Zucchini Ribbons with Velvet Onions & The Mystery of the Green Bag

Jul 10, 2011

Upon our return from Italy last night we realized a few things:  we are tired, which is silly considering we relaxed very hard while there…I’m thinking this had something to do with 19 hour travel day with five kids, two long-haul flights, time changes, system breakdown of in-flight entertainment, the airline somehow having us down as Asian Vegan Allergies which, on board, translates into 1 (single) carefully Saran-wrapped plain rice cake with margarine on the side, seats not together, and, at landing, standing like lame flamingos, legs up, necks craned, waiting for the last bag.

The mystery of the green bag (TMOTGB) starts a few years ago, when it was lost in North Africa.  And then again in Florida.  And again in Argentina.  Is this bag a fancy bag? It is not.  Land’s End, monogrammed, yes, because it was a gift from Grammie who has a bit of a fetish with the initials (no, we do not need our Hefty trash bags monogrammed but thanks).  This bag matches in style and size all of the other bags.  We check 6, 12, 10.  Yesterday, we checked 9 bags.  All came back…except for the green bag.

This bag is Daniel’s.  All of his nearly 10-year-old summer clothes are in it.  He has no shorts.  No shirts. No underwear.  No socks.  No swimming costume.

And, let’s just get this out there in the interest of full disclosure, I have lost my cheese.  This is not an expression that’s yet to hit where you live.  I have literally lost the wheel of cheese I so carefully cut and vacuum wrapped in Italy.  Also, the runny Girasole (sunflower) honey that tastes so incredibly good with said cheese.  And the cherries from my dad’s house that are soaked in sugar and water and left to cure in the sun.

And the bag itself.

At this point, we’re pretty sure the bag is cursed.  My younger brother said he’s lost 2 bags in 15 years – both green.  My one bag that I had damaged and left to rot in the Heathrow runway was green.  Is this some sort of conspiracy we don’t know about?

Oh, it would be easier to deal with hours of speaking to people about bags if I hadn’t been up at 4am and ready for bed by 2pm.  Also, if I had more zucchini ribbons.

Zucchini Ribbons with Velvet Onions

2 onions

1/4 cup best olive oil

4-6 Small Zucchini

sea salt


Cut the bottom (hairy) bit of the onion and trim the top. Slice 1/4 thick pieces from top to bottom. This will give you bulb-shaped pieces. Pour half olive oil into deep pan. Heat onions on medium, stirring every now and again while you prep the zucchini. Trim tops and ends from zucchini. Using vegetable peeler (or mandolin), make thin, lengthwise slices to create ribbons. They will resemble wide pasta noodles. Salt the ribbons and let them sit while the onions soften. Once they are just starting to color, turn the heat down slightly, add the zucchini, salt a bit more, add pepper and more oil. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove cover and turn heat up, not fussing with stirring or you will break the ribbons. As soon as zucchini is bright green and just semi-tender, remove from heat and serve. Do not let baggage handlers do this for you.