Coming Home


 “I’m coming home;  I’m coming home;

Tell the world I’m coming home!”   J. Cole Lyrics


An incredible adventure is so enriching but even while experiencing the excitement our thoughts often drift longingly to home.  This is your comfort zone, the place where you can totally relax and be yourself.  Thoughts of sleeping in your own bed conjure comfort and safety.   Although I have been sleeping in my own bed, I have felt very displaced since the kitchen remodel project has been underway, approaching 6 weeks now.  Can you believe it?  If you have been following you know it has not been without frustration.  Even though I must report still being stoveless, I believe we have resolved the issue by canceling our order with the original company and purchasing the same stove from another vendor.  I did have to settle for a floor model that comes with a little scratch on the front panel but was reduced in price by several hundred dollars which eased the pain a bit.  The real bonus is I actually got to touch it and I am feeling very confident after all that has happened, I will have a stove by Thursday.   That said, the need to settle into the new space has taken over and I have spent the last week lining cupboards and drawers and reclaiming my space.  I found myself singing the above song lyric as I hung the pot rack and lovingly placed my cookware.  The empty bookcase that has been calling to me is now filled with the cherished works of my precious culinary “friends.”  Welcome home, Julia et al!  I am so happy to be back in your company.  photo

It has been a bit like Christmas and I am feeling empowered as I unpack and decide on the new location for my tools and equipment.  The above song goes on to say,

“Back where I belong; I never felt so strong, Feeling like there’s nothing that I can’t try, If you feel me, put your hands up high.”

This reflects my joy as I continue the process of re-establishing my favorite space.  Perhaps I can write about the first meal cooked in my new kitchen next time.  Keep those positive thoughts for me, a chef without a kitchen is like a fish out of water.  I am, however, getting closer to home, there is no place like it, right Dorothy?


Meanwhile, I do have a new grill recipe for you.  If you garden you know how prolific even one zucchini plant can be.  With the season upon us, we are always in search of new and creative ways to prepare it.  Last night I roasted it on the grill with a spice rub that ordinarily I associate with meats.  The result was very flavorful.  Here’s how it goes.

SMOKY GRILLED ZUCCHINI                           Serves 6

Recipe by Alice Ladman

3 medium zucchini

1T Extra-virgin olive oil

½ t Sea salt

½ t freshly ground black pepper

1 t smoked paprika

1-2 t brown sugar

Fresh limes for squeezing

  1. Heat the grill to medium-high.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and rub them with the olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika and sugar. Rub this mixture over the zucchini.
  4. Grill the zucchini until tender and charred, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

The smokiness of the paprika paired with the sweetness of the sugar really amps up the rather dull flavor of the squash.  Add a squeeze of lime for a bit of acidity and you have a perfect balance.  I just used 1t of sugar as my palate leans to savory but you can adjust to taste.  Quick and easy, it can be served hot or at room temperature.  Try not to overcook it as it will get mushy.  I keep an eye on it and cook just until crisp tender, the time will vary depending on the temp of your grill.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  I have a feeling you will view zucchini differently after eating it prepared this way.


So the saga continues but I am optimistic a new story will prevail as the week progresses.  My creative juices refuse to be squelched as I resume the task of reclamation and coming home.  Keep me in your thoughts and let me know what you are grilling up these days as you continue to spread the love, one dish at a time.  From my grill to yours, I send my love and best summer wishes.  Jeanne




9 responses to “Coming Home

  1. Elizabeth Palmer

    Great news about the stove installation this week! Other than the usual portabella mushrooms and some asparagus earlier in the season, I have not grilled too many vegetables yet this summer. I look forward to trying this zucchini recipe. And I look forward to eggplant which will soon be abundant; it is so delicious on the grill…

    Good to see your cookbooks in their new home. It looks like have many of the same titles as you!

    • Hi Elizabeth. I am not holding my breath but feeling more hopeful than before. The cookbooks are just part of my collection I have many more but these are some of my favorites. I love eggplant on the grill. Do a search on my blog for a grilled eggplant I posted last year or so. I use Japanese eggplant and roast it whole. Check it out. Fingers crossed for Thursday. Thanks again for your remarks. I appreciate hearing from you. Jeanne

  2. It’s what for dinner tonight!!! So glad I checked your post before dinner. We were planning to grill zucchini along with our fish. I have the required ingredients, so why not try your zucchini recipe?!? It sounds wonderful. I like the idea of just slicing it in half lengthwise…something different for us.
    Your kitchen looks grand. I’m sure your treasures were just as pleased to be back where they belonged as well!
    As always, so enjoy your blogs 🙂

  3. Thanks, Kathy, you are so kind. I think you will like this zucchini recipe. Easy and tasty. My husband doesn’t even like zucchini and he really enjoyed it. Good timing, huh? Say a prayer I get my stove. Thanks again for your comments. Let me know what you think of the recipe. I served it with grilled lamb chops. How about you? Take care. Jeanne

  4. Can’t wait to see what promises to be a very special stove, honored to be in the hands of Queen Jeanne who will make magic on its surface!

    • I am beginning to think I may never get the chance. I am holding onto the hope of Thursday delivery. I am dying to do some cooking. Real cooking that is. Thanks for the comments and sweet words. Jeanne

  5. Yummy-yum! My hubby does not particularly like zucchini either, but said ithis preperation was so much different, he may decide to like it!!! I’m sure it was definitely the rub that convinced his taste buds! Our main course was catch of the day (sea bass) caught off the SC coast by a local fisherman. Sorry I am not a lamb fan. Have tried it many ways, just can’t acquire the taste. Leg of lamb was my Dad ‘s favorite.

    • So glad you and your husband liked it. I think grilled curried zucchini might be a good combo. I am going to try it. Sea bass sound delicious. I love fresh seafood. The ease of this recipe is perfect for summer. Love your feedback.

  6. Jeanne, I can practically ‘feel’ how much that cavernous space in your cabinets (where your stove belongs) added to your remodeling angst and disrupted your culinary soul — you write so vividly! Hoping you & the stove are settled in by now!

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