The Amish Cook: Zucchini season treat was ‘love at first bite’
BY GLORIA YODER
The Amish Cook
I used to wonder how a person could ever go to work in the garden to unwind. Pulling weeds just wasn’t on my list of things I particularly enjoyed. I don’t know what happened, but I repeatedly found myself ambling toward the garden during the past week after supper and breathing deeply. I felt my entire being relaxing as weeds were being removed and tomatoes staked.
This spring, the garden has been the center of countless quality family times. Our first cucumbers are itty-bitty things that will undoubtedly be picked before real maturity. Daniel and Jesse came into the house last week with our first squash.
Why are garden goodies so much fun? Perhaps a dimension that has added so much joy is having the younger ones old enough to help marvel over the wonder of how God designed vegetable plants to have seeds that can be dried and used for a totally new cycle of more healthy foods for the family. Not to mention the amazing fact that these little boys are actually old enough to grasp the concept of not trampling down sweet corn or pulling vegetable plants instead of weeds. I know you keep telling me that they’ll all be grown before I’ll know what happened; I do think it’s starting to sink in more and more.
Little Joshua loves joining us in the garden as he plays in the dirt or picks on the plastic in the tomato row. Yes, he’s been picking the plastic open, leaving holes large enough for the sun to shine in and weeds to poke their heads through, but you know what? We discovered it’s also worth a lot to have our little curly head happy and occupied as we hoe or plant the rest of the sweet corn or green beans. (We like planting in various hitches to enjoy more fresh from the patch.)
I think it would be the neatest thing to have a root cellar to help keep some garden goodies longer. But then that’s OK. I’m thankful for my ample refrigerator space.
And in response to our young 9-year-old reader, Miss Ashlyn, from Versailles, Ohio, who inquired on how we run our refrigerators and freezers, we have a large solar system with a battery pack that also gets charged when the motor in Daniel’s woodworking shop runs. So yes, we generate our own electricity rather than using it from the line. Thank you for asking!
While we do freeze things, I do enjoy the ease of grabbing a jar in the can room and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice – no thawing needed.
I’ve been racking my brain on what garden bounty recipe to pass on to you. I’m like, “Well, what’s better than a tomato sandwich – a slice of bread with mayo and thick slices of tomato with a bit salt and pepper on top.
Or there’s salad, and really anything can go in it. From fresh lettuce and spinach to plenty of onions, cukes, or even strawberries, they all find their way into an old-fashioned tossed salad. Then there’s squash which will undoubtedly be served at our dinner table more often than I’d even care to admit.
If I’m in a time crunch or am making dinner with a hip rider, I’ll just slice them up and stir fry them in butter or oil, sprinkle with salt. If time allows, I make them Daniel’s favorite way by dipping them in a flour and seasoning mixture one at a time, then frying them to a crispy golden brown.
Before we got married, I was introduced to my fiancé’s family recipe of zucchini patties. It was love at first bite.
2/3 cup Bisquick mix*
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated zucchini
1 small onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Mix all together. Pour 1/2 cup batter in a hot buttered skillet. Fry over medium heat until golden brown. If desired, top with a slice of cheese or for a best-ever sandwich, try eating it with a slice of home made bread and a fresh tomato!