It’s finally happened! After a solid six years of trying, I grew a single, perfect, fuzzy zucchini!
Yes, they grow like weeds and turn into fat old gourds if you don’t pick them the very minute they arrive, and after paying actual dollars for dirt (dirt, people) and building a shrine to hold it in, and covering it with a critter-proof cage, and faithfully watering, and singing songs of hopeful longing to little sproutlings, I have managed to grow…this.
This being the sum total of four months of labor. This year.
I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong. It used to be so easy.
But the zucchini was beautiful. I discovered it an hour before we left on a family vacation and packed it gently with a towel into my car. There was no way I was not going to eat it. This little veggie cost me a lot of money and a few tears and I deliberated how to do it proper justice.
Enter Ziggy. Ziggy was not technically camping in our particular hut but he came over all the day long to cook his own food in the little kitchen we had, the cafeteria not able to furnish his dietary requirements. Ziggy is also not technically his name, because I protect the identity of happy campers who cook with wine and wield large knives. Furthermore, Ziggy was always barefoot. I told him we were going to lose our “A” in the window.
As the fam and I trudged off to the cafeteria for meals, heavenly aromas drifted on the breeze as Ziggy made himself smoked salmon omelets and lamb shank stews. He hummed the occasional melody. Carrot peels festooned our trashcan. I realized then that he was a Hobbit. I dubbed him Siegfried Wanderfoot.
My little triumph sat on the counter, blending in with the coffee grounds, pondering its fate. Days went by.
Finally, Ziggy asked, “Are you going to eat that?”
“Um, yes. I just can’t decide how.”
“Too small for bread,” he agreed, “too large for a pickle. What are your thoughts on garlic?”
And this is how the most triumphant zucchini dish ever prepared materialized out of actual thin air.
And also how I ended up with a personal chef who is also a Hobbit who can survive at an altitude of 5,400′ above sea level. If you ever used to have a plethora of zucchini and disguised them in a multitude of recipes, you have forgotten what a squash tastes like. Heaven. It tastes like fresh, green, heaven with little clouds of garlic butter. Enjoy.
Ziggy’s Zippy Zucchini
Hand tended organic zucchini sauteed at altitude in pure butter with finely chopped fresh garlic and seasonal herbs.
- Plant organic zucchini seeds and tend and water daily.
- After many weeks, and in the height of summer, pick one fresh zucchini and carefully transport to a mountain over 5,000′ in elevation.
- Let zucchini rest for a minimum of three days, soaking up the wild scent of pine.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into 5mm thin slices with a sharp knife. Put aside to rest.
- Grind both pepper and salt over both sides of zucchini slices with love.
- Finely chop fresh garlic cloves and place in saute pan with a sizable portion of pure butter.
- Put gas stove on high heat and melt garlic butter, adding herbs in small doses as it melts.
- Lay zucchini slices in hot pan and saute, turning every two minutes to ensure an even cook.
- When zucchini starts to caramelize and crisp up along the edges, remove from pan to rest for one minute.
- Arrange on plate in floral pattern. Enjoy with a glass of Layer Cake cabernet sauvignon.
Well done Ziggy! And congrats Jolie on your zucchini! I’ve just started my garden. We’ll see. I’m not as faithful as you are! Thanks for sharing this great story!!!