There comes a time in every gardener's life--often, say, early August-- when usually-petite, soft-spoken, and sometimes foreign vegetables become hulking, tough, intractable bludgeons. This is such a time.
Our absent hosts, whose home we are enjoying perhaps too thoroughly, have an excellent little veggie garden bursting with produce. "Eat some zucchini!" they ordered us on the way out the door. And wanting to be invited back next year, we did. We've sliced it into tacos, we've chopped it into frittatas, we've grated it into muffins, we've blended it into breads, we've sent some home with visitors and we've (I've) used it as a prop in an off-off-off-Broadway production of Our Town.
The 'Stock, as all the hepcats call it, is nestled near to some very excellent hiking, so Sophster and I have been doing a fair amount of trekking into the mountains.
Even Pierre, who is a consummate city slicker, joined us on a couple of jaunts. In fact, the three of us have been up Millbrook Mountain three times already. Missing his native France, as he does, Pierre is often on the lookout for truffles (sometimes just inches along sniffing the ground), but really he's just a sucker for fungi in general. Weren't we excited, then, to see such an impressive display of fungal conk as we tramped along the trail at Minnewaska...
He and I have been working on cultural sensitivity this summer (time was when would talk of nothing but French fries, French doors, French horns, and, I'm reluctant to admit: French kisses), so I was quite pleased when Pierre offered up a more charitable summit summation as he and Sophie and I gazed down at Mr. Hudson's valley from the top of a Catskill mountain. He tipped his head toward the east and chirped: "The Dutch do nice work!"