Monday, August 16, 2010

Masking the Wild Zucchini

How many of you are out in your gardens right now harvesting your produce? Well, maybe not right now, because exactly right now you are reading this, but just before you read this, how many of you were out there filling bowls and colanders with peas and beans and tomatoes and peppers? Or maybe you are jumping up at this very moment and saying to yourself, “holy cow. I need to get out there in my garden with my bowl and harvest my peas and beans and tomatoes and peppers.” So you’ve either been there or are heading out there. Let’s say you’ve been there. You’ve filled your bowl and you begin walking down the path toward the end of the garden, planning tonight’s meal of creamed peas and potatoes when you glance over to your left. “What’s that?!” you say. You carefully set down your bowl and peer in a little closer. You don’t have to lean too closely, though, because what you see is a zucchini so big you could scrape it out, carve a small shelf for your beer cooler, hop in, and float the river.

I hear you people talk about your love of zucchini. Zucchini in salads, zucchini fried, zucchini baked, zucchini this and zucchini that. I don’t believe you. I don’t believe any of you truly love zucchini. You just want to be seen as some veggie-loving health nut that disdains those people who choose to eat their zucchini covered in sugar and chocolate. I am married to one of you. Mr. “I think I’ll chop up this zucchini and add it to this beef/soup/salad/chicken/dish”. Stand alone entrees which, I might add, were perfectly fine without zucchini. I’m surprised I haven’t had zucchini in my weekend pancakes or waffles. Wait a minute…..he told me those lumps were apples…..

This time of year I am constantly on guard for lumps of a pale green substance in all but my workday breakfasts and lunches; the only meals I can eat without worry because they are the only meals I prepare myself. Sure, I could offer to cook all the evening meals, but that takes so much more time than carefully forking out unwanted matter into pale green piles on the side of my plate. The thrill of the search only lasts for so long, though, so I have become quite adept at grabbing the zucchini before Dean has a chance to get creative with it and use it in the way it was truly meant to be used. There is a reason zucchinis were developed in the first place and it wasn’t to make healthy vegetarians out of all of us. It was to satisfy our sweet tooth. That is the only reason.

And now that you have been informed of the true reason for zucchini, I am going to share my favorite, tried and true zucchini cake recipe. The next time somebody brags to you about the latest healthy and creative zucchini meal they ate/cooked/saw in a cookbook ---- stuff their open mouth with a piece of this cake.

Or better yet…….just wave a piece of it in front of their nose, watch them drool and then stuff it in your own mouth, smile politely and explain that you’d love to offer them a piece but you know they don’t eat zucchini that has been corrupted with sugar and chocolate. But try not to drop too many crumbs out of your mouth as you say it. That’s just tacky.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

½ cup margarine, soft
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour milk
2 ½ cup flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
2 cups finely diced zucchini
½ cup chocolate chips

Cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and sour milk. Beat with mixer.
Mix together all the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.
Beat well with mixture.
Stir in diced zucchini.
Spoon batter into greased and floured 9 x 12 x 2 inch pan.
Sprinkle top with chocolate chips
Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry and clean.◦


Art Elser said...

I think you made a slight mistake in your recipe, Cathy. Shouldn't it be 1/2 cup finely diced zucchini and 2 cups of chocolate chips?

That would leave more of those green lumps for Dean.

Trinity Chappelear said...

So when are you going to take all of your blog posts and write a book?