From Groton to Gratin

Swimming in Groton

Swimming in Groton

Yesterday we were on the tail end of a trip to Ricker Pond State Park to camp overnight with friends.  It is part of Groton State Forest which, I learned a couple days ago, is the second largest state landholding.  I am guessing the first is Camel’s Hump State Forest.  That is a big one, too.  We swam lots and ate s’mores and slept on the bumpy lumpy campsite floor and listened to loons.  We had a fine time, squeezing one more tent adventure into our summer.

The summer is fading fast.  This evening, after dinner, feels a little like fall.  The light is swinging around and it is getting darker earlier.  The air has a bit of a chill.  But we are having none of it.  Tonight I crafted a summer gratin and I am, as I write, making the turns that will result in peach ice cream.  That is as summer as it gets.

This gratin is a dandy of a dinner.  Made with almost all local ingredients (hard to get local olive oil and parmesan round here) it is hot and crisp and juicy and just plain old delicious.  The basics:

1. Slowly saute a bunch of onions or leeks (I used both–bunching onions from our CSA and leeks from our garden) and add garlic at the end

2. Slice up tomatoes, potatoes par-boiled to get them nice and tender), zucchini and yellow squash and mix with oil and herbs

3. Arrange in layers with parmesan and cheddar in between, tossing in salt and pepper and fresh herbs (I used thyme and basil grown right here)

4. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan and bake at 375 degrees for 70 minutes.

5.  Cool ten minutes and serve it up

6. You got yourself a gratin.

Gratin Just Prior to Consumption

Gratin Just Prior to Consumption

I’m telling you, it is tasty–fresh hot and delicious and the pizza box says.  Yesterday we were in Groton; today gratin was in us.

The sun fades on a perfect August day.  The clouds are tipped in pink and yellow.  Black eyed susans and day lilies bloom along the edge of the field.  Crickets chirp.  The smell of freshly cut hay drifts across the fields.  And peach ice cream on the way.  That’ll do.

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