One of my favorite cookbooks was given to me by my mom's cousin, Bobbie, as a wedding gift 5 years ago. With it's stains, burns, and broken binding, it looks much older than 5 years. I love cookbooks and read them like novels. Hollyhocks and Radishes is so wonderful for that. Each section is accompanied by a letter from Judy Chard, who ran a vegetable stand in the Les Cheneaux Islands. This is where we went on our honeymoon and I'll never forget reading it cover to cover on the way through Wisconsin the day after our wedding.
Furthermore, pink post-it notes litter the Chappell's favorite recipes. They say things like, "Yum yum. For Cindy when Wendy was stuck in Canada in a terrible snow storm" (Mother Ratliff's Brunswick Stew) and "Wendy made this for Grossmama and Kate (Where was I !?!) Jan. 94. 'Very good with rice,' she says" (Hunters' Stew with Apple Cider)
The recipe I made last night didn't have a post-it note, but I think I'll add one of my own. Maybe it will say, "Delicious!! Our 5th anniversary weekend, Sophie's first zucchini"
2 Large Potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion
2 medium zucchini, cut in small chunks
4 tomatoes, cut in small chunks
2 carrots, thinly sliced
Thyme and marjoram to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 c. dry white wine
2-3 T butter
1 c. small, fresh bread cubes
2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
Prehead oven to 375.
In an ungreased, shallow 8x11-inch casserole, layer vegetables in order given, seasoning each layer with sprinklings of thyme and marjoram, salt and pepper to taste.
Pour wine over all. Cover and bake 1 hour.
Melt butter in small skillet, then stir in bread cubes until they've absorbed butter. Sprinkle cheese over casserole, then buttered bread cubes. Bake, uncovered, another 15-20 minutes.
Note: The casserole may be prepared a couple hours ahead, except for last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, keeping at room temperature in the interim.
I halved the recipe, knowing my co-eaters wouldn't be as thrilled with this as me. It would be easy too, I think, to make just a single serving in a lovely ceramic dish.