Welcome to the hottest summer on record! As we try to walk every day, lingering under the shady trees as much as possible, Luke the wonder dog and I are longing to be home, in the coolth. He can at least lie on the floor, on top of the air conditioning vent. He also doesn’t have to worry about what to do with the sudden abundance of zucchini. Like Homer Price’s doughnuts, ripening zucchini is everywhere. Luckily, there are just about as many recipes for zucchini as there are the ubiquitous and magically regenerating vegetables themselves.
Very popular this year are zucchini boat recipes. I like the idea of filling hollowed out vessels of zucchini with a variety of fixings, vegetarian or not, and using up all the lingering leftovers. Zucchini Boats
Luckily, zucchini is oh, so versatile. You can find it in soups, salad, chips, galettes, casseroles, hidden in breads and cookies. You can roast it, slice it, twirl it. This is a link to a virtual compendium of zucchini recipes.
Do not be sneaky with zucchini. You don’t want to be the formerly favorite aunt who brings zucchini ginger cupcakes to the birthday party. Kids have a different perspective on summer. They never forget so-called “gourmet” baking experiments, or deliberate kid deceptions. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Zucchini-Ginger-Cupcakes-1222207
Nobody is fooled by zucchini bread. Least of all the small children into whom you are trying to stuff healthy vegetables. They are wise to your ways. Discuss the benefits of adding vegetables to your daily diet before feeding them this delicious Lemon Zucchini Bread.
Good luck with the annual glut of zucchini. Just remember that they are the harbingers of fall and cooler weather. We just have to get through August first. And a good way to enjoy August is sitting in the shade, hoping for a breeze, having a cocktail before engaging with that pile of zucchini. Maybe even listening to a podcast, like Slate Magazine’s Culture Gabfest’s Annual Summer Strut.
Every year (except during COVIDtimes) these podcast hosts have asked their listeners to submit their favorite Song of the Summer, for strutting along merrily through the summertime heat. We listen to all these songs of summer as we walk the dog, walk to the ice cream shop, mow the lawn, and drive to the beach.
Here in the much vaunted Spy test kitchens, we will be listening to the Summer Strut while testing perfect summer cocktails. Something to sip after a long day at the drawing table. After walking on the sun-softened sidewalks with Luke the wonder dog. Something cool and delicious to remind us of summers past: vacations, sojourns, by the lake, by the ocean, in a hammock. Won’t you join us? We are asking Spy readers for their favorite drinks of summer: the Summer Sips 2023. Please email me your favorite summer cocktail recipes: [email protected] and next week we will share your recipes.
“The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.”
*This is my favorite zucchini quotation of all time, and I haul it out almost every year.