Courtesy of Pottery Avenue where we believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and your table serves more than food.  To purchase pieces seen here, visit www.PotteryAvenue.com or call 360-627-7489 for assistance.  One of our helpful stylists will take the time to help you find and select your next dish.

Sometimes we look our own mortality right in the eye.  Be it due to sickness, an accident, or even a near-miss of one.  For myself this week, it was on what would have been my dad's 77th birthday.  My dad was born on the 22nd of July, and he passed away in March of 1999 of a brain aneurysm, he was 55.  I’m turning 55 in September, his birthday was the 22nd, my youngest is turning 22 next week.  It just made me sad this week thinking about it all.  

My relationship with my dad was difficult.  Not everyone’s life is all roses, right?  His father, my grandpa George, was a very strict, tough man, and honestly, he scared me.  I never found him to be a kind man, so the fact that my dad could be, in itself, was a blessing.  I am glad to know it was because of his mom, grandma Ivys, that he had some balance between love and discipline.  My dad also had that very tough edge to him too.  Sometimes the things he would do or say could be hurtful, but now that I am the age he was when he died, it’s made me really think, have I always been fair and kind to my children?  I hope so, but in reality, I’ve made some mistakes too.  Have I said things I wish I could take back?  Yes, I have.  Have I always loved them?  Ohh hell yes, but, I have not always liked them at moments.  In the same way, they probably have not liked me at times.  What I do know is I have tried to be the best mom I can, to support them, and let them make their own decisions, and be there when they need me.  I’m thinking now that even though dad was a challenging man, that he tried to do the best he could too.  It’s easy to sit back and judge when it’s not you you’re having to look at.  Life is not always a pretty story, sometimes it’s that chapter of a book where you read through it with one eye because you know something bad is going to happen.  

I think of all the things my dad has missed out on passing away so young.  Half of my life, and almost all of his grandchildren’s.  It makes me look at the years to come as a gift.  All the years his short life didn’t get to see.  

The moments that I’m looking forward to, one day hopefully, a couple of grandchildren to spoil, more traveling, and retirement.  All the things he never got to do because of a tiny blood clot that made its way to his brain.  Just because he’s gone, doesn’t mean he’s not still here with me.  All the good, the bad, and all the bits in between.  

Happy heavenly birthday Dad! 

Today’s recipe is one I hope he would have tried just to make me happy.  He always said that he was allergic to squash, but in reality, he just didn’t like it.  Maybe because he never had it cooked this way.  It’s one of my family’s all-time favorite summer dishes.  I love this dish because I get to walk out to my garden, pick the zucchini, and it only takes a few minutes to make this delicious recipe.  It is being baked in one of the prettiest dishes I have ever seen.  A fancy rimmed baker in Bellisima!  This piece of Polish Stoneware is just exquisite inside and out!  Regularly $209.99 it is on sale for $167.99. The work and detail of this piece just don’t get any better.  Also pictured is the same baker in Mod Floral.  For all the blue and white collectors out there, this is a must-have, on sale this week for $104.99.  

To purchase any of the pieces shown, please visit The Pottery Avenue by Pangaea website at www.potteryavenue.com.  Use the search button and type in the pattern name or shape and it will bring up all of the pieces available.  Can’t find what you are looking for? Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you.  Use discount code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount.

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Zucchini Au gratin

3 medium zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated fontina cheese 

1/2 cup grated romano cheese 

Salt and pepper

1 cup Italian bread crumbs 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

In the bottom of your baking dish drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Cover with slices of zucchini and pour 1/3 of the heavy cream onto zucchini, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of each of the cheeses.  Mix bread crumbs and garlic powder and cover cheese with 1/3 of bread crumb mixture on top.  Repeat this process two more times ending with the bread crumbs.  Dot the top with two tablespoons of butter and bake at 350 for 40- 50 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.  Let the dish sit for 10 minutes, cut, and serve.