Monday, August 03, 2009

The Year of the Zucchini

People with the "green thumb" ability impress me. Flowers and plants and such are something I appreciate and admire. They are something I would like to learn to grow but the process of getting there completely overwhelms me. I typically admire flower and vegetable gardens from afar, slightly in awe of the people who put them together.

This year we decided to try something new because, well, all the pieces were there.

We had a little box of dirt behind our house. My in-laws gave us some leftover seeds. The sun was shining. The kids wanted a garden. We had nothing to lose and vegetables to gain. So we gave it a whirl.

We planted zucchini, pea pods, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.

The tomato plant I put in a pot on our back porch. We actually have a few tomatoes growing on it, but the plant itself is starting to turn yellow. I'm not a gardener, so I don't know what that means, but I'm not counting on tomatoes.

As for the other vegetables, they might be growing. I can't tell for sure because the zucchini has taken over our garden!

I probably should have paid closer attention to the directions on the seed packet but all I could read was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I have since learned that zucchini plants grow very large and (if left unchecked by novice gardeners) can completely cover up a garden. Especially if you plant a lot of them (which we did)!

Even though our plants were huge, I did not think we would get any produce. Call me a garden skeptic, or a green-thumb realist if you want; I just don't trust my garden "skills." But to my surprise, we picked our first two zucchini last week.

They were huge.

Note to self: Garden needs to be checked more often than once every two weeks or the produce may grow too big. Not a bad problem to have, but maybe not the ideal.

Which brings me to another problem... I almost never cook with zucchini.
Therefore, I'm not sure what to do with it.

If you have a favorite zucchini recipe or zucchini art projects, please send them my way. I may even send you a zucchini thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Its looking like we will have oodles of those wonderful green vegetables to practice on.


Llama Momma said...

When I was a kid, my mom used to slice those huge zucchini, dip them the slices in egg, then dip them in cracker crumbs, then fry them in butter.

Not the healthiest thing to do with a vegetable, but so good.

Maybe a zucchini bread?

(And as one who is also gardening challenged...I'm impressed!!)

Heidi said...

I agree with the post above. I have had those, and they are fabulous! Also, I have a couple zucchini bread recipes that are good. I also have made a twiced baked potato recipe with zucchini that was a hit. And my favorite is just saute'ing them in butter, garlic salt and a little onion. Mmmm...I think I'll go get me some zucchini today. :)

megs @ whadusay said...

Llama Momma - I think we may have to try the fried zucchini idea. It sounds soo good!

Heidi - I would love your twice baked potato with zucchini recipe!

Christina said...

About the tomato's, I was told over watering is what makes the leaves yellow. So hold off on watering and see what happens, can't hurt right?

Anonymous said...

It is definitely the year of the zucchini! We have a rather large garden this year and on average pick 15 zucchini 2 times a week! Now that's a lot of zucchini.

The thing we have been doing with ours that we LOVE and is so easy is to slice them about 1/2 in. thick. Sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper and then grill them. SO GOOD! We just did this for my extended family on a vacation and everyone loved it!

We have also been making zucchini pizzas...slice them in half, lenthwise (you kind of need to pick them when they're only 8 in. long or so), cook them in a skillet, cut side down in a little water to basically steam them. Then when they are tender, turn them over, ladle a little pizza sauce on them and sprinkle with mozz. cheese and cook until the cheese melts. Also very good and easy!

Finally, I have been shredding it when I am sick of cooking with it and putting it in my freezer to use throughout the year to make zucchini bread and such!

Sorry for the long post, but zucchini is something I have been using a lot of lately!

megs @ whadusay said...

Alissa - Thank you for the long post and the great ideas! We are definately going to try the zucchini pizzas for lunch this week!

Christina - thanks for the tomatoe tip. Mya has been in charge of watering the garden - I think I will need to hold her back a little! :)

Mama Runner said...

I like to saute zuccini with mushrooms and sprinkle with parmesan. Makes a great side dish.

Jessica said...

my very favorite zucchini recipe is "zucchini in Dill Cream Sauce"

here is a link to the one I use:

Drool Sessions said...

My mom used to slice them really thin, dip them in water and then flour. Then she'd add a little salt and pepper and fry them in some oil. Again, maybe not the healthiest, but it's one way to get the kids to eat some veggies!

christine said...

We like slice & saute potatoes in a little bit of butter (or olive oil) & then just before the potatoes are done, add sliced zuchinni, onions, salt/pepper (to taste).

Ashley Baner said...

My grandpa used to say the only time of year he would lock his door was during zucchini keep the people from putting them in!!!

Anonymous said...

If you have a salad shooter, you can shred them and and freeze them premeasured for your favorite zucchini bread or chocolate zucchini cake recipe. That way you can still enjoy them in November when you're not sick of them!

The Zookeepers said...

I purposely get an over abundnce of zucchini & shred & freze it. Then in the fall I bake like crazy. Breads, cakes, etc. I stash some away for teacher Christmas gifts, then just pull it out of the freezer. I already have 3 gallon freezer bags full of shredded zucchini. More will get done in the next few weeks.