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June is busting out all over! According to the song from the musical, "Carousel," and here at the shore, the flowering trees are bursting, the grass is getting taller, and I have volunteered to cut some of it down, as my mom has miserable hayfever every year. She says that my hayfever is just as bad as hers, and she'll do it herself. Mothers. Go figure.
We do have a real so-help-me carousel just down the coast from here, in Seaside Heights, NJ, and I have been promised a trip down there, to ride it. I have never ridden on a carousel in my life, and Mom says I'm way overdue. This carousel is special, and dates from around the turn of the Century. It has a real military Wurlitzer Organ, and magnificent carved horses, and other wondrous beasts, each with an individual name.
Mom had to go down there in December, to do a story for the local newspaper, and she got to ride on a wooden horse named "Joanie," and she said she hadn't had that kind of fun since she was six. Of course, when she got home and told me, and I confessed that I had never ridden a carousel, she was horrified.
Mom and I adopted each other when I was nine years old, and we continue to learn things about each other that we hadn't suspected. Like my first trip to see Santa Claus, at the Monmouth Mall, that first Christmas that I was here. Or the day that we drove over to the beach at Sandy Hook, just ten miles from here, and I was afraid to go near the surf line, for fear that I'd fall off. She explained the continental shelf to me, and I felt a lot better. But we continue to surprise each other, and it's fun.
Now I tell people that my mother can do anything, from writing novels to building houses, to navigating by the stars, but I'm here to tell you that while nobody ever died from eating her cooking, (she says that once she nearly killed a marine that she was dating, with a pot of coffee -- no, she didn't hit him with it, he just drank some of it) she plain hates to mess around in the kitchen. She built our kitchen cabinets, and paneled the place, and even put down the new floor, but she and cooking don't mix well.
So, it's up to me to feed us.
We are lucky, because we live in a semi-rural shore community, where we don't have to travel far to find a place to picnic, from any number of county parks to our own back yard. I expect that the neighbors will put together a block party again this year, and I have gathered some recipes to share with them, and I'd like to share them with you as well.
Before I get into the recipes, and before I forget, I want to tell you all that Morningstar Farms has a new vegetarian product -- Corn Dogs! I tried them, and they are terrific. Their regular vegetarian hot dogs thickly wrapped in a delicious crusty coating... check the frozen foods section of your supermarket. And for those of you who, like me, are lactose intolerant, Lactaid does make lactose-free ice cream, and that is great, too.
Now for the main events:
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
1/4 lb. mushrooms, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
6 flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Spread bell pepper, onion, zucchini and
mushrooms in ungreased jelly roll pan, 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" by 1".
Mix oil, basil, salt and pepper; brush over vegetables. Bake uncovered 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Cool slightly.
Spread about 2 teaspoons of Mexican Mayonnaise down the center of each tortilla, to within 2 inches of the bottom. Top with vegetables, spreading to within 2 inches of the bottom. Top each with 1/4 cup of lettuce.
Fold one end of the tortilla up about 1 inch over the filling; fold right and left sides over folded end, overlapping. Fold remaining end down.