Art, a Picnic, and Vegan Squash Casserole

Another good summer day on delmarva!  I’m in a class for the next 7 weekdays so I was trying to get a lot into the 2 days I had off before the class began.  Plus I’ve been feeling pretty strong and having very little pain so I wanted to capitalize on this time.

We had an appointment in Dover Delaware this afternoon so the kids and I decided to make a day of it.   I admit I was a little concerned about driving to Dover and back myself, but I wanted to try.  I packed a lunch and, after dropping the dog off for grooming, we drove north to Delaware.

  (Doesn’t everyone put their packed lunch on the pool table?)

We started with a walk through downtown Dover on our way to the Biggs Museum of American Art.  I was a little concerned when we saw all the police officers closing down the streets as we approached the museum, but it turns out that the new courthouse was having a grand opening.  The nice policeman stopped traffic so we could cross the street, and I chatted with one about the museum as we walked.  It’s a small museum but it’s free.  The first floor houses rotating exhibits (currently a juried show of mid-Atlantic artists interpreting the idea of landscapes) while the second and third house the permanent collections of art and furniture from Delaware.

I really liked the detail on this piece of furniture from the 1800s.  You couldn’t use a flash and I had a difficult time getting any pictures that turned out, but we enjoyed our hour of wandering.

After the museum we used the gps to find a nearby park where we unpacked our lunch and chowed down on pizza, watermelon, chocolate chocolate chip muffins, and water.  There is some dried mango that we ate later for a snack.

The weather was beautiful and we even had some lunch companions.  

Afterwards we played on the equipment and walked around.  There was a dam you could walk over, and we saw a heron take flight from the water.

Yes, my tongue is sticking out.  Apparently I was concentrating hard on coming down the slide.  The cool thing is that I couldn’t have even thought of doing something like this last winter because I was too sore.  I think it’s a combination of the heat, the meds, and my new way of eating that are helping me.  RA is part of who I am but does not define me.  I actually did pretty well with all the driving today and came home and didn’t collapse on the couch but instead cooked dinner.

I wanted to use up the yellow squash I got from my friend’s garden on Sunday for dinner.  I ended making a beans and rice dish with some leftover Chinese rice but the really good part was the squash casserole.

I first made Melody Polakow’s Nutritional Yeast Base Sauce.  I used regular yellow mustard instead of dijon, olive oil, and cornstarch.  Then I let it sit while I got the squash ready.

I cut the squash in half and took out the seeds, and then sliced it thin.  I then sauteed the squash in a pan with a little oil until they were soft.  While the squash was cooking I zapped some rice bread in the food processor to make crumbs, adding some garlic seasoning and salt.   Then I put the squash into a pie plate and ladled about four big spoonfuls of sauce on top of the squash.  (Enough to coat and be bubbly.)  I added the crumbs to the top and sprayed with a little cooking spray, and then put it into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

The picky child said it was “Ok”, but the rest of us loved it.  This was creamy and, while it didn’t taste exactly like what I remember from my childhood, it was really good.  Melody’s sauce recipe makes *a ton* so now I have a lot in the fridge to use later in the week.  The three of us brainstormed about how we could use this, and as a cheese sauce for broccoli was an idea we all liked.

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Summer Goals Update:

Still no soda.  Yay!  I have now posted 3 times this week, which meets my goal for this week.  This is good since I start my class tomorrow and may not have as much time.  But I’m definitely meeting my goal of cooking more.

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