Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Indispensable Vegetable

Every spring the gardeners in our midst get itchy feet.  As soon as the ground thaws, they are out there with a pocket full of seeds letting the soil sift between their fingers.  They lovingly push the seeds into the ground with one hand and pull weeds out with the other hand.  Then they sit back and watch with anticipation to see what sprouts.  Some of these amateur agriculturists  have corn flourishing in their backyard, some potatoes and some beans but one vegetable that every true gardener sows is zucchini.  Zucchini is the vegetable of choice because zucchini gives one bragging rights.  Just a little more than a fortnight after the sowers amongst us tenderly drop their first zucchini seed in the ground, you can hear the boast begin.  “You should see my zucchini vine.  Just yesterday it sprouted and now it’s a jungle back there.  It’s already weaving its way all over my backyard.”  Not long after that you hear the same horticulturists crow, “I have zucchinis back there that are almost three feet long.”
    “If I do grow zucchinis what should I do with them?” you ask.  “Everyone knows that as a vegetable a zucchini is virtually useless.”  This is what you should do: While your zucchini is still ripening, scour the neighbourhood, watching for just the right person to present your prize vegetable to.  Find a neighbour who is a skinflint, a domestic goddess and someone who has a kind and generous spirit.  You must find a skinflint or your neighbour will quietly sneak out to her compost bin under the veil of darkness and unceremoniously dump your prize possession into that rotting debris.  You must find a domestic goddess or she will leave your zucchini to rot on the counter while she goes about her business and you must find a person with a kind and generous spirit or she will keep the wares for herself.  After you find just the right person wait until the hottest day in the summer, then present that unsuspecting neighbour with your prize zucchini.   While you rest under the shade of your oak tree engulfed in a good book, she will be bustling about her overheated kitchen turning out all sorts of delicacies: zucchini cake, zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, zucchini cookies. In the cool of the evening when you think to yourself, “My, it would be nice to have a wee something to wash down my tea,” she will come knocking on your door, laden down with all sorts of mouth-watering tidbits.  As you gorge yourself on the last savory morsel, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you deserve this tiny indulgence after all the work you did to grow that zucchini.


  1. Ha ha. I'm currently eating a zucchini loaf my Mother in Law baked four our picky eating daughter....delish.

  2. I was just given four this morning and was wondering what to do with them. Now I know--the compost bin.

    You crack me up.