when life gives you zucchini…

Every year around this same time I am looking for ways to use up the overabundance of zucchini I've grown. Luckily I was raised by parents who grew vegetables and also faced the "zucchini deluge" every summer so I'm an old hand at zucchini soup, zucchini bread, stuffed zucchini etc. But last year I felt like I had run through every zucchini-utilization recipe in my arsenal and still had more zucchini than I could give away. That's when I came upon Clotilde Dusoulier's recipe for Chocolate & Zucchini Cake.

I made it spontaneously one Sunday morning when I had a little time before leaving for a picnic in Pt. Reyes. I packaged it up for the picnic along with numerous lunch goodies purchased at the Cowgirl Creamery. When it came time to enjoy our feast by the ocean, the cake turned out to be the hit of the day. My friend Jacqueline declared it was the best chocolate cake she had ever eaten in her life (quite a testimonial, especially given that she is from Germany!)

So today, one year later when I found myself again with a profusion of zucchini and a picnic planned for Pt. Reyes, it seemed like I should continue the tradition. Once again, this cake did not disappoint!

animal log

The kids love spotting animals in the yard so I made them "animal logs"–notebooks with photos and names of all the animals we regularly see out the window of our house. My initial idea was just to encourage their interest and curiosity about nature and the environment but an educational side bonus was teaching them to count by tallying (the background of tally marks is also really interesting.)

jellyfish invasion!

Took the kids to our local SF Bay beach and was shocked to find a jellyfish invasion along the shore. We've seen the occasional one there before, but never anything like the hundreds (thousands?) we saw today. I did a quick Google search to see if there was any kind of seasonal or ecological reason for it but couldn't find anything. Any marine biologists out there who can tell me what's going on?

death in the garden

Even though the autumn equinox is not for a few more weeks and it's still plenty hot here, it's already starting to feel like the end of summer. Early this morning I took down the bean tepee and started pulling out the end of the tomatoes, squash, cucumber, and pepper plants. A few are still producing but not for much longer.

need – theatrical release

I've been so busy editing all the Slow Food footage, I've barely had time to think about (let alone write about) NEED, a feature film I produced a few years ago that's having a small (Bay Area only) theatrical release as part of Rob Nilsson's 9@Night series. It originally premiered at the 2005 Mill Valley Film Festival and I actually haven't seen it since. So it will be fun to see it on the big screen again. It's playing this week at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco and next week at the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. It's been getting a fair amount of local press which is somewhat surprising given the decidedly non-mainstream appeal of the film. ABC news did a short video segment, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an interview with Rob and then Rob also interviewed himself(!) on SF360. If you aren't able to make it out to one of the screenings, you can buy the 9@Night boxed set. Check it out!