Gardening is sharing. That has to start in childhood, and is often the most difficult thing to teach a child. As a gardener you share seeds, bits of plants, your knowledge, joy and wonder in your successes, commiserations in failures.
No place for a garden you say? Not true, there are plants for every situation. Even a simple pot can become a small garden and will teach you and/or your children fascinating valuable life lessons, like caring, sharing, patience and willingness for delayed gratification. The last characteristic is considered by early childhood development theorists and academics to be a huge predictor of success in life.
New meaning to "More"!
It is a crazy thing to have two zucchini plants in my raised bed, I knew that, but the plants were just so beautiful. I should have stayed with one though! Now I’m definitely into an overload situation here, but not minding it too much at all.
The other day I had accumulated 10 lovely, elegant zukes. I ground them up in my trusty simple food processor, together with other lovely veggies, and made a very wonderful, zesty relish. It didn’t take long; there are 10 jars available for gifts to others or just to enjoy ourselves. And oh my, the difference between that and the bought stuff is just so remarkable!
There’s something fascinatingly wonderful about the sheer number of zucchini summer squash you get from one plant. Generally people get a bit bored with them, summer beckons with a whole lot more to do than keep an eye on them, and so those uninhibited glossy green veggies grow very quickly into monstrous sized, unappetizing beasts. But not mine! I embrace them with an enthusiasm equaled only by their production. Every day is pick another little zucchini day!
You can make all kinds of tasty dishes with zucchini. Of course you can make the most wonderful, moist chocolate cake. But you can also make zucchini scones, pancakes, and even noodles with one of those spiral machine things. One of my favorite ways to serve this incredible vegetable is to just cut it into about ¼” slices, put a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese on each one, and bake in a 400°F oven for about 7 minutes. It's best to use parchment paper underneath them, otherwise they tend to stick. The only real drawback to this “recipe” is most folks can eat about a whole zucchini! It keeps a host busy, but the delight on guest faces, including children, makes it all worthwhile.
Best Zucchini Pancakes
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 cup shredded peeled potato (1 medium)
Drain these two. I shake a bit of salt over them and drain them through a sieve or colander. Use your clean hands to work out the liquid, after about an hour.
Meantime…mix the following ingredients together then add the zucchini and potato and mix really well with a wooden spoon.
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper or any spices you like.
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
This is how you fry them…
Use enough of your preferred vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a non stick heavy pan. Drop and flatten ¼ cupfuls of the batter. Fry and turn until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!