It’s that time of year. Lock the doors and leave the porch lights on, or the neighbors will drop a payload of zucchinis on your family. Here’s one recent picture that we took on a random Tuesday:
We made several dishes. We consumed lots of zucchini. And here’s where we ended up about two weeks later:
Yes, we’re eating them. Daily. I may have overdone it with the zucchini planting this year. There were several varieties and I couldn’t see myself parting with one. And for at least two plots I let a cluster of two plants share the space, which has only contributed to the problem. I may very well be pulling a plant or two soon before I have to take out a loan and rent a storage facilities.
We’re grateful though. It’d take a real monster to blame your plants for doing too good of a job.
But what’s the deal with these things, anyway? Why do they grow so much faster than other crops. Why can’t they just slow down? Or why can’t other crops speed up to match the alarming pace of their low carb high potassium overcrowding friends? I look forlornly at the banana pepper plant, as it comparatively ekes out produce at a snail’s pace and resist the urge to pat it on the plant-shoulder and tell it not to feel so bad. It makes sense to know that zucchinis are picked when they’re technically not fully ripened and hardened. Harvesting vegetables and fruits is almost always joyful experience, so why is it with this one crop do we catch ourselves saying “again?” when the spouse walks in with an armload.
Maybe you’ve had a zucchini problem yourself. Maybe you’ve dealt with it using legitimate means, maybe you’ve dropped surplus in random mailboxes around your neighborhood. Regardless of how you conducted yourself in these trying times, you are not alone. We personally take our zucchini invasion as a formal challenge.
Size. Without deliberately inspiring the obvious joke, I will tell you that smaller IS better. 6-8 inches is a good range to stay in. As they grow bigger they lose the flavor, are prone to mushy cooking, and eventually will harden and taste something like sweaty Styrofoam. I don’t know.
Grilled. Outside cooking. Olive oil, garlic salt, paprika if you wish. Cut the zucchinis about 1/4 inch thick the full length of the zucchini. Guaranteed to be perfectly palatable, and to put a dent in the surplus. These grilled strips also go well in sandwiches.
FRITTATA. Or I suppose you could call it a casserole if you wish. Or a baked omelet. Or a vegetable cake. Or a nutrient square.
Like everyone else, staple recipes are a way of life, and for us they’re part of efficient sustainability operation. If always looked up new recipes just to keep our pallets refreshed we’d never get anything done. We go back to the same omelets, stir frys, scrambles, sandwiches, and pasta dishes constantly. We throw things on top of brown rice half the week, and when we’re really feeling drained we’ll just use the blender.