What do you do with all those zucchini? Well, why not...
Brace yourself, folks! I’m about to use the “Z” word. That’s right, zucchini! (Pronounced ZOO•KEY•KNEE, which should give you some idea about the vegetable itself.)
Yes, yes, yes…we all love zucchini bread, and some of us even like fried zucchini. But after that, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THAT ZUCCHINI?
I’ve heard it proposed that the first and third Tuesdays of the summer months be designated as ‘zucchini night’. That’s when those who grow these prolific green gremlins skulk their neighborhoods at midnight and leave bundles of little green joy on their neighbors’ doorsteps. Hey, it has possibilities. There are probably even some of your neighbors who would enjoy cooking up some of those darling little squashes. But as they grow larger, as they’re wont to do, it becomes more and more difficult to find homes that will welcome those little green monsters.
Well my horticultural wizards, that’s when you have to make those grumpy little veggies more endearing! Why not try bundling them up in a quaint little basket lined with colorful tissue paper and topped with a bow? A white napkin diaper and a paper doily bonnet will give the package a fragile, vulnerable appeal. What cold-hearted housewife would refuse to adopt such a charming little bundle of joy?
OK… Until they become tax deductible, the vegetable adoption agency has refused to list your garden! And the neighbors have threatened to shut your little orphanage down if they find one more squash on their doorsteps. NOW what do you do?
It’s time to get really creative. Why not donate a bushel of those blank little canvases to a local summer rec program, and let the kids carve faces on them? The soft skin pares easily with plastic knives to expose brilliantly contrasting white flesh below, making them a wonderful medium for budding artists. In a matter of an hour a class could create their own “Zucchini Tablemaker Choir,” or a “Zucchini Metropolitan Zoo.” And after the show closes, the group can learn about the environmental benefits of recycling by escorting their withering wonders to a local compost bin.
Or, you could make that multitude of little critters an integral part of your annual family reunion. There’s always one member of the family who plants more than one zucchini plant, so you’ll never get caught short. Slice them lengthwise and lay them cut side down to hold toothpicks laden with cheese cubes or olives. Kids love to pick the ‘quills’ off these oblong green porcupines, so why not spear some fruits or vegetables with those toothpicks and trick them into some healthy snacks instead? Scoop the flesh out of the other half and use it to hold a low-calorie dip.
Cousin Ezra planted a ROW of zucchini plants? Then dig out the plastic utensils and hold a contest. The categories are limited only by your family’s imagination and particular sense of humor. Award the winner any leftover weenies, and make the booby prize the leftover zucchinis. Believe me, THAT will get those creative juices flowing.
Still overwhelmed with an abundance of those little green gremlins? There are literally hundreds of great zucchini recipes available on the Internet for everything from soups to pies, casseroles to relishes, and everything in between. It almost makes me wish I’d planted more zucchini this year.
Here’s my favorite recipe: found at
THE BEST ZUCCHINI RECIPE EVER!
1 pair of sunglasses
A moderately fast car
Go to a busy parking lot. Drive around until you find an unlocked car.
Put the zucchini in the back seat and drive away FAST before you are discovered!