Some southern dilemmas are the sweetest to have.
Here, in South Carolina (and most of the southern states) 99% of families instill, from birth, three important lessons in their children — manners, courtesy and hospitality.Even in these modern times, we are a ‘yes ma’am’/’no sir’, polite and sharing kind of people. Basically y’all, we are taught just plain RESPECT of others.
I believe, by nature though and the grace of God, southerners are a generous lot, period, and we wouldn’t know what to do if we couldn’t share the best of our world with our neighbors. What’s the point of having wonderful things happen to you, if you don’t have someone to share it with.
Well, Harleyville is no exception. In fact, it’s the rule. Especially, when it comes to the bounty of our vegetable gardens. My mom has been getting (almost like clockwork) various vegetables this time of year from the same neighbors, year after year, since my second step-father died in 2003. We used to have half-acre gardens every year and my brother, sister and I were not left out of the garden work. As a kid, I dreaded the summer garden chores: pulling weeds every day, picking vegetables as they ripened, and pulling up the dead stalks when it was all done.
It wasn’t until I was a teen, that I realized why we always planted such a large garden. (By the way, our garden was actually small compared to many other Harleyvillians) It was the sharing of the bounty with our neighbors that determined the size; also, canning for the winter, but mostly the sharing. Perhaps it could have been the innocent competition of whose garden grew the most luscious tomatoes or the tenderest corn, but either way, you were bound to give away at least a third of the garden produce.
Now, it’s that time again, the sharing of the garden bounty. Last night at Bible study at First United Methodist Church, a funny story was shared along with the tasty mistake one parishioner’s husband made in his seed selection this past spring. As it went, this skilled yard-farmer thought he had chosen both yellow squash and green zucchini. Unfortunately, he was quite mistaken and didn’t realize until his observant wife pointed out gently (and with a smile, I imagine) that he only had zucchini in the garden. Oh what a dilemma to have; too many zucchini.
Again, being the kind of folks we are, this parishioner brought a grocery bag full of the vegetables to pass along to the class, revealing two varieties in the bag. At least her husband got two different kinds of zucchini in absence of the yellow squash. This abundance lead conversation into ‘what do you do with so many zucchini,’ besides give it away. Turns out, zucinni bread was the most popular answer; and amazingly enough, I discovered it doesn’t stay on the counters of Harleyville homes long enough for the bread to make it to the freezer. Who else, besides me, didn’t know that zucinni bread is so sought after in our town?
This conversation got me thinking about what you really can do with zucchini. My favorite way to prepare it is simply cut, batter and fry. But, that may be too simple. So, there I was last night, searching the internet for interesting zucchini recipes.
Until then, I didn’t even know you could freeze zucchini, but it turns out, you can. Courtenay over at The Creek Line House has shared the proper way to put away all that zucchini for the coming winter. I thought she also offered a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, which our classmate mentioned she wanted to make for her husband, who blessed her with the bounty in the first place. However, when I followed the link in the freezing story, it didn’t result in the cake recipe. I even searched her site, but perhaps the recipe has since been removed. Not to fear, I did find chocolate zucchini cake recipes, though. So, without further ado…
Check out these zucchini recipes to deplete your stash
And, one more for the road.
I’ll let Harleyville decide if it’s the best EVER. Until the next post…
Feature photo: a portion of the zucchini shared at church.