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Days of Autumn come and go. The sun seems to have lost its warmth and yet keeps on playing hide and seek with my soul, poking in and out of sight.

Yesterday was a sunny day. We put the bikes in the car and drove to the dunes.

Riding the bikes on the dunes somehow has a magically calming effect. The flora and fauna seem to have taken control of the landscape forcing it to entropy.
You might think, so what? Entropy is the rule of the universe. And you may be right.
Yet, this is a rare phenomenon in a country like the Netherlands where man has been fighting nature for centuries, trying to create dry land from the seabed. The sand of the dunes forced in place once serves to protect the recuperated land from the claims of the sea waters.
And it is on this piece of land, that birds find dwelling, swans bat their wings and plants find a way to grow and thrive.. An ecosystem evolves and dazzles with its complexity and its indifference to the man made expectation and claims.

In a way, it is ironic. In another way it is mystical. Nature finds a way.

So, we went biking. And biking. Stopping now and then to observe the landscape. By the mid afternoon, we reached the beach. There was barely any wind and everything seemed extremely peaceful. Not many people either. Just a few seagulls.
We had cookies and tea and stayed there until sundawn.

No cooking for today:)

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I remember first seeing zucchini blossoms as a child.

They were large and brightly colored orange and I somehow knew they were drinking cups for little summer fairies, used by them to drink the morning dew.

My grandmother would cook them in the oven after stuffing with rice and serve them for a light summery lunch with a tomato salad.
When we had guests over she would stuff them with feta cheese and herbs and coated by a mix of flour. Then she would throw them in a hot olive oil pan and make them golden.

Walking in the garden of the vacation house this morning, I couldnt help notice the zucchini plant blooming..
I had been obsessing over cooking some zucchini blossoms for a couple of years but somehow i was never at the house at the right time of the season so you must understand how excited and surprised I was.

Its important to pick the flowers up in the morning, before the sun comes up. Otherwise they will close.

There are 2 types of flowers. Male and Female ones… The male flowers grow from the stem of the plant, while the female flowers grow on the end of each emergent zucchini.

(female flower collected at the wrong moment…see how the petals are closing?)

(male flowers collected at dawn)

After collecting the flowers, you must remove the pistils and stamens as they taste very very bitter.
Wash them delicately and prepare the stuffing.

For the feta one, I combine feta, fresh mint and parsley, egg yolks and occasionally a drop of honey.
For the rice ones, I make a mixture of rice, zucchini, peterselie, onion and garlic.
There are a lot of different recipes out there and I would encourage you to experiment with them trying to create your flavor. You can easily add an ingredient or remove one from any of the above suggestions.


Tip:
You can keep the stem of the male flowers while they cook. Its very handy as you can hold the flower from the stem and prevent damaging the delicate petals.

One of my favorite singers Kathy Mattea once said..
“Chocolate’s okay, but I prefer a really intense fruit taste. You know when a peach is absolutely perfect… it’s sublime. I’d like to capture that and then use it in a dessert.”

I always thought of ripe peaches as the epitome of summer flavor..sweet, juicy, delicate..

So, when I arrived at the vacation house a few days ago and saw that we had ripe peaches i couldnt resist plucking some from the tree.

The first sweet thing I craved were slices of peaches with a touch of caneel.

The second, was sweet milky icecream.

The third.. the sweet peach icecream made in a vintage ice cream maker.

To be honest, I wasnt quite certain whether it would work..but fortunatelly..it did!

So there you are dears,

Yum Yum peaches in a milky heaven!





Last night, I arrived at the village house with my dog charlotte.
The village house is the family vacation house, situated in an island called Evia, north east of Athens.
The name of the village is Kalimeriani, which in greek literally means good side (kali=good, meria=side).
The view is indeed pretty good. One can gaze the valeys and the mountains all the way to the sea.

As with most holiday houses, the house is empty half the year which means that every time I put the key at the door, it feels like time had frozen all year long and will start again. Its like last summer was yesterday..
Furniture and utensils covered with dust cloths, the house silently had been waiting for a winter and a spring..until on a warm August afternoon, I had arrived!

This morning, waking up reality caught up with me.. Dust Covers removed, kitchen cleaned and groceries done at a nearby village. Doing my groceries around noon, was definately not a smart idea. The sun at its brightest, sizzled my skin and left me breathless and feverish.

Thats when i decided i would be making icecream!

I bought chocolate and decided to bake cookies in order to make a thick lucious chocolate ice tart when i found an odd shaped bowl that my lucky guess is, it was a vintage ice cream maker!!!!
I cant remember my grandma ever using it…ever! And she is no longer here so i can ask…
Nevertheless..i pulled some white flesh peaches off our peach tree and did my best to make a peach flavored vintage style home made ice cream!

I have to stir frequently until it solidifies..right?
Dear readers, keep your fingers crossed…tomorrow we are having peach icecream!