Friends, it is going to be Labour Day!
This coming weekend!
I have to say it: How did this happen?
Actually, I have a pretty good idea of how it happened, but it still seems incredible that even my time to make up for lost time this summer is coming to a close.
In response, my husband and I have spent the past few days tearing around our city and its surrounding areas in full staycation mode, dragging our children from one picturesque location to the next, camera at the ready, trying to eke out as much carefree living as we can before getting down to the serious work that will come with September.
In spite of the summer's having fled by at an astonishing pace, with me and my apron flapping haplessly along behind it, I am determined to make the most of what is left of its bounty.
And what a bounty it is! This has been the most dreamy of seasons for produce in our area, and we have been gobbling up blueberries, peaches, corn and tomatoes by the handful.
So it isn't that we haven't been eating the good stuff.
It's just that I haven't really been cooking it much - unless you consider grilling to be the same thing as cooking, which I do not.
I do support the popular notion that really good, fresh food needs little adornment to make it tasty and lovely, but I have to admit that I am ready to get seriously back into the kitchen.
So much so that yesterday, after a day at the beach and despite the high temperature outside, I made this lovely curry. We ate it out on our deck, the smells from our neighbours' barbecues wafting around us.
And, for possibly the first time this summer, I didn't feel like I was missing a thing.
The best part of this dish is the curry paste. You pound it together yourself, using a mortar and pestle, which is equal parts aggravating and gratifying - but so worth it!
3 cloves garlic, chopped
a 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tbsp Madras curry powder
1/4c vegetable oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp brown sugar
6 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into slices 1/2" thick
1 can (398ml) coconut milk
a handful of roasted cashews
a handful of fresh coriander leaves
To make curry paste, first bash together garlic, ginger and sea salt in a mortar and pestle until a coarse paste forms. Add cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, and curry powder, and keep pounding until mixture is fairly smooth and cohesive. Set curry paste aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion slices and sugar and cook, stirring, until golden, 8-10 minutes.
Turn heat down to medium-low and add curry paste to pot. Cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about a minute. Add zucchini to pot and stir well. Add coconut milk.
Bring just to a boil, then stir well, cover and simmer until zucchini is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cashews and fresh coriander.
Serve with steamed rice.