Friday, July 25, 2008

Zucchini Alert!


Yes, it's that time of year again. Roll up your windows, and lock your doors, because your colleagues, neighbors, and friends of friends may harbor a summer squash plant in their garden. If they do, and you aren't vigilant, sacks of the seasonal vegetable will suddenly appear on your car seat when you step back from that post office errand. The most commonly grown squash in this region is the little zucchini, or not so little if the gardener lets them get out of hand. A herd of voles hollowed out a two-footer in my mother's garden, and set up contented housekeeping inside it some years ago. As a college roommate of mine once quipped, a single properly irrigated plant produces enough zucchini to feed a family of twelve throughout summer. Californians have been trying to invent new ways to use up excess zucchini ever since they became fashionable to grow - grilled zucchini, stuffed zucchini, pureed zucchini soup, zucchini bread, zucchini quiche, zucchini hidden in meatloaf, and as I discovered being prepared at a recent farmer's market, zucchini fritters! To your health.

22 comments:

Kris McCracken said...

First, my apologies for a bit of cut and paste commenting. I have been doing the rounds via Bloglines and looking at all the pictures from my favourite photo blogs, but haven’t been leaving comments. Generally, I try to comment as much as I can (I know how good it is for ‘morale’ to know that someone is out there appreciating them), but after the birth of my second son, I am a bit knackered to think up something witty and insightful on the hop. Thus the resort to Control+C and Control+P!

Kris from Hobart, Tasmania.

Abraham Lincoln said...

My wife warned me not to accept any zucchini from the neighbors. She doesn't want to make anything with suzzhini in it. LOL

Have a nice weekend,

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville Daily Photo

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love the idea that your nieghbors leave sacks of them in other nieghbors cars! How great is that? Very, I think.
Great photo too, interesting to look at.

Halcyon said...

I like zuchnini! My favorite use is in zuchini chili.

I planted some seeds in my vegetable garden. Those suckers take over everything! They totally blotted out my peppers, but luckily have not bothered the tomatoes too much. They have yet to produce any fruit though.

Kym said...

Zucchini grated in the salad, bbq-ed with oil and garlic, stirred into spagetti--yum! I love the little suckers though when I was a kid I hated 'em.

Petrea said...

You know, zucchini takes over many parts of the country at this time of year. People are putting up the "NO ZUKES" signs from sea to shining sea.

BTW, my visitor is Katiefornia! She's in town for a coupla days. We're going back to the Huntington this morning so we can fully experience the photo exhibit. Then we're having lunch with Pont Girl and Carrie (maybe Tall Gary, too). Then the Arroyo or Old Town, whatever Katie wants to do. We talked about you because You Are The Best.

Knoxville Girl said...

Firstly, I do like your photo, nicely framed.

Secondly, here's my uncensored (!) opinion of zucchini:
I do not like them on the vine,
Won't eat them even served with wine.
I do not like them in a fritter,
I won't feed them to any critter.
I do not like them spiced or plain.
I'll give all mine to USElaine!

Thridly, my teachers rued the day that I started reading Dr Seuss.

Fourthly, ...um, there is no fourthly.

Have a good weekend.

USelaine said...

Kris - Bless you and your new little guy!

Abraham - Patty knoooows what I'm talking about!

Lily - But that's the diabolical part of it; people can wrap themselves in the mantle of "generosity" when they unload this vast supply of these quickly perishable zukes on you. The first two are fine. It's trying to pound down 5 a day that drives you nuts!

Halcyon - Do you ever see any bees? Wikipedia says they need thorough pollination to form fruit. You may have to do it by hand if the bees are gone.

Kym - It's all a matter of quantity, really. People try to have zucchini dinner parties and bbqs, but oddly no one shows up! They have their own mountain to work through!

Petrea - Desperate times call for desperate measures. And I am so eager to see the photo report on your cross-pod visit! I wonder if you could set up the images on Overdog, then link it with code to a comment on PDP, so that Eric doesn't have to do that part of it. Poor guy. An "me" the best?! Sister, it's you!! My copy of Final Draft is on it's way north even now...

Knoxville Girl - You are so funny! I loved Dr Suess as a kid, and here you have me woven in! But no, no, no, no, no! I do not like them, Sam I am!

jill said...

So did you try the fritters?? Before I learned by lesson about how many to plant, I threatened to start putting them in mailboxes up and down the road. Now I plant only one.

USelaine said...

Jill - Ah, Hah!! YOU are were one of those people! Even prepared to violate federal law, were you? Glad you learned your lesson, but I hope you have a large family. 8^)

Z said...

I wasn't aware of this anti-zuke sentiment... and I even had my own garden in Maryland once upon a time. Is the overabundance the reason behind zucchini bread? I always wondered about that strange creation. Anyway, why don't people just circumvent the problem by eating the zucchini blossoms, dipped in egg and fried (popular in Mexico?) Anyway, I like zucchini fritters, and I think I would love zucchini tempura.

Petrea said...

Z's right. The blossoms are exquisite fixed this way. Ephemeral. Eat 'em up.

USelaine said...

I've eaten stuffed zucchini flowers too. And I've had the tempura as well. Yes, it's the overabundance that lead to the bread idea, I'm convinced. Maybe zucchini gardeners will take heed of your ideas, and with the lack of bees for many, that may be the only way they can use the plants!

Dina said...

Well you must remember Green Eggs and Ham. No ham here, but I make zucchini souffle and the eggs and all the rest turn green.

Petrea said...

I love zucchini bread with walnuts. Zucchini souffle, Dina? Sounds wonderful.

Ming the Merciless said...

Might I suggest zucchini kimchi. ;-)

I love zucchini done in whatever way. I love them fried, sauteed, raw, etc.

USelaine said...

You're right, P, Dina's zucchini souffle sounds excellent. And Ming, you are such a foodie! I have such a tender palate, I can't take the really fiery stuff. But it sounds like you're flexible. I'll let people know where they can ship all their zukes. ;^)

Hilda said...

Send them over here! LOL! Zucchinis are still a little expensive here in Manila, and I don't even know whether they're grown here in the Philippines or if they have to be imported.

I love the lady's blouse and bandanna, by the way.

Isadora said...

Oh, stop! You are happy to get it and it is so healthy for you. Actually, you should have included the recipe for the fritters - I'm about to deal with a pile of zucchini here too :)

USelaine said...

Hilda - They are easy to grow in a temperate zone, so maybe the only place to try growing them would be up on the drier side of a mountain in the Philippines. I liked the color combination she had on with the green zukes - made everything pop!

Isadora - It's the volume of zucchini that creates the fear. Hey, I found a recipe online that may be close to what she was preparing. It's in a Turkish cooking blog that Sarah of Bursa Daily Photo pointed me to:

Mucver patties

Dido said...

hahaha this made me laugh!! We have eight courgette (zucchini) plants in our garden - it's the only thing I can grow as it's so easy! I'm now having to come up with all sorts of inventive ways to use them and so the last four days we've had: courgette soup, pasta with courgette, courgette on the bbq, vegetable lasagne with courgette layers... not kidding!

Kim said...

What a wonderful angle you've got going in your photo of this happy cook.
Don't worry, I didn't plant any. Haven't for years. Learned my lesson long ago that they will come to me without actually coming from our garden. Well, this year I have no garden. But next year. . .a garden and no zukes. I do make a mean zuke parmesan, though.