Ahem. Well now. That was an embarassingly long silence on my end of things. Truth is, I have about 4 unfinished, abandoned posts languishing in html limbo, but for reasons unknown even to me, will likely remain unfinished. I'll try to extract a couple recipes from there though, cause there were a couple good ones. Like the beet hummus. Yum.
So summer is in full swing, which means long foggy and windy days here. If we're lucky, the fog burns off in the early afternoon and the tomatoes can get at least a small dose of sun. While the rest of the country swelters, here on the coast we've been wearing sweatshirts and wool socks and occaisionally turning on the heat in the chill of the evening. This is not bragging. I love the heat of summer, with cicadas and thunderstorms and lightning bugs. I love the sticky feeling that makes you want to jump in a pool or pond and stay in till your fingers are pruney. I love real summers and I miss them. Pout.
But there is one eternal part of summer that even we get to participate in. Zucchini larceny. Everybody lock your doors and put the dogs out to guard the house, 'cause I just found out that August 8 is the official National Sneak Zucchini Onto a Neighbor's Porch Day. Oh, yeah. It's on. Our squashes have been gloriously productive this year (as opposed to last year, when we got maybe 3 off of 6 plants), from the Raven zucchini to the Ronde de Nice to the mystery volunteers which look like pale green zepplins. I've made my standbys: sneaky squash pasta, zucchini muffins and bread. Now its time to get creative. One of the most sucessful experiments has been zucchini chips dried in the dehydrator. They are crunchy, just a little salty and actually quite pleasant tasting. Even Z., who hates zukes, enjoys these chips. All you have to do is slice the squash as thin as possible, toss with a small amount of olive oil (just enough to lightly coat), arrange on dehydrating trays, and sprinkle with a small amount of salt. I like for just a few grains to get on each slice, but season to your taste. I have a feeling that garlic salt would be pretty tasty on them too. In my experience curry powder does not work well. Maybe parmesan cheese? Oregano? Red pepper flakes?
The other experiment is a lacto-fermented relish from the book Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, by the Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante. I'm quite skeptical that merely layering shredded squash with salt and some water and letting it sit will transform zucchini into a tasty fermented treat. Really, I'm just worried that I'll poison myself. But this type of preservation has been used for ages and is much healthier than canned foodstuffs, as it is chock full of probiotics and enzymes. So we'll see how it goes. I may also try to make zucchini relish or dill pickles. If I'm really motivated.
Do you have any favorite zucchini recipes that you would like to share? Any advice on the best way to sneak extra squashes onto unsuspecting porches?