Granny’s Garden, Update #3

by Stefani on 17-June-2009

Well we surely can't come back from Granny's without giving you an update on the birthday garden

Last month, we were so impressed by how quickly our little seedlings had grown. Gardens are a bit like children I think…  you don't notice how quickly they are growing if  you live with them each day, but if you are apart a while, it just takes your breath away to see how fast they've grown up. 

So after the long drive to Granny's house, when we rounded the corner to her drive, everyone unbuckled and pressed themselves up against the car windows to see how the garden was progressing. There were many squeals, bustling and pushing out of the car, snacks and suitcases falling to the ground, and then a full sprint to look under the plants for a harvest – like looking under the Christmas tree for a gift with your name on it. 

Looking for the Prize Veggies

Granny, smart cookie that she is, had let some zucchini grow to a ridiculous size so that her boys would be duly impressed. 

Monster Zuke

Oh and they WERE! "Well you don't ever see a zucchini like THAT in the grocery store, do you?"

I'm kind of thinking that the garden itself is not the fullness of the birthday present that we gave to Granny… I think the real gift is the chance that she's getting to work on a project alongside some fellas that she kinda digs, and to watch their utter delight in the rewards of their efforts. 

Garden Progress

We cut into those monster zukes straight away and made stuffed, baked zucchini. I think that we first saw this on a Paula Deen show, but I can't find the recipe, so we tried winging it. 

Here's what we did: 

We used two giant zucchini, so I'm thinking four regular sized ones would do. We slice them right down the middle, long ways, and laid them face down in a casserole dish with a little bit of water. Then we microwaved them for a few minutes until the centers were soft. 

Then, we scooped out the centers, leaving little boats made of the skins. We mashed up the cooked zucchini and added two cups of Pepperidge Farm seasoned bread cubes, a cup of sour cream and a cup of sharp cheddar. We sprinkled in some extra salt and pepper too. 

Then we loaded it all back into the shells and baked it for about 30 minutes I think… maybe 20? 

It was VERY yummy! I think you could even add in a little sausage and some sauteed onion or mushrooms if you wanted to get fancy. 

My boys were tickled pink to cook up something that they grew. Now, of course, they are waiting most impatiently for our trip to Granny's next month, when hopefully there will be tomatoes for a tomato pie (see all the green ones in the photo above?)! 

If you've got any great zucchini or tomato recipes, we'd love to have 'em!
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Take a look at my young man's amazing (if I do say so myself) foray into lepidopterology today at the Magnifying Glass
Cassandra June 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

Yum! Thanks for the new zucchini idea. I love em, and am always looking for great ways to cook them…especially since we’ve got our own giant ones on the way!

Zeke June 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

My family’s favorite way to eat the giant zucchinis is to make them into pizzas.

cut the zucchini long way, scoop out the seeds. Spread a layer of tomato sauce, a layer of croutons, and a layer of shredded chedder cheese mixed with dry italian dressing seasoning. It’s a big hit with the kids!

Crystal June 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

Yay! I am very much enjoying Granny’s garden. Thanks for sharing.

My Granny used to make zuchinni dumplings. The recipe goes like this.

-Zuchinni Dumplings-

Take 1/2 lb of bacon, or more if you like, and dice it. Fry it it in a large pot. When it gets crispy enough, take the bacon out but leave the grease in the pot. Throw into the grease about 3 or 4 chopped zuchinni and onions. I think she added some chopped tomatoes too. Let the zuc mixture get soft. The add some chicken broth. About 4 cups… Add garlic salt and any spices you may like. Bring to boil. Add Bisquick dumpling mix and cook as directed on the back of the Bisquick box.

I LOVED this stuff. I wish I could taste it they way she made it. It never tastes as good when I make it. She had the touch.

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary June 17, 2009 at 10:04 am

Oh do I have a great zucchini recipe. Chocolate zucchini bread. My kids LOVE it!

http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.com/2008/06/chocolate-zucchini-bread.html

Mama Urchin June 17, 2009 at 11:20 am

I was thinking of something like your stuffed squash for dinner tonight, funny how great minds think alike 🙂

Lise June 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm

We like the “Zuccanoes” (stuffed zucchini) recipe from the Moosewood cookbook.

Kobey June 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm

okay this is my main ingredient during the Maryland summer so I love a good zucchini recipe:

+1) grilled. (Chop zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, … into 1 inch pieces, marinate in Italianish Dressing for an hour if you can, grill, serve as side or serve over pasta. Over Barilla’s Cheese & Spinach Tortellini is good enough for company. My husband might like it better than my lasagna!)

+2) roasted. (slice thin with tomatoes, carrots, onions, yellow squash, mushrooms,…) drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Mrs Dash. roast at 425F for 20 mins.

+3) stir-fry (with sliced yellow squash, onion & salsa for a side)

+4) grate in pancakes

+5) replace the pasta with zucchini in lasagna. (I recommend making a thicker sauce than std lasagna. I also recommend not calling it lasagna because someone is bound to be disappointed – maybe courgette casserole?)

+6) ratatouille is another favorite but not mine personally.

John used to have it in milkshakes growing up but I think that sounds nasty.

Butzeballchen June 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm

That zucchini sounds great! We like this:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/recipes/8808.pie.php#recipe
(usually I substitute a bag of frozen broccoli which has been thawed)

and if you can get your hands on a copy, I would highly recommend the tomato recipes in this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Tomato-Imperative-Tomatoes-Summers-Bounty/dp/0316607940/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245267237&sr=8-1

Kobey June 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

oops on number 2) roasted above…

spread out the veggies thinly on a pan(I use my pizza pan and cookie sheet) then the oil…

Hannah June 17, 2009 at 1:13 pm

We got a humongous zucchini from our garden too! My girls called it their “baby” and carried it around cradled in their arms. Which became a bit of a problem when it was time to chop it up and cook and eat it!

BOATBABY June 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Lucky kids and a fabulous Granny!
Thanks for all the Zuc recipes, I can’t wait to try some out!

Tracey June 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I am in the process of making zucchini bread and you can make relish with zucchini. The relish is really good on hot dogs. The bread freezes well and is wonderful in the fall on cool mornings.

Kerry June 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Delish! I am so loving these updates about Granny’s garden. Thanks for the glimpses into this special part of your lives.

Jennifer June 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm

We love, Love, LOVE the Tomato Gratin recipe in Lost Recipes (http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Recipes-Meals-Friends-Family/dp/0375411984/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245293820&sr=8-2). We always have fresh thyme in our garden, and it makes this so very yummy!

My “sister” makes tomatoes and zucchini. Cut equal amounts of both into large cubes and throw in a pot on the stove with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic if you like. Cook until tender.

darlene June 17, 2009 at 9:43 pm

what a great granny you have!

VintagePleasure June 18, 2009 at 3:28 am

We did something similar but blitzed sweetcorn and Lancashire cheese (it’s crumbly and tangy) mixed with egg. That was so yummy!

melody June 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Your boys will definitely treasure these pictures and memories when they are older! what a great gift you’ve given them!

carrie June 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I really like your lasagne idea. I think I’ll try that this weekend! Thanks so much Kobey.

carrie June 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

My favorite way to use up battered and bruised tomatoes is to peel them, squeeze out their seeds (fun and squishy!) core them and drop them in the crock pot with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil, and about 1/2 an onion. If I’ve got some peppers around i’ll throw them in too. Garlic is nice too, but I like to spice it after I know how I’m going to use it. I keep it plain if I know I’m freezing it for later. I let the whole thing cook over night on low (I do it for 10 hours) and in the morning the entire house smells great. Just use a stick blender to smooth out everything in the pot.

molly June 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

just marvelous! i love the gift you gave granny, a gift you are all enjoying and will remember forever. i was just thinking about your tomato pie while watering the garden the other day.

September 10th June 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Stuffed tomatoes! Mmmmmm…

I love that the garden is a sort of birthday gift that keeps giving, or that gets better with time =)

September 10th June 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

^ Sigh. My URL is not September10th, it’s http://www.becomingsarah.com

I just use September 10th to store my blog link list until I can figure it out on BecomingSarah.com

Emmalina June 20, 2009 at 6:12 am

What you call giant zucchini we call Marrow. If you look on some british websites you’ll find lots of uses, particularly in making gorgeous chutney. My mum used to like them baked with butter, her fave.

Kobey June 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm

We called them courgettes when we lived in England. Is Marrow a more general term for a variety of squash or does it relate to size? I am excited about finding new recipes. Anybody have a good zucchini curry recipe?

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:20 am

Oh my gosh! That sounds really really good. We’re going to have to try that one for sure! Thanks!

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:21 am

Dang.

This sounds so super good!

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:21 am

We don’t have any of those Moosewood books, but I always hear such good things about them. I’m going to have to keep my out. Thanks for the reminder!

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:22 am

That makes two! Thanks for the tips Kobey!

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:23 am

A whole book on tomatoes?! What could be better than that?

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:24 am

Zucchini relish! That sounds so yum. Do you have a particular recipe?

Stefani June 23, 2009 at 9:25 am

fabulous tip! Thanks Carrie!

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