Food

Summer Harvest Continues

Let us commence with a heart-felt apology from the Ninja Turtle to this blog’s readers. She has come to the inexorable conclusion that, when compared to all those beautiful pictures fluttering around in the digital world, it doesn’t take close scrutiny to observe that her food photos are second-rate (to put it politely). Sometimes she takes hasty photos with garlicky hands or mid-way through cooking so a fog of steam rises to meet the lens, but let’s be honest, she’s just really rubbish at trying to make her food look good. It’s still a mystery why people come back to Like the posts here, but any rate, the Ninja Turtle sincerely appreciates these continuous shows of support. So, thank you readers, and we hope that if the photos don’t inspire, at least the recipes turn out to be worth the effort.

On to the topic of today…

The weather of late in Lorraine has been incredibly finicky, so much so that nobody is sure what season it is anymore. It was cold, cloudy and rainy for a whole week, but shaped up to be bright, sunny and hot in the last couple of days. One day you’d find yourself wearing woolen jumpers and socks, and the next day it’s tank tops and shorts. Madness.

The garden harvest has also started to produce the first apples and pears, but for the moment, it’s still yielding plenty of stone fruits and squashes. This last weekend, a visit back to the village resulted in the wholesale dumping of fresh produce upon GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle. About 12kg of produce, to be exact.

Of course, in a world where some are struggling to afford fresh fruits and vegetables, getting it free is nothing to complain about. The glut of cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, French beans, etc however, did see the duo’s fridge full to critical point, and it threatens to explode any moment. (This is not an exaggeration, the fridge has been making this weird groaning noise for a few days now…)

Zucchinis are not overly difficult to deal with – ratatouille, curries, stews, tarts and frittatas take care of them quite easily. Cucumbers, on the other hand, pose a little bit more of a challenge. There is only so much Greek salad GodzillaPin is willing to eat, and it’s hard to make a salsa or cucumber sandwiches when each cuke is about the size of a newborn baby.

In case you thought that was an exaggeration too, here's a photo to give an idea of how big these monsters are. The breadknife is 15 inches.

In case you thought that was an exaggeration too, here’s a photo to give an idea of how big these monsters are. The breadknife is 15 inches. The largest cucumber weighs 3.5lbs (almost 2kg).

There is also this oft-overlooked fact that GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle are a household of two. Even with their voracious appetites, it’s still a LOT of cucumber.

Then, the hot weather struck, and so did thirst-induced inspiration. It’d be hard to eat a kilo of cucumber, but it’s not difficult to drink a litre of liquid, if given a bit of time. Since cucumber is mostly water, why not blitz it up into a drink and call it done?

There are several recipes online for pairings with apple or blueberry or mango and mint, but that's too freakin' weird and kinky. The Ninja Turtle prefers to marry the cucumber with more normal friends for a well-adjusted relationship all around.

There are several recipes online for pairings with apple or blueberry or mango and mint, but that’s too freakin’ weird and kinky. The Ninja Turtle prefers to marry the cucumber with more normal friends for a well-adjusted relationship all around.

She’s never attempted gazpacho soup before, but there’s a first time for everything. It’s as easy as washing the vegetables, chopping them into a reasonable size that won’t choke the blender, and whizzing it all up with a tablespoon or two of vinegar, olive oil, and a generous lashing of salt and pepper (just add and adjust to taste while you go along).

Cucumber tomato gazpacho with a sprig of basil. There's easily 2 to 3 servings of vegetables in this to meet your used-to-be-5-but-now-it's-7-but-preferably-aim-for-10-a-day.

Cucumber tomato gazpacho with a sprig of basil. There’s easily 2 to 3 servings of vegetables in this to meet your used-to-be-5-but-now-it’s-7-but-preferably-aim-for-10-a-day.

The Ninja Turtle knows that photo isn’t exactly appetizing; in fact it looks slightly off-putting. All the same, she promises that it’s a super gazpacho (she went back for seconds, and then thirds) and definitely worth sacrificing a baby-sized cucumber for.

Bon appetit!

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