Pattypan Squash (baby-sized)

October 25, 2015
It was 11:50 a.m. and I had finally managed to get to the kitchen to start lunch. DinoVino WineScribe was eating elsewhere, so I had only myself to consider, which simplifies the lunch process. On the other hand, my stomach runs in exact connection to the clock, and the stomach-clock says noon is lunchtime.
In the refrigerator was a bag of baby pattypan squash that had been part of the CSA box ten days earlier. Through a combination of events we hadn't been able to fit them into any of the meals since then, so they were definitely ready to be eaten.
As usual, I also had on hand a bowl of cooked mixed grains (millet, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, and white rice), and there were also a few carrots that were feeling lonely and neglected.
Here's how it played out. First thing, I turned the oven to 425 degrees. I washed the baby pattypan squashes and cut them in half horizontally. I could have left them whole, they were so tiny, but I knew they'd cook faster if they were thinner, and fast is what I wanted. I rubbed them with olive oil and put them on a cookie sheet, sprinkling salt and pepper over, then popped them into the oven. Part one was finished.
I quickly peeled three carrots then sliced each lengthwise into six slices (again, the thinner the carrot the faster the cooking), and rubbed them with olive oil. (If I'd been working with larger quantities, it would have made sense to dump all the veggies into a big bowl and anoint them with the olive oil that way. But this meal was just for one—me.) Opening the oven door, I plopped the carrots onto the same cookie sheet as the squash. Part two accomplished.
In a small pan I heated about a cup and a half of the cooked grains, adding a couple tablespoons of water to help them steam. Part three.
While everything was cooking I raced upstairs to get my camera, having decided that the meal might be blog-worthy. I also chose a plate and moved the table over to the window for better light.
And all of a sudden, a mere twenty minutes after turning on the oven, the squash and carrots were tender and the grains were heated. In order to make myself feel pampered, I set onto the plate a bottomless and topless tuna can that we use when we want the food to look fancy. Scooping the grains into the can, I patted them down firmly with the back of a spoon, then gently wiggled the tuna can off, leaving a very cute (see picture) mold of grains.
Racing to the table now by the window, I turned on the camera and clicked the first shot, only to be told by the camera that it needed new batteries. This was my lunch I was photographing! It was going to get cold! Luckily, I knew where to find the two AA batteries needed, so I fitted them in, took some shots, and devoted myself to the task of eating my very nice, very quick vegetarian lunch.


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