Summer Series, Day Two: Crock Pot Steamed Summer Vegetables
The sun was beaming in the window when I finally opened my eyes this morning. I had to look around for a minute and remember there wasn’t school or camp or work or anything to rush off to this morning. Today’s to do list included the pool and the beach. I was pretty sure I could accomplish those tasks so I rolled back off to sleep as the sun soared into the sky and the light in the room subdued. Granted, it was only another hour or so before my kids were knocking at the door and ready for breakfast, but I awoke again with a great calm and a readiness for an adventure.
One thing doesn’t change no matter where I sleep– my desperate need for coffee in the morning. Lucky for me, Ooh La La‘s kitchen was totally equipped. Every appliance (COFFEE POT AND KEURIG!) needed was readily available and the cabinets were full of the comforts of home– not just dishes and cups, but tupperware, travel mugs, grill tools, fruit baskets. I was completely at home even though I was still uncaffeinated!
After an easy breakfast, I skipped off to the grocery store, categorized list in hand. Oh, you missed that in the last post? HERE YOU GO. But whoa— I must warn you… the grocery store was full of crazy people without a plan. It was like playing Supermarket Sweep but with a Hunger Games approach. Despite my greatest organization, it still took longer than anticipated to get through the store, but the good news is that everything I needed was in stock. Since I brought all of my basics and non-perishables with me, I didn’t really need the aisles, just a lap around the perimeter of the store.
While I know that I’ll be at the local Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, I still needed some produce today. We were planning on a BBQ tonight with hamburgers and hot dogs, so I decided that I would steam some veggies in the crock pot as my side. The good news was that the store also had great little packages of fresh herbs and I totally stocked up.
The groceries and prep work for dinner tonight took just over an hour and then it was off to the pool! The house seriously has it’s own swimming pool. I want to live here. Like, not just this week, but from here on out. The pool is just big enough for all the kids and grown ups to get in and play. The youngest played on the stairs mostly and the oldest kept trying to see if his cannonball could splash over the fence. Oh wait– you thought I meant my oldest kid? Nope, that was my husband trying to tsunami the pool!
After the pool and a light lunch we crossed over the sand dunes to the beach. There is something about the waves that is so cathartic. I feel such peace at the waves, listening to them crash and then pull everything negative away. There is something that reaches my soul when I stand at the waves and realize I have to relinquish all control. I can’t make them stop. I can’t make them crash. I can’t protect my sand castle or demand that the water fill the mote. I can just breathe and trust that none of it is my handiwork and that the water will continue to rise and fall and I don’t have to do anything. Much like dinner tonight– there is nothing left to do but breathe and enjoy.
Crock Pot Steamed Summer Vegetables
4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 lb asparagus, rinsed and woody ends removed
1 package button mushrooms (doesn’t matter what size package, they are mushrooms, they’ll fit!)
6-8 twigs of fresh thyme
3-4 twigs of fresh rosemary
1 c. water
Layer vegetables and herbs in the crockpot– I put in zucchini first, then 2-3 sprigs thyme; add asparagus and a couple sprigs of rosemary; then the mushrooms and the remaining seasonings. Pour in the cup of water around the edges so that the water covers the bottom of the crock pot. The vegetables will release enough additional liquid to continue the cooking process. Cook on low for 4 hours, then serve. You can remove the herbs or use them as garnish.