09 August 2009

Paralysis of plenty

You start off being so proud of the produce that your lovingly-tended plants are turning out. Then, after a remarkably short period of time, the delight begins to turn into complacency. A week or so later, the produce is beginning to pile up in the fridge and the challenge of having to do something creative with it all starts to induce sensations of panic in the grower. If you're not careful, a kind of paralysis sets in, until you are faced with the certain knowledge that if you don't do something about it all RIGHT NOW, it's going to start turning bad and you're going to start feeling bad.

It got like that today, with the courgettes/zucchini, which had completely filled the salad drawer in the fridge when I brought two more in to join them (and those two didn't make the photo-shoot). I've only got two plants, but they're ... productive. So far, I've grated four of them and frozen them to be added to winter soups and stews. Three were eaten up at lunch time and my next step is to try my hand at a Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Only don't tell Child #2, who has a horror of anything with zucchini or pumpkin in it.

11 comments:

Janice Childers said...

There's always zucchini bread, and zucchini fritters, zucchini muffins, ratatouille ... There's a saying in the U.S. South -- people lock their cars up in the summer so nobody will leave their extra zucchini!

Mo said...

I remember feeling exactly this way with my all eggplants this summer.

Now that my garden isn't producing anything I miss that feeling. Ah to have countertops overflowing with zucchinis!

Linda said...

I was just saying to my husband yesterday that I didn't think I'd got the coordination right between what we were growing and what we were cooking. Somehow I haven't really adapted to use enough of our produce this summer, but it has been a bit fraught with two of us being ill, and then a visitor, and then son's exam results....

If it's any consolation, the zucchini/courgette phobia has now disappeared for my daughter in mid teens. Let us know if the chocolate cake is a hit!

easygardener said...

My sentiments exactly. Courgettes in particular always win in the end. I've done the bread and the cake - it's soup today!

Emily said...

I've head that you can make bread and butter pickles out of zucchini. I haven't tried it yet because despite having 3 plants my first female flower only bloomed yesterday! We enjoy zucchini soup as well.

Heather said...

Oohhh, maybe I will try chocolate zucchini cake too! My plants aren't producing well but enough. I feel the same way when things start piling up. I made spicy garden tomato juice last night and canned 7 quarts. I am so excited but heck it took a lot of tomatoes. Good luck with the cake~

Dan said...

mm, chocolate zucchini cake sounds good. Frozen grated zuc's make nice winter baking as well. Zucchini relish is really good too.

Daphne said...

I want more zucchini to grate for the winter. I have four plants. I ought to be getting too many, but they just peter in. I know what you mean about the anticipation of getting your first then over time as you have way too much you just can't eat it all. I'm that way with my cherry tomatoes right now. I picked pounds of them today and just can't eat them all. I keep wondering if I can make tomato sauce from cherry tomatoes.

Amanda said...

The cake was fine. Not the best chocolate cake I've ever had, but it all vanished in 30 minutes (even Child #2 ate it (in the certain knowledge that it contained zucchini!!)).

Daphne - I would definitely go for the tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes. I used them for that purpose last year. I oven roasted them for 30 minutes (with olive oil and some garlic (and I know you've got plenty of that!)) and then pressed them through a sieve to take out the skin and pips. Tasted great!

Lucy Corrander said...

I'm wondering if it would work with squash.

I tried grated carrot in bread once but it got picked out, tiny bit by tiny bit - along with loud sounds of aggrieved disapproval.

Lucy

Helen said...

Sounds like zucchini freezes really well -- just slice, dice or shred, and pop into freezer bags, squeeze out the extra air (or siphon it out with a straw), label and pop back in the freezer. I'm also a big fan of grilled zucchini, with lots of garlic.