Seasonal Scene: Zucchini

Where do I start listing the many things I did wrong with my melon/ squash patch this year… At least there is something growing. Last year I picked a totally wrong location, for many reasons, and yielded only one gourd, about the size and edibility of a VeggieTale character. Back in this spring’s golden days of shelf lit sprouts, I had them all arranged neatly and orderly in their peat beds. When time came to plant them outdoors, I got all involved putting them in the ground, forgetting that my only way of identifying each was a little plant pick with their name on it, and all the picks were now swimming in the bottom of the pan! Whoops. So, I’ve got a bunch of big green vines and lovely yellow blooms out there. Maybe I’ll take some pictures and have a “name my baby squash” contest here on the blog.
A couple of plants are showing their colors- that’d be the zucchini, our early summer squash. I’ve gotten one fruit so far, and it has already been consumed in the form of sweet bread. Luke’s aunt has some more prolific plants apparently, and gave us a few for more bread and, I’m hoping, a redo of squash cake. I used a silicone pan for it last time, with sad results. Going back to a metal pan, and loving it.
I believe peeled, shredded zucchini can be sneaked into many different casseroles. I just put it into tonight’s pasta bake and barely noticed its presence. I bet mashed potatoes could hide it, too. Just trying to plan ahead for the year I have it in spades, which doesn’t look like this year.

Seasonal Scene: Peas

I’m not getting to a computer very often, so this is a bit late. I harvested peas last week and wanted to get my notes in on that…
I planted 4 rows of seeds, and probably had them spaced a little too close together, because as they matured, they looked more and more like the Bride of Frankenstein’s hair. Only a very pretty green. I was so inspired by their leaves and blooms that I made several greeting cards with the plants on the front. Luke was kind enough to put up some string to guide them upward and not outward, but soon they all began to tumble over the beets and carrots. Next time it will have to be taller staking. The pods were very sweet in their own right- I’m considering training us to eat the whole thing steamed instead of just the peas. Such a waste! And the work it took to get a handful of peas- like I said, a three by three plot only yielded a cup of peas! But it was kinda fun shelling them- I never knew what I was going to get. One family had three, another had 7. Each one was a different shape and size, too, which I thought was ironic. (the saying, like peas in a pod, makes me think they’d be the same) Excellent activity for the children. I froze this harvest in hopes of them gracing our Thanksgiving table. The rest of my seeds will go in soon for a fall harvest- I think I will plant them the first of August. Luke says, why not now, but I think it has to do with heat and keeping their growing season to the cooler parts of spring and late summer that give success. Although, success is a relative term when we’re talking peas. I’m not expecting to match a 12 ounce bag from the store after it is all told. But I can say I grew them myself, and that is all that matters.