice) that my afternoon will be spent at the garden center, under the cool shade of the sycamore trees, next to a river.

The zucchini and onions have been sitting in a salt brine overnight, and while canning relish is a hot job, at least I'll be doing it in the air-conditioned comfort of my kitchen. My summer kitchen is the same as my spring, fall and winter kitchen, except the windows are shut tight and the AC is humming.

In the olden days, the summer kitchen – a separate building just for preparing food – was built away from the house, so the heat from cooking didn't build up in the main dwelling. In addition to a fireplace and cookstove, the summer kitchen usually had a large work surface to accommodate the many vessels, cooking and otherwise, needed for the canning process.

I might have to move the coffeemaker outside, just so my husband doesn't get tangled up in the canning jars. Heh.

In addition to all the zucchini I picked and shredded for relish, there were a couple pretty big ones that I stuffed and baked for dinner. Here's what I did:
  • Wash zucchini, then split down the center lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the seed cavity.
  • In a saucepan or skillet, brown a pound of sausage. Add chopped onions, celery, tomato, garlic and breadcrumbs (a couple cups). Let it cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in about a quarter cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Fill the zucchini "boats" with the sausage mixture.
  • Place in a large baking dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake at 325° for about 40 minutes.

Finally, I'll leave you with this, my new BlackBerry wallpaper photo. I've been using one of BB's stock photos of a yellow sunflower, but I like my red ones better. I like zucchini, but not enough to have it on my phone.


Elora said…
Nice job, Debbi! Love your sunflower photo! And recipe sounds delightful! I have a pile of zuchs to tackle today!

I believe somebody moved us to Haides! It sure was HOT in town yesterday! Hunker down and clean the fridge today! That's what I'm doing. Maybe crawl into it for awhile???


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