Mid Summer

We have been very busy with guests at the Maison, but even as the days are filled with activity there is a sense that summer is passing rather quickly and fall seems just around the corner. This week it has been hot, but days are markedly shorter and the momentum is towards the future season. From our windows we have such a pretty view of the landscape and the big sky with an ever changing tableau. The full moon this week has been an occasion to bring out the telescope again. The moon as it rises, about our bedtime, is large, golden and low in the sky. We tend to want to give it a close look before heading to bed each night.

While we don’t have hummingbirds here in France, we do have hummingbird moths and they are a positive delight. They are insects, not birds, although they look and behave very much like their namesakes.

I was able to finally finish my silk eco-dyed wall hanging, which I have been working on for almost a year. We hung it in our office. The silk, which I purchase from a Parisian supplier, is satin silk, very pleasant to the touch.

Emily and James sent us a recipe for a delightful summer treat, pickled zucchini, which I am passing on to you. I’m not normally a huge zucchini fan, but I do like pickles and these ones are easy to gobble up next to almost any luncheon or dinner meal. And they’re healthy too.

Zucchini Pickles

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini (16 oz), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (small handful) fresh dill sprigs
  • 1 small fresh red chili pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar

Instructions

Toss the zucchini, onion, shallots, and salt together in a colander and place over a bowl to catch the liquids. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. Toss once or twice along the way. Get as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible. When you’re finished draining the zucchini, shake off any water. The zucchini should be as dry as possible. Place in a 1 quart jar along with the dill, chili pepper, and mustard seeds. Combine the vinegars and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and continue to boil for a few minutes. Pour the liquid over the zucchini and seal the jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. The pickles last for a week or so in the frig.

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