The zucchini plants have blown up and invaded our house. When I planted the garden this spring in our nice, newly raised garden boxes, I left about half of the box for the zucchini thinking this would be plenty of space for the plants to stretch their branches out and produce some fresh zucchini to fill our table. The plants have now encroached on the second half of the box. You can no longer see my two bell pepper plants without wading through the massive leaves from the zucchini. The giant has spilled over the edges of the box and shaded anything below it. For any of the bugs living below, I apologize. It’s like having Bigfoot encroach on your village.
For those of you who haven’t ever grown zucchini, let me tell you, these things grow like weeds in my garden. Do they do that in anyone else’s garden? I pulled one off the plant yesterday that measures 21.5 inches long and 14 inches in diameter! To my knowledge, I’m the only one around who grows zucchini, which is good since I can usually give some of it away. The rest gets grated, diced and chopped. Not only do I love this veggie grilled up crisp on the grill or sauteed into my favorite casseroles, but this green giant tastes splendid in bread!
People wait for my zucchini bread every season to hit the market. Some of my former coworkers just waited until I brought in the freshly baked loaves to pounce on the bag and cut off chunks of the bread to devour bite by bite. The hubby recently took two loaves to work and within 30 minutes, there was nothing left. Hummmm, maybe I need to start selling these?
Here’s a few of my favorite recipes:
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Zucchini Skillet with Spicy Sausage
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mexican Zucchini Soup
What’s your favorite way to cook with zucchini?
Combine my green thumb and my garden soil and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success in farming zucchini.
The summer after we first bought our house, I planted zucchini and we ate like royalty on this garden staple all summer – grilled zucchini, zucchini casseroles and, of course, my famous zucchini bread. Then came a cute little puppy into our lives, which eliminated the garden for a few years. Now that our little puppy (strike that – HUGE 100-pound chocolate lab!) is now old enough to not trample the veggies we plant, I embarked in a garden once again this summer. The plants were small when I bought them on Mother’s Day weekend, so I eagerly planted a box full of two cherry tomato plants, two slicing tomato plants and two zucchini plants that weren’t more than 6 inches tall. I gave them all a dose of water and an ounce of love and prayed they’d grow.
All six of those plants exploded! In no time they pushed beyond the fence I had placed around the box, inching upward and outward seeking more room to expand. When the zucchini started growing, it came with a vengeance, not one at a time, but five or six at a time. I couldn’t get to them fast enough before they grew into large monstrosities exploding with juicy goodness.
The first harvest netted 26 cups of grated zucchini for the freezer – and that was after giving away five and cooking one for dinner! Another picking amounted in 24 cups of cubed zucchini that will make wonderful soups and casseroles into the fall and winter months. Neighbors and friends netted zucchini as gifts this summer, as well as tomatoes that burst from our garden.
As the temperature dipped this afternoon and the clouds lingered overhead, I turned the oven on for the first time in four months to bake up a batch of my famous zucchini bread. With a touch of molasses, my grandma’s zucchini bread recipe never fails to please. Enjoy!
1 cup oil
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini
1 tablespoon molasses
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup chopped nuts
Pour into three greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until it “tests” done.