In the nearly 11 years that we’ve been married, Shawn and I have attempted a backyard vegetable garden three times. Our first attempt took place in Florida and the fruit of our labors was a handful of green beans.
Garden number two went under construction in Spring 2009. Our daughter Lucy has for the past couple years told us that she wants to be a gardener when she grows up so we thought we’d encourage her desire by starting a small vegetable garden for her and her older brother in the backyard of our Virginia townhouse. So Shawn went to Home Depot, they picked out which seeds they wanted, and came home to turn my kitchen counter into a mini greenhouse for a couple of weeks. They tended their seedlings until the temperature outside was prime for planting, then made the fateful transition outdoors.
The plants survived about a week.
The soil was like cement and the fact that our backyard had a serious downward slope didn’t help. So when we decided to make another attempt at vegetable gardening this Spring at our home in Lancaster, PA, my hopes weren’t high. I figured if I got a handful of fresh cilantro and enough spinach for a side salad, I’d consider our garden a rousing success.
Well, Mother Nature had other things in mind. The combination of ridiculously fertile Lancaster-county soil and my husband’s late night studying of Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening and we have ourselves a VERY fruitful garden this year.
Besides already harvesting more peas and lettuce than an army of rabbits could ever hope to eat, on Saturday we found 3 mutant zucchini hidden underneath the jungle that is currently our garden, and we've got about 14 more monstrosities gaining strength and size with each passing day.
I love zucchini, but there is a limit to my affection, and I think 17 zucchini the size of my calves could be that limit. The bright side is that I do have an outrageously good zucchini bread recipe. The down side is I estimate that my impending zucchini could produce upwards of 500 loaves. I need some other options, so I turn to you, my good readers, to help.
What does a mere woman do with all these zucchini? I'm looking for your absolute favorite zucchini recipes here. And while I'll keep Guideline #2 from last Friday's post (I like my food real, nothing artificial), please bombard me with your best ideas. And whichever one I like the best will be spotlighted on this Friday's post!