Have Another Zucchini – Please!

Posted on September 5, 2012

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Everywhere you look, zucchini!

The time has come to rally the troops in the kitchen and brainstorm about how to handle the seasonal dilemma of the Great Exploding Zucchini crop. It’s a predicament that regularly, and sometimes literally, lands on our doorstep (by friends and neighbours depositing them after dark or before the morning paper). You know what I’m talking about – those giant, pumped-up-on-composted-steroids, heavy-duty, monster zucchinis that double for wheel braces under the RV trailer on the driveway. Now’s the season for all those excess veggies to find an afterlife in breads, casseroles, soups, sweets, well practically everything!

How many ways can you use this versatile veggie?

The growing season where I live is relatively short, but it’s blessed by hot temps and sunshine all summer long. The rest of the year we are reliant on fresh zucchini coming from south of the Canadian border. Usually we can expect to find a decent cucumber-sized selection in the markets. The smaller ones, however, called “courgettes” in England, are actually the tastiest for cooking. What our desperate friends seem intent on sharing with us are the “big momma” ones. That means cooking or baking in large batches, or grating them until my fingers start cramping. And, of course, I’ll scour the computer for new recipes to disguise that vast quantity of zucchinis. It’s a challenge.

All these years, and I hadn’t realized that this humble yet versatile summer squash has its own national day. Yep, apparently August 8th is deemed a day to celebrate all things zucchini related. Makes me want to light a firecracker in the end of one and run quickly for cover. Which reminds me of another explosion with a zucchini many years ago …

When our kids were still in junior highschool, Hubby and I would regularly take them to the Vancouver Science World. They would be entertained (and challenge us) with a myriad of hands-on demonstrations and exhibits. One of their favourite events was the Science Theatre where various scientific principles were presented in novel fashion with simplistic materials. Who knew just how entertaining and dramatic running an electric current through probes into a giant zucchini could actually be! The only thing saving those people in the front row of the audience from wearing blasted-to-smithereens zucchini innards was the plexiglass containment box around it. Fantastic for the kiddies and loads of fun for the parents too! You could say that was the original Great Zucchini Explosion for our family.

While I will figure out ways of using all the zucchini that comes my way, so as not to be wasteful, I also know that I’ll probably forget about the odd few somewhere along the line. Soft zuchinnis are gross and doomed to the composter. But are they? Seems my son and son-in-law are always on the lookout for targets at the rifle range. Guess the Great Zucchini Explosion continues! Kapow!

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