Pasta salad and grandmothers

Good news: all of the blueberry muffins are gone! This morning was “preternals,” where everyone wakes up at 4:30 am to hike before breakfast. It sounds difficult and unpleasant, but it’s really nice and you get to see the sunrise in a beautiful place. However, it would be slightly less pleasant on a completely empty stomach, so we gave each group a bag of leftover muffins. That and the staff’s voracious snacking the previous night finished the muffins off. We still have lots of leftover other things, so Maia and I are rearranging our lunch schedule so we can have a leftovers lunch before we leave for our backpacking trips in a couple days.

For lunch we made a vinaigrette-ish (ish because we’re running out of olive oil and vinegar both) roasted vegetable pasta salad. I’m quite pleased with it and plan to photograph a bowl of it later when I eat some leftovers (surprise surprise — there are tons of leftovers!).

First we roasted three trays of vegetables:
summer squash and zucchini from Vini’s garden
leftover carrot sticks
garlic cloves
cherry tomatoes
red onions
red and green bell peppers
Then we made a whole ton of ziti. We attempted to make 12 lbs of pasta in one giant pot, but that did not end up working very well, as you may well imagine. Live and learn, I suppose. We mixed the pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, the vegetables (which, particularly the onions, were kind of slimy and hard to chop up), salt, pepper, and chopped parsley. The meat eaters got sauteed chicken and the vegetarians got a number 10 can of northern beans. Then we put bowls of black olives (apparently that’s a controversial food) and parmesan (separate so that I could easily eat the salad and so that every person could regulate cheese quantities) on the tables.

Tonight we’re making chili and cornbread, so as soon as the dishwashers — who are super fast and excellent — are done with lunch dishes, I’m going to start baking. We’re using my great-grandmother’s recipe for cornbread, which my mom just emailed to me, and Maia’s grandmother’s recipe for chili, isn’t that sweet?

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