Zucchini Wars

I was driving home a few days ago when I saw it lying sad and alone by the side of the road, gazing up at passersby like an abandoned puppy begging for a home:  a giant zucchini.

I didn’t stop.

One of the charming features of Vancouver Island is the honour-system market stands.  Lots of little farms offer eggs or produce at the end of their lane; and you can pull over, pick up what you want, and leave money according to the prices on their sign.  Free items are left out there with no payment requested or required.

So there was this giant zucchini beside the road.  Colossal:  A couple of feet long and about eight inches in diameter.  I’m guessing its growers spotted it making a play for world domination, recoiled in horror, and extracted the threat from their garden to carry it as far away from their property as they could manage.

Or who knows?  Maybe the zucchini didn’t even belong to that farm.  Maybe it had been dumped there by someone eager to be rid of it; or maybe it was intentionally deposited there as a subtle threat from some enemy.  Instead of a horse’s head in your bed, you get a mega-zucchini at the end of your lane.

Or maybe it got there under its own power.  Judging by the activity in my garden, it’s entirely possible that one mutant monster became sentient and was searching for the ideal spot to disgorge its seeds and begin a zucchini-terrorist cell intent on taking over every square inch of arable land.

Yes, actually, I am hip-deep in zucchini right now; why do you ask?

But I don’t mind.  I like fresh zucchini; and if I can’t eat it immediately I dehydrate it into chips that are compact and easy to store, and yummy all winter long in soups, stews, omelets, and even on homemade pizza.

As you read those words, I’m guessing that at least 50% of you are grimacing.  After extensive research involving alcoholic beverages with several sets of my friends, I have determined that all men (and some women) hate zucchini.

My dad hated zucchini.  My husband hates zucchini.  All my male friends hate zucchini; although actually, ‘hate’ is probably too strong a word.  “Meh” is more accurate.  After all, there’s nothing much to hate about it – as the guys tell me, “It doesn’t taste like anything, so why would you eat it?”

Well, okay, guys:  If you don’t want to eat it, how about racing it?  One of the small towns near us held zucchini races last weekend (the zucchini footage begins at 0:46 in the video).

’Cause why NOT take a huge malevolent vegetable intent on world domination, and give it wheels?  What could possibly go wrong?!?

Zucchini:  Love it or hate it?  Take my very scientific poll!  (You can choose as many answers as you want.)

Book 14 update:  Chapter 12 is well under way, and I’m chuckling while I write Daniel’s dialog – you can always depend on kids to say the things that adults won’t!

Zucchini Poll Update:  New answers now coming in!

Zucchini is:
– Take it or leave it. Choco zuke cake! Yum.
– What will replace cryptocurrency in 2045
– Local produce
– Part of the deep state
– Great battered and fried crispy
– Makes the best chocolate cake!

36 Comments

Filed under Humour, Life

36 responses to “Zucchini Wars

  1. Ann Grubbs

    I love zucchini! And so does my hubby (unlike yours and your male friends…lol). Our two favorite ways to eat it are in a zucchini casserole (zucchini, onions, butter, cream of chicken soup and stuffing mix), and in zucchini bread (our next door neighbor makes an incredible one).

    So excited about book 14….hurry, hurry, hurry….lol. 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, yum, I’d forgotten about zucchini casserole! One of my friends makes it, and it’s delicious! And hmmm, zucchini bread… I wonder if I could trick Hubby into eating that if I slipped in some bananas and told him it was banana bread…? 😉

      And I’m hurrying! Looking forward to a happy afternoon of writing on Book 14 today. 😀

      Like

  2. drae

    Zucchini, squash and cucumbers are three veggies that either do well for me or not, Last year I planted 15 hills of each and (of course) had them coming out my ears. This year I planted only 5-6 hills of each and didn’t have hardly any (of course, we had a very rainy season this year). Last year I found out that pickled squash are very good as are zucchini fritters. Love my homemade lime sweet pickles which I didn’t get to make this year.

    Good news on the book. I’ve always heard if you don’t want the truth, don’t ask a child.

    Like

    • I’d never heard that saying, but it makes perfect sense! (Yet another reason to be wary around small children.) 😉 And wow, you planted 5-6 hills of zucchini?!? I’ve got four and I can barely keep up (but then again, I’m the only one who eats it).

      Zucchini fritters sound delicious! Do you dunk them in sugar, or are they more of a savoury treat?

      Like

  3. Blair Backman

    You prove that you are a real prairie product!
    In rural sk you can tell when it is Zucchini season—people start to lock their doors when they leave their vehicles.
    But it is one thing that will grow in drought ridden sw sk–too bad cattle won’t eat them! When the garden was barren of other vegetables, my wife could always whip up another zucchini dish, zucchini fried eggs for breakfast, fried zucchini strips for lunch, zucchini soup, fried zucchini and bacon sandwiches, zucchini spice cookies, hamburger stuffed zucchini for supper followed by chocolate zucchini cake. Every so often a hired man would rebel at “sheila’s zucchini recipe 248” even if it was drenched in parmesan.
    In my childhood I can remember eating “Citron”, a melon that would also grow no matter the heat, drought or grasshoppers that you threw at it. I can remember telling an older cousin how I can remember it tasting like pineapple–only to be informed that it was a time honoured trick to disguise Citron with something more palatable.
    I always dread the inevitable zucchini-pineapple combination!

    Like

    • Ah, yes. I do have a zucchini-pineapple cake recipe. 😉 It sounds as though your wife was brilliant with zucchini! Too bad if the occasional hired man disagreed. And I didn’t realize cattle wouldn’t eat zucchini – how odd. I didn’t realize they were that picky about what they ate. (But it strikes another blow against the zucchini-eaters if even cattle turn up their noses.)

      I had to go and look up citron – I’d never heard of it. We never successfully grew watermelons at our place in Manitoba, so maybe citron melons wouldn’t do well,either; although it looks as though they could grow just about anywhere! Now I’m curious to try citron; but after reading the descriptions of its flavour and texture, I’m not sure I’m curious enough to actually grow a plant. Maybe I’ll just take your word for it…

      Like

  4. Michelle

    I am female and I love love love zucchini! Doesn’t matter how it’s cooked, or if it’s not cooked at all, I’m a fan. I have to admit that you are a better person than I am, because I probably would have taken the giant veggie if it wasn’t attached to a vine or near a stand or anything. Why let the birds and the bugs have all the good stuff? ;-). So to make a short story longer, I vote FOR zucchini. Lots and lots of it. (And I just saw the actual voting ballot up there so yah for my powers of observation)

    I’m going to have to check out the zucchini races. At the moment, I can’t decide if it’s genius or waste of a good veggie, lol!

    Like

    • To be honest, if I didn’t have a garden full of zucchini at the moment, I might have snagged that big zuke, too. It was definitely a case of “free to a good home”.

      And I suspect that in most cases, the raced zucchini would still be edible afterward – it looked as though they were holding up pretty well!

      Like

  5. Love zucchini. Tanya picks them small, dips them in egg and flour, then fries them, same with squash. The people I know in Canada let them grow too big to eat. They use them in recipes for chocolate cake (THE best) and such.
    When my mom first grew zucchini, she planted a whole row. A couple of cows got out and left only three plants. My mom was complaining to my sister in Calgary and was miffed that she was laughing hysterically. With only mom and dad to eat them, mom soon found out what the joke was.

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    • Oh, your poor mom! She owed those cows big-time. We never grew zucchini when I was a kid, and I’m not sure whether it was because Dad never liked it in the first place, or whether it just wasn’t a “thing” in our neck of the woods.

      Tanya’s fried zucchini sounds delicious! Yum, I’m getting so many good recipe ideas now… which is good, because I just picked two more zukes today… 😉

      Like

  6. Well I love zucchini in chocolate zucchini cake, muffins, loaves and the like. I had not thought of dehydrating it!
    I’m not sure I will ever look at a zucchini the same away after imaging it as a horse’s head on my pillow. 🙂

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    • You know, that’s a mental image that I didn’t really need, either. I’m going to be thinking of that when I go to bed tonight.

      Dehydrated zucchini chips are crispy and tasty on their own – the drying process concentrates the flavour. But you still have to like the taste of zucchini in the first place… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. jenny_o

    The zucchini race was awesome! I was picturing giant zucchinis, hollowed out, big enough to fit a person in, to tell the truth, seeing as I come from a province where we have pumpkin boat races because, yes, that’s how we do it here 🙂 But little ones with wheels are so cute!

    Your dehydrated zucchini slices are intriguing. Do they hold up better than frozen when you add them to dishes later? (Frozen goes mostly to mush, I’ve found.)

    The only way I’ve ever found to eat zucchini that’s something I actually look forward to is to use a very small zucchini, no more than six inches max, slice lengthwise, spoon a bit of tomato sauce or pizza sauce over each cut side, add a bit of Parmesan on top, and nuke on a microwave-safe plate for 30 second intervals until just tender crisp. The “tender crisp” seems to be the key for my taste buds. Cold zucchini has a weird taste and overcooked zucchini has no texture except ick.

    My dad used to let his zucchini grow into monsters because what self-respecting farmer would pick the little ones and miss all that additional heft?? We couldn’t train him otherwise. So my mom used lots of different recipes to present them. Slices fried in butter I find tolerable, as is removing the seeds and filling the resulting gigantic bowls with a fried ground beef/tomato sauce/peppers/onions mixture and then baking. And there are also the zucchini bread and chocolate cake recipes, similar to carrot cake recipes, but if I can still see the vegetable, it’s going to taste funny no matter how much sugar and fat is in it 😀

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    • LOL! It’s all about hiding the evidence, right? I like to use the bright yellow ones in my zucchini cake – it looks more dessert-like than the green ones. And I have no use at all for the giants – that’s just too much zucchini even for me.

      Your pizza-parm zukes sound delicious! Must give that a try. And I’m right there with you on the “tender-crisp”. Mushy zucchini is just gross. That’s why I like the dehydrated goodies – they hold together really well and still have some texture when re-hydrated (as long as they don’t boil forever in soup – just throw them in for the last ten minutes or so).

      When I’m making pizza I use the zuke chips dry because I always load up my ‘za with tons of fresh onions, peppers, and mushrooms, which make the toppings too juicy and the crust soggy. The dry zuke slices soak up the excess moisture during baking and everything comes out right in the end.

      For omelets I chuck a handful of zuke chips into a little bowl and pour boiling water over them just as I’m starting the omelet. By the time I’m ready for the toppings, the zucchini is ready to drain and tuck into the omelet with bacon, cheese, green onions, fresh peppers, and salsa for some zing. YUM!

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  8. Madalyn Wylie

    sauted with yellow squash and onions ymmm

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    • Mmmm! Or grilled on a smoky BBQ with garlic butter! Or raw and crispy-cold with lemon-garlic dressing! Or breaded and deep-fried hot and juicy with dill-ranch dip! Or in ratatouille with tomatoes and peppers and mushrooms and swiss cheese! How could anybody not like zucchini?

      Like

  9. Shudders at the thought of the horrid stuff, if I have it right zucchini is orbagine or however you spell it. The purple thing right???!
    As you have no doubt guessed no I don’t like it. I don’t like a lot of things veg wise.
    It’s probably easier to say what I like which some people say I have odd taste, sprouts love em, broccoli adore it, carrots of any colour, potato sweet or normal. Cauliflower mmm, mushrooms yum yum. Cucumber yummy. Cabbage, onions. And that’s about it, oh turnip and swede also.

    Still been off work, picked up a viral infection and had a water infection.
    Things progressing on the house but no nearer signing anything yet!!!

    Like

    • You’ve really been through the mill healthwise, haven’t you? Yikes. I hope you feel better soon!

      I think your aubergine is what we call eggplant here – not quite the same thing as zucchini, which is usually green or sometimes bright yellow. And I have to agree with you about eggplant: I have only one use for it (but what a use, YUMMY!): Moussaka. I haven’t found a good Greek restaurant here yet, but when I do, you can bet I’ll be chowing down on some moussaka!

      Fingers crossed for your house!

      Like

  10. We eat and grow plenty of zucchini, but at this time of year we actually need to lock our car doors in case they find their way into the back seat when we are not looking. I have heard horror stories about zucchini finding its way into peoples lives and even homes invasion with zucchinis blatantly lounging on the furniture! Oh, the humanity!

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  11. Sliced into quarter-inch rounds and corn meal batter-fried? Yep, zucchini’s good. Otherwise, I’m in the MEH camp. It’s edible, but, well, it’s edible. We’ll just leave it at that. And it pretty much has to be quarter-inch slices, too. More, and it’s gummy. Less, and it’s, well, less.

    But try this along with the aforementioned 6.35 millimeter slices of goodness; my killer salsa. Three cans diced tomatoes, a small can of diced green chili peppers (the mild kind, just for flavor), a small can of diced jalapenos (as hot as you can find), and three rough-chopped ‘bunches’ of green onions. Dump two cans of tomatoes into the blender along with the onions and pulse until the whole mess has turned over no more than twice. No kidding, that’s plenty. Pour that into a bowl (the bowl will now smell like salsa until the world is destroyed by fire) and set aside. Dump the remaining ingredients into the blender and do likewise. Combine the two batches and mix thoroughly.

    If you simply *must* add cilantro, please do so sparingly. A little goes a long way in this recipe.

    Here’s the thing with pulsing salsa in a blender. Too little, and it’l be all big, ragged, unappetizing chunks. Too much, and all you’ll have is catsup that will tear your head off. Turn it over no more than twice and you’ll have the perfect salsa texture, a smooth-but-pleasantly-chunky ambrosia.

    This should make about two quarts of the best salsa I’ve ever tasted. Thuh Missus made her mom’s salsa for me years ago, and it was very good. Primo stuff, as it were. But I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking it since then, and my wife allows as how mine is just about the best there is.

    I’d suggest that you try it with plain diced tomatoes first. If that’s the way you like it, then you hit it perfectly the first time. There are lots of flavors of diced tomatoes on the shelves now, Mexican, Italian, and others. My personal blend is one can of Italian, one, Mexican, and one plain. That way I get a hint of garlic and cilantro as well as a bit of a boost for the jalapenos. Another preference is to use *roasted* canned jalapenos instead of the usual pickled ones. If you can’t find roasted, then rinse as much of the vinegar off the pickled ones as you can first. If you rinse them, your salsa will absolutely taste garden fresh. No kidding. Dunno how that works, but the vinegar is noticeable. This salsa tastes much better without it.

    Of course you can use fresh jalapenos, too, and I toss one or two in the blender along with all the rest of the stuff (including the canned ones) when the need arises. They elevate the blend from, “Wow!” to “HOLEY COWS, DUDE!!”

    Anyway, a big bowl of Lynn’s NACHO GLYCERIN and a bowl of batter-fried zook chips will settle down in your tummy and make itself right at home. But don’t forget a sizable bowl of good ice cream for dessert. Don’t make me explain it…

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  12. I do eat zucchini. Not so much because I like them, but because I know that left uneaten zucchinis would eventually rise up and attack humanity. You should have stopped and at least sliced that zucchini in half so it was no longer a threat to this planet.

    Just say’n …

    Like

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