Tomatos 2012 (continued)

Just another way to enjoy those delicious homegrown tomatoes.  Thanks to HH for grilling the carne asada and keeping the indoor Diner cool!


Zucchini Bread – Summer treat and the christening of Art’s Mixer

Summertime, the perfect time for zucchini bread, what a way to use all of that zucchini that gets harvested.  This time the zucchini was complements of my new friends in Napa and their abundant garden.  (Thanks Penny and Bonnie!)


The zucchini was huge, enough for lots of zucchini bread, and even a bit more for the freezer so I can bake more in the winter.


And the perfect way to christen Art’s Mixer at Holly’s Diner!  You can find the recipe on the menu.  It’s under Guest Chefs, Brenda’s Zucchini Bread.



Art's Mixer

I’m having writer’s block.  And I realize that it is not for just one reason, but two.  I know what they both are so it’s time to get past them by ‘fessing up.


The first reason – it’s been hot!  It seems like it’s been hot all summer.  I know, its summer time and it’s supposed to be hot, but usually there is some relief and my “nesting” instincts are allowed to simmer a bit with some good Diner cookin’.  Not this summer.  The two times I have decided to turn on the oven “no matter what!” have been for deep-dish pizza at 450º on the day that it topped out at 105º outside!  Then I did it again this past weekend for cookie baking on a 96º day, more about the cookies later.


HH has been very patient with a lot of sandwiches this summer, good thing there were homegrown tomatoes for all those sandwiches.


The second reason – Art’s Mixer.  This mixer should not cause writer’s block, but the truth is I am so grateful, excited, touched and generally overwhelmed to have it, it has.  I have had it for about two months.  I look at it every day, multiple times a day, and can’t believe it’s sitting on my counter.  Here’s the story:


About two months ago when I was in the San Jose/Gilroy area for the Gilroy Garlic Festival, I spent some time with my friend Donna.  If you have stopped by Holly’s Diner before, you have heard about Art & Donna.  Art’s Special Sauce is featured on the menu, Donna’s Pyrex mixing bowls (which she gave to me about ten years ago) are a staple for mixing at the Diner.  Art & Donna introduced me to the Honey Walnut Shrimp at Taiwan in Willow Glen, and much more.


Anyway, since Art passes away six years ago, Donna has shared with me a few of Art’s treasured kitchen items (a cast iron kettle for one) that I love and treasure every time I use them.  This visit, Donna asked if I had a counter top mixer.  I told her yes.  She paused and said she wondered if I would like Art’s counter top mixer.  (My eyes are starting to water just thinking about this!!)


I was thrilled.  I was stunned.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I would LOVE Art’s counter top mixer, but I didn’t think I should be the one to have it.  She disagreed and said if I would like it, I should pack it up and enjoy it.  Oh my gosh!  I did pack it up and warned HH that if it didn’t fit on the counter where the other mixer rests, well…  HH said if it didn’t fit we could remodel the kitchen so that it would.  Wow!  That’s why I love HH.  He knew how much this mixer means to me and was willing to do whatever was needed to make sure it fit at the Diner.


Art’s mixer finally made it back to the Diner with me.  This is a beautiful Kitchen Aid Professional series six-quart mixer with an arm that moves the bowl up and down (instead of the top of the mixer) that was Art’s pride and joy when he got it to go in his canning kitchen in the garage.  It is a matted pewter grey color that is so heavy duty it deserves to be placed prominently on any counter, and is displayed with pride and love at Holly’s Diner.  I really like the mixer, but I love what this mixer stands for and means to me.


By the way, although Art’s Mixer did not fit on the counter where the former mixer was (the counter top is higher at this location), it did fit on a neighboring counter just right!  So no remodeling of the kitchen was necessary, just re-organizing of the counter tops.


Okay, I think I have that off my chest.  Thank you for listening to the story of Art’s Mixer and having patience during the writer’s block.  Let the baking, cooking and sautéing begin!!