The Problem with Zucchini

It’s zucchini season. We had the first of the harvest for supper with some potatoes and beef. A friend of mine has a garden for the first time this year, and she sent me a picture of four zucchini and two yellow squash and said, “This is the first day. Why did no one WARN me?”

I sent her recipes. Zucchini bread. Banana muffins, but you can sub in shredded zucchini — one cup per banana — for one or two of the three bananas it calls for, and you still get a banana muffin. A hash I make with whatever I have on hand and need to use up. In this case, potatoes and zucchini. Shred the zucchini, I said, and freeze it in one cup portions. You can bake with it all winter and the kids will never know. Just make sure you keep all the liquid with it. 

This is the problem with zucchini. Too much of it all at once. It’s hard to appreciate something when there’s a glut, and easy to forget how that feels in the winter when all the vegetables at the store look like B-movie stunt doubles for the real thing. You’d give anything for a real summer tomato in February, but in early September tomatoes can rot on the vine.

We’re having both right now. There’s a glut of home. It’s harder and harder to appreciate as the months drag on. And I’d kill for a nice summer tomato, a long lazy morning spent sitting in a coffeeshop on my own, eating a giant cookie over the course of three hours, watching strangers walk in and out, and refilling my drink. Everything right now is too much, or nothing.

I want to freeze some of this zucchini, to save it and put it away. I promise I’ll pull it out later, carefully preserving all that liquid, and put it to good use. I promise I will. 

But time is not zucchini. The best I can do is to sit here and eat, spitting out the seeds on the fruits grown too large, and trying not to think of fresh tomatoes.

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