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    Too Much Zucchini......Make Tots!!!

    Too Much Zucchini......Make Tots!!!

    There comes a point every summer when the garden just becomes a giant zucchini patch.  Even though you go out everyday and harvest them there is always one hidden away; underneath the leaves that suddenly becomes the size of a small child.  What to do with all that zucchini?  There is only so much you can eat everyday. Only so many loaves of zucchini bread that you can bake.  I feel horrible about composting zucchini, Claire calls this "Garden Guilt."  But a few years ago I discovered making zuchinni tots and since then I have actually doubled the number of zucchini plants we have just so I can make more tots. 

    Zucchini tots are super easy to make and such a great way to use up not only zucchini but also whatever else you have in the garden.  This is not a traditional recipe with amounts and measurements; just use what you have and adjust accordingly. The super important part about making these tots is that you really need to spice and season these bad boys up.  Whatever amount of seasoning you think is enough add some more.  Zucchinis are like beans: the more seasoning you add the better.  These tots are even better frozen and then re-baked.  Seriously, make a ton of these and freeze bags and bags of them.  Then in the winter you can make an easy and delicious dinner with just an omelet and these tots and the best part is how many veggies you eat!!

    Uncooked Zucchini Tots

    Zucchini Plus Whatever is in Your Garden Tots

     

    Ingredients:

    Some amount of zucchini grated.  I use all the big ones.  It the center of them is really blown out and seeded then just cut that part out and grate the outsides

    Onion and garlic to taste/what you have on hand

    Any other additional garden treats (finely chopped kale or chard, hot or sweet peppers, grated carrots, chopped celery)

    Finely Chopped Herbs (parsley, basil, cutting celery, thyme, whatever you got growing, or in your spice cupboard)

    Beaten Eggs-enough to bind everything together.  I usually do 2-3 for a couple large but not toddler sized zucchinis

    Bread Crumbs/Panko/Cornmeal- some mixture of all or some of these, enough to hold everything together.  The mixture should feel kinda wet but not sopping. You might need to add more as you go since the zuchinni will leak some liquid.

    Seasonings to taste and them some- Pepper, dulse, table kelp, Italian Seasonings, fennel or take it a different route and add in curry powder, 5 Spice do what you want and have fun but add in a LOT!!!

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400F and really oil a baking pan or line with foil or parchment paper.

    Mix everything together and add more eggs, bread crumbs or seasonings as needed. 

    Scoop 1/2 -1 T of the mixture and form it into a tot like shape.

    Bake your tots for roughly 20ish minutes making sure that you flip the tots halfway through.  You are looking for a very dark golden brown color on both side and they shouldn't feel spongy or wet. If you are going to eat them right away you might want to bake them even longer.

    To Freeze: Allow the tots to cool completely and then freeze them on a baking tray.  When they are frozen solid scoop them into a freezer bag and stash for later.  When you are ready to eat place them frozen onto a baking tray and bake at 375-400 for 10-15 minutes, or the time it takes to make the rest of your dinner.  There is so much moisture in zuchinni that you really can over bake (burn) them and they still will taste amazing.  I once really burnt a batch when I got super distracted and they were still great! 

    If you eating these and realize that there is not enough seasoning make an amazing dipping sauce.  Try a curry ketchup, spicy mayo, or a vibrant tomato sauce, all work super well!!

    I can't say this enough: make more then you think you will ever eat!!!  You'll eat them all and be wishing for more and next year you will be planting extra zucchini plants just to make more tots!!

    Using Up Onion Tops: Making Scallion Pancakes

    Using Up Onion Tops: Making Scallion Pancakes

    We grow a LOT of onions, enough for an onion a day for the year.  Even though our focus is on the onion bulbs I don't want those beautiful and yummy green tops to go to waste.  Throughout the summer some of the onion tops will get broken or damaged and when that happens I head out to snip them off and make scallion pancakes!!!  These are super delicious and versatile.  Cut them int quarters and dip into a soy based dipping sauce.  They make a wonderful and flavorful alternative to Naan with your favorite curry or dahl.  I also use them in place of tortillas for breakfast tacos, quesadillas or fish tacos.  They are also easy to freeze and a great summery surprise in the middle of winter. 

    This is adapted from Bon Appetit Scallion Pancake recipe.  It is easily doubled or tripled depending on how many onion tops you have and if you want to freeze them. 

    Ingredients:

    2 1/2 Cups AP Flour

    1 T Table Kelp

    1 Cup Boiling Water

    3-4 Cups Chopped Green Onion (I like a lot of onions in mine!!)

    2-3 T Sesame Oil

    2-3 T Olive Oil

    Directions:  In a bowl mix together the flour and the table kelp.  Stir in the boiling water and mix until a rough dough forms.  Cover the dough with a damp cloth or an overturned bowl so it doesn't dry out and allow it to rest on the counter for at least an hour.  When the dough is rested divide it into 8 pieces.  Work one piece at a time, keep the rest covered to prevent drying out.  On a well floured surface roll a piece out till its as thin as you can stand making it. Spread a liberal 1/2 cup or more of the green onions on to the pancake, spreading them out evenly over the surface.  Roll your pancake up from the long side, just like if you were making cinnamon roll, until you have made a long scallion pancake snake.

      Then starting at one ends coil the pancake snake into a circle.  With the heel of your hand press down and flatten the coil.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.  Always keeping each piece before and after adding the green onion under cover so they stay moist. 

    When all 8 pieces have been rolled and green onion-ed its time to start turning them into pancakes.  Working one at a time on a well floured surface roll each disk out until its 5-6 inches in diameter.  Brush sesame oil onto the top and cook over medium heat on a well oiled skillet (brush with either sesame or olive oil) for 4-5 minutes then flip for another 4-5 minutes.  I don't time the cooking I basically use the time it takes to roll of the next coil as my guide.  You want the pancakes to be cooked through have some browning and bubbles. If you want to freeze them, allow them to cool completely before putting them in a freezer bag.  To reheat them, pull them out fully frozen and cook on a heated skillet until hot and crispy. 

    Freezing Maine Lobster and Garden Greens Lasagna

    Freezing Maine Lobster and Garden Greens Lasagna

    Summertime in Maine is usually full of two things tourists and lobsters.  This year with the pandemic raging we are still flush with lobster but missing the all important tourists to eat all that lobster.

    Read more

    Plastic Free July in the Age of Corona, 5 Tips to Get you Started

    Plastic Free July in the Age of Corona, 5 Tips to Get you Started

    Going zero waste and becoming plastic free is always a dance of two steps forward, one back and some spinning around but since the start of the Corona pandemic this journey has gotten a lot harder.   Plastic Free July is a global movement focused on everyday solutions to plastic pollution.  

    Plastic Free July Tips

    Our first ever blog post about reducing your waste was Plastic Free Friday- BYOB.  Published in July of 2016, it was about bringing reusable shopping bags.  Now reusable bags are banned in my state.  I do wonder why you can shop without a face mask but not use a reusable bag?  But that's a subject for another blog.

    Here are some tips to help you navigate the new realities while continuing to reduce your plastic consumption.

    Tip 1- Be registered and have a plan to VOTE.  If you've followed us for awhile I start just about every blog with this statement.  We need elected leaders at all levels who care for the planet and recognize we are ALL CONNECTED.  A cleaner planet means a shift from business as usual in all areas including social justice, education, manufacturing practices, tax breaks and incentives,  a diverse economy, etc, etc, etc.........

    Plastic Free July tips

    Tip 2- Practice self care.  It's harder to take care of others when you are tired or angry.  Take time for a breather from the chaos and uncertainty of the news. Being outside and connecting to nature is one of the best ways to help ourselves and have the energy to help our planet.  Be mindful of your social media use.  I have a personal pledge to not check emails at night.  It doesn't matter if the news is good or bad, I don't need a rush of energy before bed.  Realize that social media is a double edged sword, and "doomscrolling" is real.  Protecting your physical and mental health is vital for this marathon we find ourselves in.

    Plastic Free July tips

    Tip 3- Practice good hygiene.  The sooner we can contain the virus, the sooner we can begin to return to the "new normal".  Wash your hands frequently and use good soap.   "Soap works better than alcohol and disinfectants at destroying the structure of viruses."    We need to be sure we don't grow complacent but remain vigilant to protect ourselves, others and ultimately the world.

     

    Plastic Free July Tips

    Tip 4- Wear a reusable face masks.  "Namaske"- the mask I wear to protect you recognizes the mask you wear to protect me.  I've seen posts on social media about the litter created from disposable masks and gloves.  It's maddening!   A washable reusable mask helps protect others and the planet. 

    Tip 5- Pick a place to start and recognize you're on a journey, made more difficult by the realities of Covid-19.  Start small, be forgiving and realize you'll have to make adjustments and compromises.  Our pre-Covid blog 20 Zero Waste Tips for 2020 is a great place to start.

    Remember it's a dance, forward, backwards and some spinning but in the end you'll be in a new and better place.

     

      

    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    If you're a parent or teacher you know I've stolen the title from Judith Viorst's book and I hope she doesn't get mad at me but it's a perfect description for this year.  It's been a rough one but we are going to get through it just like Alexander got through his no good day.   And no, we aren't moving to Canada!

    Here's a few tips to help you and our world survive-

    • VOTE in every single election.  Have a plan for voting because as this year has shown us- guano happens!  You have to think beyond election day with an absentee or mail in ballot.  Even with the ballot- be prepared. 
    Have a voting plan- don't assume everything will run smoothly.

      Here are a few examples from my city.  Posted recently on social media was an alert that the absentee ballot required additional postage.  When the responsible citizen called city hall and inquired she was given the run around.  While the city had included some instructions the simple statement "Ballot MAY require additional postage" was too difficult to include.

      Another example, one election day was a "wicked pissah" it was pouring cats and dogs.  A couple was before me and it was quite a long walk to the entrance.  However, there was a nearby door but it was locked.  The man decided not to vote while the woman forged ahead.  He didn't want to get wet.  Shortly after the election, I went into city hall and spoke about the experience and how I witnessed a voter decide not to vote.  The city manager argued with me about the location of the door, blamed the closed door on petition signature collectors, "wah, wah, wah".  I pointed out I simply wanted access to voting to be accessible despite the weather.

      This examples are minor compared to what we are witnessing happening in other states.  Be registered to vote and have a plan for your ballot to be counted.

      • Support small businesses and sign up for their emails and newsletters.  The past few days amongst all the chaos has been stories about social media, particularly FaceBook and Instagram and the rise of hate speech and hate groups.  Large companies like Ben & Jerry's, REI, Patagonia and The North Face are participating in an ad boycott.   Hey, we get it and believe in #votewithyourmoney.  Most of FaceBook advertisers are small businesses like Dulse & Rugosa, who use the platform to reach a larger audience.  Especially if you live in a rural, low income area you need access to a wider demographic.  For businesses like us who want to vote with our money we need another way to reach our audience, a way that we can back with 100% confidence.  With the Covid-19 pandemic the other ways we typically reach folks are non existent, including our favorite markets.  So, please please join the mailing lists of small businesses you support.  Join our mailing list (and other's) so that we have an alternative way of reaching people and we can continue to stay in business.  
      Vote with your money

        Honestly working with both FaceBook and Instagram has always been frustrating and now its become downright painful.  Our best product to reach like minded people is our #resist creme.  However, we can't use this in an ad because it's considered "political".  #resistracism, #resistsexism, #resistwrinkles is too political but apparently the same algorithms that reject our hardworking creme introduce folks to hate groups.  It's a bit incomprehensible to us.

        Shop Your Values

        And frustrating.  We want to stay in business.  We want people who value diversity and independence to know about our handcrafted skincare.  Our business is more than simply selling.  We aren't perfect but we try to be ethical and fair.

        That's why we need you to sign up for our email list.  I know some companies flood your inbox with way too many emails.  Not us.  Currently we send about one email a month- almost always offering a discount, sale or give away.  We try to say thank you and not be too "salesy" but the harsh reality is that we need to sell our products to pay our bills and grow our business.

        So in order to survive this Terrible Horrible year- Vote, in every single election and Vote with your money.