Celebrate Squash!

It's "Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch" Day. Let's celebrate! I understand it's a national holiday. Whether you're the one sneaking or the one finding a grocery bag of the lovlies on your porch, surely you'll be serving them today! Right? 

The chickens think too-big squash is a yummy treat.
In our garden which has been hit hard by scorching temperatures and drought, the zucchini and crookneck squash continue to thrive. Thanks to our resident guineas, Hank and Edna, there are no squash bugs attacking our plants this year. 



After a week's absence we returned to find several baseball bat sized zucchini along with quite a few super-sized crooknecks. These are not meant for human consumption. The zucchini were cracked open and fed to the chickens while the crookneck headed for the compost pile. There were plenty of squash in the 6-12 inch range and these are tender and perfect for a varity of dishes. 

Here are some of the things I make with squash:

Sauteed Squash
Pretty yellow and green discs
Into my 8-inch cast iron skillet I pour about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Once it is hot, I add a small sliced onion. On top of the onion I usually slice one zucchini and one crookneck, but of course you could use two of one kind or just one if you're not very hungry. Cook this, stirring occasionally, until everything is soft and just beginning to get a little brown. Slide onto a plate and top with shredded cheese (any kind). This is my typical summer lunch when I dine alone. 

Sourdough Zucchini-Nut Loaf (Muffins)
Since its been so hot, I baked these in muffin tins. It takes much less time in the oven and it works just fine. Yummy spicy goodness with a delicate crumb make these a must-have summertime treat!


A larger squash can be used when it is shredded
but avoid the large seeds in the middle.
.
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (didn't use)

In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar, egg, sourdough starter, zucchini and milk. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Stir into zucchini mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until done. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan. Make 1 loaf. (About 18 muffins if using a muffin tin and 15-20 minutes baking time)
Source: Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery


Zucchini Cake
This is a wonderful cake. I especially love the easy topping which replaces frosting and tastes much better! 

No one will notice the flecks of zucchini once it is baked.
1/2 cup oleo (I use butter)
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini

Topping (mix together):
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
Zucchini Cake makes a wonderful dessert.
Cream oleo, sugar and oil. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanila and cocoa. Mix in four, soda, salt and baking powder; add zucchini. Mix all together and pour into 9x13 greased pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake 40-45 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Source: Buhler Centennial Cookbook, recipe contributed by Lovella I. Adrian and Brenda White


Anything fried tastes good.
There are lots of others ways to use zucchini. Try them in scrammbled eggs. Serve them in a cream sauce. Dip them in a milk and egg mixture, then into seasoned flour and fry them. But if you still have too much zucchini, go ahead and sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor's porch. It is after all, one way to celebrate the day!

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