Monthly Archives: August 2014

BBQ “Pulled” Summer Squash Sammies

Generally speaking, as a vegetarian, I don’t find myself craving or missing meat. I genuinely like vegetables in their plethora of textures, colors and flavors and I don’t seem to run out of ways to prepare them. Occasionally, I DO, however, get a strong hankering for a flavor that has been associated with meat. Barbecue sauce is one that often raises my pulse. It’s sweet, smoky, delicious, and almost always smothered on something big and meaty. What’s a veggie girl to do?
The idea came to me swiftly after strange duo of circumstances practically dropped it in my lap. I was craving me some BBQ and Melissa graced me with some of her summer squash abundance. SO many tubular yellow vegetables! Not to mention the humongous zucchinis already hogging up the space in my mini-fridge. Alrighty then, BBQ squash and zukes it is!

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I started out by shredding up the summer squash and one large zucchini in the food processor. You could also choose to grate them by hand or simply chop them up very small. I ended up with roughly 4 cups. Using all zucchini, all squash, or any combination of the two would probably work equally well.

In a large mixing bowl I combined:
2 tablespoons of Attar’s Monadnock Maple BBQ Spice
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
I then mixed in the 4 cups of shredded squash until it was all coated in the sauce. This would be a fun place to use your hands but a little elbow grease will do you just fine.

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In a large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat I got a generous amount of coconut oil going, maybe 3 tablespoons. You could also use olive oil or any other kind of oil you prefer.
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On medium to high heat I cooked the mixture, uncovered, for about fifteen minutes. You will need to stir and scrape on occasion to prevent the sugars from scorching. What you are trying to do here is cook off the excess liquid.
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At the end I cranked the heat up to high for just a minute or two and allowed it to caramelize just a bit, stirring often.
When it is ready it will have reduced dramatically in size and filled your kitchen with a mouthwatering barbecue aroma.
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I would have put it on a soft bun of some sort if I had any on hand but it was super delicious on this seedy bread with pickles. You could also add onions, coleslaw or any other toppings you like.
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I toasted my sandwich quickly in a pan before digging in.
I think it’s fair to brag a bit considering how impromptu the whole adventure was. This sandwich really rocked my world. It’s a lick-your-fingers-AND-your-plate kind of scrumptious.

Peeps and Pizza in the Woods of Nelson

As we drove up the hill and entered the center of the quaint village town of Nelson, NH, we were immediately greeted with signs to our destination, The Village Mini-Fair. This was my 11 year old son’s first experience with this camp which lasted almost five weeks. This evenings event was the culmination and showcase of their many days of creating, debating, organizing, unorganizing, singing, swimming, building and evolving. I really had no idea what to expect. But as we parked the car and began to follow the signs, we were ushered into a magical miniature world by the sweetest little mini-flag serenade. My curiosity was peaked.

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The Villagers, as the campers are called, each created a peep at the beginning of their camp time together. This peep of theirs, along with it’s unique personality, would be their voice throughout the remaining camp weeks. One acre of land was partitioned out and this year. It was decided to use land positioned half in the field and half in the forest as some peeps had a strong preference for where they wanted to “make house”. Each peep was then given their portion of land where they would build a shelter to protect them from the forest invaders like slugs, squirrels and other creepy crawlies. I often heard about how a particular peep was “slugged” the night before. Meaning a slug had crawled over them leaving a trail of slug slime as evidence. This was not cool!

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On this special Mini-Fair evening we were invited to participate with our children, by making our very own “insta-peep”.
Attar Insta-Peep Autumn and her peep, Lily
C’mon, who doesn’t adore things in miniature? It was an opportunity to leave behind our everyday and live in an alternate reality for a couple of hours. In peep time, that is a millennia! It was an evening complete with thrilling pint-sized rides, creative games and mini-foods, all made for us by our campers. By changing in our cash currency to the accepted “Leaflets”, this night was ours for the making. I, Amber Gris, and Green Horn, my partner, had a fabulous time taking in the sights together.
My Insta-peep, Amber Gris Erik and his peep, Green Horn
First up for us was a nauseauting whirl on the swinger, designed by my very own son’s peep, Wes, the Australian Herpetologist. That was followed by a swift spin on the Gravity Swings. Then over to watching my daughter’s peep, Lily, rule the ring in more rounds of wrestling than I’ve ever cared to take in. She even won an extra 100 Leaflets as prize money. Not too shabby for a young peep.

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And, oh so near and dear to my heart…the extra-extra-large make your own peeps pizza.
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My nephew and his peep, Dark ninja, and I were immediately lured over by the intoxicating smell of the wood-fired oven. It took all of our Leaflets combined for a big slice of, well…actually rather mini, round of Italian heaven. That’s when everything got more people sized than “peeple” sized for a second. You see, at the table, we were given our dough. We applied some sauce, sprinkled the cheese, spread some mini-pepperonis and whoa, wait-one-peepin‘-minute. Where was it? I felt a moment of panic. Where was it? Where in the world was it? Okay, I’ll admit it. I have an addiction. And I guess my Peep does too!

You see, in my home pizza just isn’t pizza or even mini-peep pizza without the good green stuff….the Oregano. Fortunately, it was my peeps lucky day. Dark Ninja to the rescue. What a smart peep he is! He found the Oregano and we covered that extra-large lil’ pizza with a thick coating. My peep rejoiced as we watched them place our tiny snack into the homemade cob oven that has surprisingly lasted three years of mini-fairs, that’s a lot of peepin’ pizza! Yeah, it’s really fun to insert “peep” into your sentences when ever possible, kinda feelin’ like how the smurfs must feel with smurfy.

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After this, everything went back to “normal”. We were all just a bunch of Insta-peeps talking in foreign and made-up accents, riding zip lines strung through trees, wrestling stranger peeps and appreciating this Village Mini-Fair atmosphere on this beautiful field and forest in the heart of Nelson, NH. At the end of the day, it’s safe to say this peep was pooped, so I found her a cot and called it a night!

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While you many not have a peep at home, perhaps you know a lover of fairies or gnomes? Making up an insta-peep is easy and oh so fun! Gather old-style clothespins, pipe cleaners, scrap cloth and markers and let your imagination guide you. This is a perfect project for young children. Once you have a peep, gnome or fairy, follow the recipe below to make your own extra, extra, large pizzas for an Any-Kinda-Day celebration to share with them. It will surely be a crowd pleaser!

Extra, Extra, Large Peep Pizza

Pizza Dough (either pre-made or homemade)
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Turkish Oregano
(Let Your Peep Choice The Toppings)
Pepperoni
Chili Flakes
Green or Red Peppers Slices
Mushrooms

Roll out dough into small 2-3 inch circles and spread a thin layer of sauce on top. Sprinkle cheese and then the Oregano on and whatever toppings your hear desires. Bake in the oven on 375′ for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy.