When I opened my door to retrieve the newspaper early this morning, the chill in the air was shocking. After weeks of balmy temperatures, it felt decidedly cool.
I’m not ready to break out the sweaters and sweatshirts yet.
And when the auto-payment for summer camp was deducted from my checking account over the weekend, it struck me that it was the last one for this summer. We’re in our ninth week of my kids’ summer vacation. It’s been 10 weeks since homework and classes and school schedules and earlier bedtimes. It’s also been 10 weeks since my kids’ last boarded a bus together to head off to school in the morning. Before we know it, the new school year will be underway.
I’m not ready for summer vacation to end yet.
This summer has felt like a whirlwind and yet, I don’t think we’ve done enough. Sure, there’s been parades and fireworks, theatre camp, plays, festivals, swimming,birthdays, day trips, robotics camp, hiking and biking. But there’s so much more to do — so many more trails to tackle, so much more swimming to do and so much more excitement to fit in.
But really, it’s not over yet. So we need to make the most of our last few weeks of freedom before diving into the school year. I guess that means our plans for the next few weeks are cut out for us.
What’s the number one, can’t miss thing you do every summer? What shouldn’t we miss?
While summer vacation’s end may be approaching, at farmers markets across the state, we’re just hitting prime season where there’s a vast variety of fresh produce available — squash and cucumbers, greens and peppers, corn, tomatoes, herbs and so much more. There’s many weeks more of summer farmers markets to enjoy.
It’s in that spirit that I share this summery recipe using lovely fresh produce from the farmers market. And if you serve these with eggs, like I like to, you can probably find those at the farmers market too.
These vegetable pancakes are savory. Skip the maple syrup and instead fry an egg (or make a lovely over easy one) to serve with these. The creamy, runny yolk is a lovely accompaniment to the pancakes. We love these for breakfast, but they could be good for any meal of the day — including a special breakfast for dinner.
Making them begins with shredded fresh zucchini. We’re in the time of summer when zucchini is plentiful in gardens and farmers markets throughout the state. If you’re approaching the point where you’re zucchini- and summer squash-ed out, this will help. It’s a different and fresh way to enjoy it. Really, it’s the perfect time to make these.
Hint: you can substitute shredded summer squash for the zucchini. So if you have that and want to use it, do it!
Mix the zucchini with shredded carrots and thinly sliced spring onions (which, despite their name, are available now) or shallots. Then mix in some flour, egg, salt and pepper to complete the batter.
Finally, you cook the batter in a little olive oil to make golden brown pancakes. Delicious.
This is the kind of warm, cozy breakfast perfect for these cooler summer mornings. And for celebrating all that that brilliant summer produce. Try ’em, and let me know what you think.
- 2 cups shredded fresh zucchini
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
- 1 spring onion or shallot, quartered and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Set the shredded zucchini in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and mix together. Let sit for 10 minutes. Use a paper towel to push liquid out of the zucchini. You want to drain as much as you can.
- Transfer the zucchini to a large mixing bowl and stir together with shredded carrot and spring onion or shallot. Add the flour, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, egg and pepper. Stir well to combine into a batter.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Drop the vegetable batter in rounds (about 2 tablespoons worth) in the heated oil. Spread gently into a circle. Cook for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown, flipping once.
- Transfer cooked vegetable pancakes into a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve.