Zucchini wars

Friday , October 04, 2013 - 1:26 PM

Audrey Godfrey, Standard-Examiner

We’ve had a lot of things left on our porch through the years — a tree trunk, old Christmas trees, fliers, advertisements, etc. But the worst items were zucchini and zucchini bread. We laughed at the trunk and the Christmas trees; we trashed the fliers; sometimes we read the advertisements before we trashed them. But discarding someone’s generous donation from their garden (even though we knew they were just trying to get share)? We trashed it, too.

We understand the urge to get rid of too much produce. In fact, we had so many cabbages this summer they ended up taking most of the space in the refrigerator. We also used every recipe we knew — corned beef and cabbage (twice), cabbage salad with chicken, cucumber, onion, etc., as well as plain old coleslaw. But the cabbages continued to grow. So one day I loaded them in the car and took them to the food bank. I was sure someone would be delighted to have our wonderful big cabbages.

But eventually we took our overflow to the food pantry, and they were glad to have them.

Of course we never grow zucchini in OUR garden! But evidently the people of Linden in Utah County, do, and they devise hilarious ways to get rid of it. One day a woman called my sister-in-law, Eloise, and asked her where her meal was (the woman was ill). Eloise answered, “I don’t know, I’m sick, too.” Well, with that the fun began.

The next week her neighbor’s husband rang her doorbell early in the morning. In her pajamas, and rubbing her eyes, Eloise answered the door. Nobody was there. But looking down, she saw a BIG zucchini with a note that said, “Dinner.”

After that the creativity went out of control. Another morning Eloise opened the front door and found a “wind chime” carved out of zucchini. “All of the beauty and none of the annoying clang,” the card read. That called for a similar gift.

She told the culprits they were welcome to the corn in her garden. When they came to pick it they found zucchinis tied to the corn stalks.

The next round centered on a library book entitled, “The Book of Squash” which arrived baked in a cake. For several months the book traveled the neighborhood--inside a zucchini tombstone; baked in a pizza, etc.

The poetry accompanying the “gifts” rivaled Ogden Nash (he was a real person).

“This isn’t a normal zucchini,

Inside lives a magical genie.

So do not delay,

Start wishing today

That next year’s zucchini are teeny.”

Eloise returned the favor with a baggie of frozen zucchini and this poem:

“We’re pretty sure you’re supposin’

A back-at-you we’d be composin’.

It just isn’t fair

For you to share

When all of our assets are frozen.”

The fun carried on through the years, even on Chrismas Eve when chocolates turned out to be chocolate covered sliced zucchini. Once UPS actually delivered the tasty morsel to an unsuspecting family, and in the spring, Eloise found zucchini springing up in her flower bed.

The final (maybe) buffoonery arrived via a neighbor dressed in a Native American head dress who recited a parody of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” about a princess named Zu-Kee-Nee. She handed Eloise a pouch with seeds to be planted in a pot. It was returned to the neighbor with a parody of Poe’s “The Raven.” Instead of a raven saying “Nevermore,” a bull frog croaked, “Tie the score,” and “Send no more.”

Well, most of us don’t get that wound up, but their neighborhood enjoyed the fun.

I end with my favorite zucchini recipe, called “All-a-Bunch-of-Hooey.”

Pick a zucchini and wash and shred it.

Put in a mixing bowl with: 1 1/2 cups flour

2 eggs

1 square of margerine (don’t waste your butter)

Add applesauce to sweeten

Chop and add 6 peanuts (after shelling them)

Add seasoned salt (1 shake) and 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Stir well.

DO NOT BAKE!

(Throw in garbage and buy donuts.)

kenaud1@comcast.net

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