I laughed at a friend yesterday when he told me he planted 36 pole bean plants around a bamboo teepee just 3'-4' across. His is a household of two, and they don't put food by, either. If the bean plants all survive without choking each other, he can supply the entire street. I know... I grew the same variety last year and from just 9 plants I harvested 1-1/2 bushels.
Now it's your turn to laugh at me. I just planted four... that's right, FOUR zucchini plants! No, you needn't make sure your car is locked and the windows up, although that is a powerful amount of zucchini to grow for a single person. One well-traveled zucchini joke is about the woman who grew the world’s largest zucchini. She wanted to take it to a friend to show it off. The zucchini was so huge, it stuck out the car window and she couldn’t lock the car. Stopping at the grocer’s for a few things on the way, she returned to her car to find something dreadful occurred while she was in the store… someone had left her the world’s second largest zucchini too!
The Best Zucchini Recipe:
1 bushel zucchini
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!
I will certainly become 'zucchinied-out' despite all the ways to cook fresh zucchini, but right now I look forward to some old favorites: grilled zucchini quarters marinated in olive oil and garlic; tomato and breadcrumb stuffed zucchini; thin sliced zucchini topped with fresh grated Parmesan and lightly toasted under the broiler... and the list goes on.
However, I really look forward to grating lots of zucchini in 2 cup portions to freeze; it's the perfect amount to bake a batch of zucchini bread on cold, dreary winter days. My conscience will be clear: no discarded zucchini in summer; my frozen winter zucchini will be about as local as you can get; I know what it wasn't grown/sprayed with; and it's much cheaper than the zucchini trucked across the country. I bake 2-3 batches of mini-loaves sometimes monthly, and freeze some; they make tasty gifts.
I also make a Zucchini Marmalade, pictured above. The recipe came from the internet years ago, and has crushed pineapple and apricot jello in the ingredients although I cut down on the amount of sugar. I am a big fan of Pomona's Pectin as it lets me cut down the sugar in jams, jellies, etc. and still jells. (If you are not familiar with Pomona's, it appears more costly (by the box) than something like Sure-Jell. However, one box of Pomona's Pectin will make 3-4 runs of jelly versus 1 run per box of Sure-Jell. Don't be fooled either by boxed pectin that says sugar-free, or add less/no sugar... the fine print often lists other sweeteners in the mix, which can be a problem for Diabetics.)
I plan to try my hand at making pectin this year when early apples come in. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I shall grow zucchini!