Thursday, August 8, 2013

National Zucchini Day

Really, this is national  Zucchini Day, not to be confused with National Zucchini Bread Day which is April 24th, leading one to guess it is when  one finally reaches the back of the freezer and finds that last pack of frozen grated zucchini, at last, at long last, there is no more left.
The zucchini is a remarkable  vegetable, one anyone can grow,  it is prolific, and versatile.
I am told that the vine itself can be eaten but its prickly nature puts me off, the blossoms can be stuffed and bakes or dipped in batter and deep fried, yum yum!  The male flowers , stand alone, and the females sprout from a tiny, tiny zucchini, though some people pick only the male flowers, because one will pollinated the whole plant and because they are easier to use, and can even be baked into breads and casseroles, this is hearsay on my part as I have never cooked them.

 
In the grocery store or  at the Farmer's Market there are small tender zucchini, most are smaller than the cucumbers often displayed next to them.  Very small zucchini can be sliced into salads, or cut up, dressed with Italian dressing or whatever you like and chilled for a couple of hours before serving.  
Larger zucchini can be cut up and the seeds removed, and  added to soups stews, even kebabs, sliced  breaded and fried, grated for breads or  cakes, even turned into pickles. Those which have a tough skin, are best suited for compost. And should definitely never be left on the porch of anyone you like.  It would be wonderful if those thick skinned "logs" could be stacked like firewood and dried for that purpose, I have found  them still intact in the garden come springtime, however I doubt that they would provide much heat.

But mostly zucchini is prolific,  one zucchini plant can produce  a lotta, lotta ,lotta green baseball bats, which are mostly just too tough to eat, large  hard skinned, war clubs, and almost as easy to cook up.  It has been my experience that only so many people will welcome a second basket of "zukes"especially if they are only suitable to be used as weapons in a "Zucchini Demo Derby", a slightly dangerous game thought up by one of the neighborhood kids, the goal of which is whacking overgrown "zukes" together until they are just  mush.

 


In the "zuke" school of hard knocks one learns, plant one plant to see just how big you can get  a green baseball bat to grow.  And  collect the tender little "zukes" from the other plants often.
Perhaps the neighbors will even ask for more.  Well, one can hope.

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