How About Some Zucchini?
Do you need any zucchini? That’s a question you hear a lot around here this time of year. As this vegetable is starting to dry up with the hot weather, it is also coming into its full bounty. Letting them grow too long isn’t hard, as the plants can produce one normal sized zucchini every other day. But life gets busy and you are wondering what to do with it. Zucchini bread satisfies the need to use up the mammoth overgrowth. Just grate the zucchini with a cheese grater, then freeze it in Ziploc bags for later use.
Joye Martin Café Zucchini Bread
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. oil
Grease and flour 2 bread pans. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add shredded zucchini, oil, and eggs. Beat with electric mixer until well combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes until top is browned and springs back. Let cool.
Still find yourself chasing neighbors down trying to force your garden bounty on them? Some folks simply don’t know what to do with this squash. So, this recipe is to those who don’t know how to prepare the easiest, tastiest method of all.
Wash and dry zucchini. Slice ¼ inch thick. Beat 2 eggs in 2 tbsp water. Put 2 cups flour in shallow dish. Add spices as you like. Salt, pepper, lemon pepper, Italian seasoning work well. Cajun Seasoning is also a good flavor for this. Fill frying pan with canola oil at least an inch deep. Heat to 350 degrees. Dredge zucchini slices in egg wash, then flour mixture. Fry for 3 minutes each side, then drain on paper towels or rack.
Where on earth is The Joye Martin Cafe?
My Dad and Mom were Southern Baptist missionaries for 13 years serving in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. My mother's ministry consisted of helping a local woman named Derry learn to bake american pastry. This was a novelty in Mongolia. Derry began selling them out of the back of her greenhouse. They became so popular that she had to open a cafe and bakery. The profits soon sent her son to the United States and paid for his medical school. Derry insisted on naming the cafe after my mother, Joye.
Eggplant is a little more daunting, and unusual. The peel contributes to most of its bitterness that people don’t care for. Removing the peel and letting the vegetable completely ripen are key in preparing them. You can slice and fry them with the above-mentioned fried zucchini recipe. But the favorite dish for eggplant in my house is Greek moussaka. The creamy custard-like top makes this casserole my grandkids favorite garden harvest dish.
1 large or two small ripe eggplants
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large onion
1 pound of ground beef or lamb
1 cup milk
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
Peel and slice eggplant into ¼ inch slices. Lightly salt the slices. When moisture beads up on surface, pat dry with paper towels. Sauté slices in 1 tablespoon oil. Add one sliced onion to pan. Sauté until onion is slightly soft. Remove eggplant and onion from pan, and layer in 9x13 baking dish. Pour can of crushed tomatoes over mixture. Brown one-pound beef or lamb in pan. Add seasonings to meat when browned. Drain meat. Layer over eggplants and onions.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan. Add flour and cook until a light-colored roux. Add milk to pan at this time. Heat to just warmed. Add one beaten egg, salt to taste, and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, like a thin gravy. Pour over top of mixture in casserole dish.
Bake dish in 375-degree oven for 20 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and puffy. Let cool and cut into square slices to serve.
Ratatouille is a complete garden harvest dish. Normally this French casserole is layered. But this is an easy one pot version. It uses up a lot of your bounty. It freezes well in Ziploc bags after cooling completely.
One Pot Ratatouille
Peel eggplant. Quarter up all of the vegetables. Fry in oil until soft. Continue cooking on medium heat until all are of the vegetables are very soft. Add 4 dashes of Worchester sauce. Add the seasonings to taste.
Let cool thoroughly if putting in Ziploc bags to freeze. You can heat this up on a busy night, throw some cooked shrimp or chicken in, and serve over pasta for a quick meal.
Tomatoes are hoarded and not easily shared on my farm. I really like you if I give you tomatoes. In my opinion you can never have too many. With the ability to fit 8-10 of them in a jar, or up to 20 in a Ziploc bag, none of the harvest goes to waste. My husband eats three to six tomatoes a day!
So, if you find you have too many tomatoes, here is a family favorite recipe, which I can never make enough of. Michael Jackson was my high school English teacher, not the moonwalking superstar.
Michael Jackson’s Salsa
10 peeled tomatoes
1 small onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 small bell pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. chili powder
1 t. dried cumin powder
1 T. dried cilantro
1 T. salt
1 t. vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
Blanch, cool, and peel tomatoes. Process peppers and onion in food processor to minced. Put in large pot with 1 t. oil. Process peeled tomatoes until thick in a food processor. Add to pepper onion mixture. Cook on medium heat ten minutes. Turn down to a simmer. Add vinegar and oil. Mix in all seasonings. Simmer 10 more minutes. Put immediately into jars and process if canning. Cool and put in Ziploc bags for freezer.
Next month, the pear and apple harvest will be upon us. The trees are already beginning to drop fruit at an alarming rate. Looks like an early fruit season may be here this fall. Get the canning jars ready, and we will make Pear butter together in September.
© 2018 Vicki Wood