Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting Ready For A Successful Summer Garden; Bisquick: A Resilient Product, 'Impossible' to Replicate

Three string bean seeds to a coat of dirt comes next. 
So today was the day I finally planted the seeds to what I hope will be a successful second season vegetable garden. The activity was originally scheduled for this past weekend but the weather was damp and cold and I just didn't feel like engaging in a partial outdoor activity. Today, after a cloudy start, the day turned into a perfect, warm and sunny spring day here in New York. Finally!

Clearly in the 'moment', I got the spade, the seeds, the soil, the gloves and the mini-pots and went to work. A grow light will be added this week when I find one that best fits my situation. In an earlier post detailing my plans, the seedlings would be started in my garage. I have a spot (very crude and homemade) near a window that's serviceable for a garden of my size. I had seeds for string beans, zucchini, parsley, oregano. rosemary, basil and dill. I plan on tomatoes as well but have more luck using starter plants that will be available in May.

Dill grows here!
One of the mistakes I made last year was poor labeling. I embedded wooden sticks with the vegetable written in marker in the dirt but after watering for a couple of weeks, the marker wore off and was hard to read. Some of the plants were misplaced while transplanting. This year I labeled the handles of some of the planters, and used the seed envelopes to tuck into pots that had no other place to label. I also grouped seeds separately  and hopefully this will produce better results.

A new vegetable for me this year is zucchini. At brunch yesterday, family members got into a discussion about favorite quiches, two of which were on the menu. I mentioned that I liked making Bisquick's 'Impossible Pie' and often prepare it as a side dish especially in warmer weather. It's like quiche but without the cheese and crust...well, actually probably not like it at all, but a version of quiche perhaps with less calories? Impossible pies come in many forms but a family favorite is one made using zucchini. Being optimistic, I hope that come summer, I will be using my homegrown veggie in this recipe.

I've included the recipe here and a link to the Bisquick website where you can get other recipes and versions of the Impossible Pies. Bisquick is one of those great American companies that innovated and changed with the times and is still a popular product today. Like me, you might remember your mother using the product back in the day, making biscuits (still delicious), pancakes or their famous crumb cake. Here's a bit of history from their website (first two paragraphs) and Wikipedia (last graf).
In 1931, General Mills introduced revolutionary Bisquick convenience baking mix. As the years passed and hairstyles, handbags and hem lengths evolved, Bisquick remained trusted by cooks of all sorts, for all kinds of recipes: biscuits, pancakes, casseroles, pies, stews, and more.
Whether Bisquick was "A World of Baking in a Box" (circa 1940s) a "12-in-1 Mix" (the '50s), or "Pancake Lover’s Unite" (2009), Bisquick has always remained a trusted staple in America's kitchens - and a beloved icon of culture, flavor and convenience.
Bisquick was born when one of their sales executives met a train dining car chef in 1930 who mixed lard and the dry ingredients for biscuits ahead of time. The recipe was adapted, using hydrogenated oil, thus eliminating the need for refrigeration (Sesame oil was originally used as a preservative, identified on the box as "Ingredient S" over the years), and officially introduced on grocers' shelves in 1931. Originally intended for making biscuits very quickly (hence its name), Bisquick can be used to make a wide variety of baked goods from pizza dough to pancakes to dumplings to snickerdoodle cookies.

Impossible Zucchini Pie
3 cups zucchini, sliced thin and diced
1 onion chopped
1 cup Bisquick
4 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced

  • Mix all ingredients together until zucchini is well coated. 
  • Pour into buttered pie plate or square Pyrex dish. 
  • Top with sliced tomatoes, placed evenly. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.

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