August 30, 2008

Ranch Trip - Part 2

We spent 5 days at the ranch. Of lot of that time was spent in the kitchen (a big giant open room), cooking, eating, washing dishes, visiting, and making crafts. A lot of the eating including the bounty from the huge garden (it looks more like a small farm!). Yum!
There was so much zucchini (enormous!) and we discovered a creative way to use it.... "Apple Crisp!" You would never know it was zucchini and not apples. It was delicious! It was so much fun to watch people eat it, and then see their shocked faces when we told them what it was. (see recipe below)

The younger girls spent lots of time making jewelry from the plethora of beads....
... and the teenagers and women made tote bags. Here is one of several I made.
"APPLE CRISP" aka "Ranch Apple" Crisp

8 C. zucchini, peeled, seeded and diced (about the size of canned pineapple chunks)*
2/3 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

In a large saucepan, cook zucchini and lemon juice over medium heat until zucchini is tender. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for a few minutes more. Remove from heat and let sit.

4 C. flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. cold butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir 1/2 of mixture into the zucchini and spread in 10x15" jelly roll pan. Top with remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle on additional cinnamon is desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

OPTIONAL VERSION: Cook the apples in a very large cast iron skillet and just bake it in the same pan.

*Make sure to peel the zucchini completely and remove ALL of the seeds!

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