an ode to vacation

intern year is over.  and we have been awarded 6 days off.  earlier in the year we had grand plans of sonoma cabins, vineyards, good eats, and wide open spaces.  sadly, we have been forced out of our current house that we adore (i dont want to talk about it) and so much of this break is being spent packing, boxing, taping, and moving.  but my god, even with the chore of moving, vacation is god!

surf 'n turf

moving has provided a steady task, but it has been interspersed with bike riding, drinking, yoga, and good meals.  day 1 we got a lot done, and were rewarded with some home-made surf n turf of bison filet, shrimps, and scallops on the bbq.  also found time to get on the bike in the heat and spent a few hours on the american river trail.  it’s great when time off gives us a chance to soak up all the reasons why we have fallen in love with sacramento over the past few years.

covered in shallot butter

love these new metal skewers

i ate these shrimps, heads, skin and all!

day 2 and we were off to the farmers’ market;  70 degrees at 9am, ranier cherries, squash blossoms, and a market packed to the brim.  we made off with a few choice items including the afore mentioned blossoms, baby back ribs, pretzel croissants, and a first for us, crawfish!

love these!

everything should be filled with ricotta

and also then fried!

the rest of the day was filled with yoga followed by so many pimm’s cups, with some packing as well.  lunch was squash blossoms filled with ricotta, battered and fried (recipe at the bottom of the page).  yum.  dinner is still going.  yet another version of baby back ribs with some home-made chipotle-maple bbq sauce and a crawfish boil!  this should be interesting.

two racks of farmers' market baby back ribs

on a bed of onions, covered in beer, in the oven for 2 hours before the grill

mud bugs

so scary

homemade bbq sauce is the only way to go

these turned out amazing!!!!!

crawfish!!!!!!

needless to say, we are soaking up this time off with good meals, good rides, good yoga, and good drinks.  we will have a mini-vacation for a day out of town and then back to work in a few days.  looking forward to our new place, and in the meantime, trying to salvage what we can from our beautiful garden; rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and oregano have been potted; but still planning the rescue of the tomatillos, edamame, eggplant, habanero, jalapenos, broccoli, corn and brussel sprouts.

our new obsession, pimm's cups

a proper pimm's cup with borage foraged from our garden, who knew?!?!

Eunice’s Stuffed Squash Blossoms

12 squash blossoms
1/3 cup canola oil

Filling:
1 cup ricotta
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
salt to taste

Batter:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup water
pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt and pepper

1. Prep the squash blossoms by cutting off the stems if they came with stems. Then, reach inside the blossom and snap off the stamen. It’s ok if you tear the blossom a bit, but try to be careful.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, thyme, oregano and salt and scoop this into a pastry tube or a ziploc bag with a corner cut off (improv pastry tube).
3. Squeeze about 1 Tbsp or so of the filling into each squash blossom and twist the ends of the blossom to secure.
4. Mix together the flour, water, cayenne, salt and pepper in a separate small bowl. Add extra water if the batter seems too dry.
5. Heat the canola oil in a frying pan.
6. Dredge the stuffed squash blossoms through the batter and once the oil is hot enough, fry the squash blossoms until the batter starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
7. Place on a paper towel to soak up extra oil and enjoy!

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