Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Size... It really does matter

I know many people are bursting with pride at their massive, state-fair-prize-winning zucchinis freshly home-grown in their gardens. Such beauties will feed an army, yeah?!

My roommates my sophomore year in college and I used to relish the beauts that roomie Jill brought back from the farm. We ate so much zucchini bread after the harvest of a few, what seemed like, 10 pounders. We would grate it and keep the required amount in freezer bags so that we {I} could make the bread at a moment's notice. Regular, Choc Chip, Choc Choc Chip... It was so good! I haven't looked a piece square in they eye since, but still, it was good.

Large, state-fair prized winning zucchinis are great for baking bread or other tempting creations. But for actually eating this vegetable on it's own, as the main attraction, the smaller the better please! Small zucs are so tender yet crisp and bursting with flavor. They aren't mushy or grainy. That is why I was so pleased to find these little guys at a recent trip to Harris Farm Markets.

Speaking of, I also sowed my garden yesterday, of which I am ecstatic about. After spending the greater part of the last 6 years in big city flats or in houses without garden areas, I was glad to finally 'settle' this year on 1/3 of an acre with a few tiny plots of space that weren't covered in lawn. I planted tomatoes, zucchini, courgettes, and carrots so far, in addition to my herbs that I planted when we got here in January. I absolutely adore gardening. I love seeing things grow and I can't help but run out each morning to see if any of the beatiful flowers has develpoed into fruit yet! There is something so fresh, fulfilling, and rewarding about the whole process.

However, this year, as Murphy would have it, there is a MAJOR problem. I am beyond terrified of all snakes and reptiles, I certifiably need therapy. I was elated to hear an original neighbor in the hood say, that in the 23 years he has lived in his house, they have never seen a snake. This was incredibly reassuring.

However, they recently began a big construction project, developing 5 acres behind our house. So yesterday another neighbor came over to tell me to be incredibly careful and on the lookout for and I quote 'deadly snakes' that will most likely be on the loose since their nests will be disturbed with the contstruction. Yipes! We have already found about 15 deadly Funnel Web Spiders in our pool. And then there was this guy who had the gall to show his ugly face last week as a man was back there installing a new fence in the yard. He is supposedly harmless but he was nasty and hissing.

I've got to be honest, the thought of running into snakes, deadly or not, skinks {little lizards} or another blue-tongue really takes the joy out of the peeking under those incredibly large zucchini plant leaves. The mere thoughts I am having right now are about to send me charging for a paper bag! It is sad that I will probably have to send Ben out to gather the harvest, or I guess I could have a pair of sticks on the back patio and start clicking them in warning that I'm 'a comin! slither out of here ya heathen creatures! Ohhh, rustling leaves, it is a sound worse to me than nails on a chalkboard!

Oh the dear price we pay for our gorgeous weather and tropical vegetation!

And PS, if your interested, Sissy Kate is having snake troubles of her own. Read up if you like.

Anyway, as I contemplate therapy or a steel fence around my yard, enjoy these I grilled up fresh for you. Use any spices or herbs you like, you can't go wrong! Top with a smattering of grated Parmesan if you like too.

Grilled Baby Zucchini

Olive Oil





Brush the zucchini with a little olive oil {or just drizzle and get your hands in there and dirty}. Sprinkle with herbs, dried or fresh, garlic, or seasonings or desired flavored salts.

Grill on a preheated grill for about 4-6 minutes on each side.

-Sorry I know it is not much of a specific recipe, but we've gone in all directions from smokey southwest with cumin and chili powder to just plain garlic and olive oil with Parmesan on top to loads of herbs and adding some portobello mushrooms in the mix -you can't go wrong. Be creative!


Kristen said...

Eeeks - I would be a little nervous to come face to face with one of those too!
For yummy veggies though, I might just take the chance.

Lisa said...

Those snakes would scare me to. No snakes in NJ (only skunks LOL). You've grown some nice zucchini!

Prudy said...

Oh, man...I'd be eating pork and beans out of the can rather than harvest anything with your dangers. Kudos to you for gardening at all. I'd never leave the house. :)

Dee said...

Grilled zucchini is mandatory for our barbecues! Yours is almost too pretty.

I don't think I've ever come across a live snake that wasn't behind a glass encasement, so I don't know what I'd do. Run, I suppose. Really fast.

I fixed that faulty link, by the way. My bad!

Sandy said...

I loved grilled baby zucchini - and can you believe we did not get ANY zucchini planted this year? boo hoo - I'm not very happy!

THanks for the comment and visiting me.

Joe Horn said...

Wow, Nice picture of the critter. He looks like trouble. I love grilled zucchini. I did have some last year for the first time. Many first times for me lately. haha

Hope your week is going great! Thanks for stopping by. I just opened and used the smoker this weekend and had quite a time. Come take a look when you get a chance, I think you will get a laugh out of it!


AnneMarie said...

Just the thought of looking for a vegetable and instead finding a snake or some other reptilian thing creeps me out! I'm sorry for you! I vote for Ben to harvest:)

Dhanggit said...

i thought the title was kinky...so i continue reading on..but i am not disappointed for i love zucchini!! this is so yummy way of preparing them! ok now lets talk about sizes :-) hehehehe

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

Grilled zucchini is my favorite. When (if) you ever cook too much, dice it and throw it in with some fresh pico de gallo. It's awesome!

I have a very firm rule about not living anywhere with sneaky things that can kill me (insects, arachnids, snakes, etc...) I'll take my chances with the bears and coyotes. You can see them coming!

Make sure those two sticks of yours have nice sharp points. My uncle in Texas never took a walk without his 'snake stick'. Righto. Texas was on the 'never live here' list from the time I was a wee bairn.

...And I'm typing very, v e r y slowly on my link so that it works this time :-)

Bellini Valli said...

Snakes don't usually bother me but poisonous ones yes. Here we have rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widows.When they were doing the sewer system I came home from work to find a 4 foot dead rattle snake on my front lawn. He had been living in my garden all along!!!!!! And yes baby zucchini are the best grilled with baby eggplant, peppers and pattypan...yummy too:D

Erin said...

*Aghhhhh* i hate when people post pictures of snakes. I had to look away and scroll down to by pass that picture!

anyway I'm a new reader, and I'm loving this blog... zucchini is YUMMY. My mom's made it twice this summer already! but the second time around, it was made with bread flour, hmm not a good idea. though i think it's so fattening, any recipes to still make it tasty and less fattening?

hot garlic said...

Thanks for the sympathy!

LOL Lisa

Prudy, I have a good view of the yard as it has a slight slope to it. I give it a careful comethrough with my two little beady eyes before stepping out!

Thanks Dee, I'll be back to check it out!

Sandy, what a shame! Maybe next year?!

Dhanggit -no wonder Leslie calls it your 'erotic' kitchen!

Rebecca your link didn't work, I just got your email! Thanks a lot! I think I am going to have nightmares now! I'll respond to your email tomorrow.

Bellini -I would DIE!! I'm officially dry heaving...

Erin, wow, you really don't like snakes. You didn't even look long enough to see it was a lizard! The photo scares me too, and grosses me out. I am getting to scared, I think I might need to take it down for both our sakes!

Thanks ya'll!

newlyweds said...

How scary! I am sure your garden will be fine, hopefully the construction will end soon and no other interesting little critters will make there way to your yard/garden. Thanks for visiting my site, and yes the crust was chewy. You have to try this recipe, it was simple, ie bread machine!!!


Maria said...

I hate snakes too! Hopefully they will stay clear of your garden.

I love grilled zucchini and the baby ones are so tasty!! Great grill marks in the photo!!

Bridgett said...

Oh no....snakes are not allowed around here along with spiders. Talk about therapy, I seriously would need some if a snake came around. I always think grilled zucchini is the best way to serve it and yours looks perfect.

Grace said...

oh man. if there's even a remote possibility that snakes will be lurking, you can count me out. that's the advantage of having a deck garden. the disadvantage? on the whole, it failed miserably. :)

Aggie said...

Oh Natalie, I so can relate to your fear of snakes (my fears also include spiders - I did not like the sounds of yours at all!!!) We've been having snake problems over here...in one week we encountered THREE ... one found by me in our pool, another found by me at our front door (jumped out of my plant as my son ran out the front door - AH!) and my husband stepped on one in the grass. I feel faint just telling you all this.

I had to go to container gardening this year b/c of my fear.

Your garden sounds wonderful! I'm a bit jealous of your 1/3 acre of land!!

Your zucchini looks delicious! You can't go wrong with grilled zucchini.

mikky said...

no wonder, even snakes were attracted to your zucchini!!! :)
never tried grilling zucchini before, but tried it with eggplants... you take care ok? :)

Deborah said...

I totally agree - the smaller ones are so good. Ours have been growing out of control, and I've been left with only big ones that I can just bake with. But I like the idea of grating it and freezing it. I'm totally going to do that!

Jenny said...

Snake? Are you kidding me?!! I'd be running for the hills before I gardened anywhere near those monsters! Yuck! The zucchini looks great though!

Adam said...

I think we might be seperated at birth, at least garden wise. Gardening is one of the things I really look forward to in the summer, and I'm also deathly afraid of snakes. Yes, I look away while watching movies like Indiana Jones :)

Gloria (Canela) said...

Really love zuchinni!! and grilled!!! xGloria

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yeah, I don't think I'd be thrilled at the prospect of coming up close and personal with one of those guys!

Living here in FL, is like living in a jungle too sometimes!

Kimi Harris said...

I love grilled veggies!

maybelle's mom said...

I just wrote abotu giant zucchini. Totally agree, the small ones are much yummier.

Poise Daily said...

haha I could not stop laughing past the first sentence- Grilled Zucc-- ooooooo- lovely. I tried to pass or not look at the lizards...

It is so expensive here for Zucc though- I am sure I can find some though.

Pam said...

I do love grilled baby zucchini - yours look great. I am not a fan of snakes either... ugh.

Sara said...

Thanks for the info on the zucchini. I have a garden with 2 zuc plants, and as you know they grow so fast. I can't keep up with them. They are all over the place and a lot of times we probably miss when they are the perfect size. I will be better at catching them. As for the lizard...it gave me the chills. I hate reptiles. Your grilled zuc looks fabulous. You've got talent!

Poise Daily said...

hehe- you lead the post so well... Myself and editor teamed up and bought the old site- it is mostly our fem musings and non-conformist posts = )

Rambles and rants! Who knows if anything will come of it

mikky said...

BTW, I was tagged by Ning of Heart & Hearth, so I hope you don't mind, but I'm tagging you... just to get to know you better... :)

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