The slanting morning light has a thinner appearance this morning and the cool air snaps a bit with a crisp touch to the skin. Bright red tomatoes on taut stems and droopy leaves beg to be picked. Pendulous poblanos deep green with peppery promise await tender ministrations.
Autumn harvest is a time of great industry following the spring beginnings and the enthusiastic summer nurturing. This knowledge is comforting when the days move too fast to do all that seems necessary. I’m grateful for the reminder there is a season for everything. There will be time later in October for raking up leaves, right now we need to celebrate the bounty of summer! And this is good time to reflect on the friendship nurtured in the summer nights spent moon-gazing on the dunes, early morning walks in the dew before the heat of the day, and languid afternoons on the porch with the sound of surf pounding on rocks as the background to conversation, a cold drink and a light repast.
These good times are often associated with shared meals and sometimes recipes too. Today I open the folder marked “Vegetables” and pull out the cherished recipes written in the hand of distant friends and the echoes of friendships from other stages of life. I celebrate the access to information in the online search, but I do dearly love my bits of paper too! That includes the clippings with notations indicating family favorites and new finds and most especially, the index cards, once the research tool of students everywhere and used by home cooks to record and share.
Friends of the heart, described by the renowned author and social scientist Lillian Rubin in her book Just Friends, are characterized by a mutual understanding that transcends the time and place of the initial friendship. It’s a deep relationship that is felt as well as experienced. This is in contrast to friends of the road whose friendship is rooted and therefore lost when we move on in our lives. As I shuffle the cards I see both kinds of friendships represented and I honor them all because whenever the hand of friendship is extended it’s a welcome sign of our humanity and resilience.
My Vegetable file yields it own bounty. There is Julia’s broccoli salad from Linda B, Mary’s pumpkin bread, Chuck’s zucchini casserole from Carolyn, Bron’s Carrot Cake, Clarence’s cucumbers, and for those poblanos, Terry’s Chiles Rellenos.
Terry’s Chiles Rellenos
Use fresh cored and seeded poblanos (4 small) or jar of tuscan peppers, rinsed
Stuff with monterey jack cheese, shredded or sliced into matchsticks
Dredge in flour
Separate 3 eggs. Beat whites to soft peaks. Beat yolks until creamy with 1Tbsp water, 3 Tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt
Fold yolks and whites together gently
Heat 1 inch oil in frying pan. Dip one pepper at a time into egg to coat, place on saucer and slide into oil.
Brown until crisp, turn with spatula until brown on all sides.
Remove with tongs and drain on paper towel.
Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt, chopped green onion and my fresh Pico de Gallo.
For additional Step by Step Instructions See Below
Photos by Claire Mauro