3 posts tagged with “zucchini”

  • 5 Reasons to make Sweetsugarbean’s Double Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

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    I used to be afraid of baking.

    It seemed so unforgiving, unlike dinner each night, which allowed me to improvise and do things less precisely to hit the mark.

    But my love of creating in the kitchen has led me to some wonderful mentors who helped me work through my baking issues. Adrienne Kane taught me how to make bread with her thorough ode to the staff of life, The United States of Bread. I learned to relax around yeast and appreciate its idiosyncrasies. I came to understand that mastering bread was more about getting a feel for good dough and not about rigidly weighing ingredients on a kitchen scale.

    Tara O’Brady and Malin Elmlid helped me fine-tune those skills with slow rises and sourdoughs. Feel was still important to achieving a perfect crumb but so was sight and smell.

    And now I have someone else to lean on and get me familiar with the mannerisms of doughnuts, cakes, pies and pastries.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Gratitude: A recipe for zucchini lasagna with lentils

    Zucchini lasagna with lentils.

    I live by the rule that friends don’t give friends zucchini.

    It has worked out well for me, keeping the summer squash, super-sized at this time of year, at bay. But when a friend came at me the other week with one the size of Captain Caveman’s club and a pleading look in her eyes, I decided that sometimes friends should just shut up and take the zucchini.

    Even if I already had three pounds shredded and stuffed in my freezer, and another trio of green and striped brutes that could double as free weights languishing in my fridge.

    I think I did a pretty good job of keeping in check the glazing over of my eyes as I accepted the latest addition to my collection. Don’t get me wrong, I like zucchini. But at this time of year, I don’t think I’m alone when I say their ability to go from blossom to behemoth beast seemingly overnight, multiplying like rabbits all the while, is a bit overwhelming. Continue reading

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  • Peach Tree
  • Squashed dreams

    Last year, my green thumb was decidedly brown. I couldn’t keep a weed alive, let alone any of the perennials we planted in our front yard.So my husband and I were as proud as can be this year when we planted a small vegetable garden in our backyard and it thrived — up until last week.

    Our zucchini plant, the most spectacularly hearty thing in our garden, started to grow limp and within days it had turned brown, shriveled up and died.
    The finger pointing was almost instantaneous. Wife to husband: “I knew you were watering too much.” Husband to wife: “I knew you should have been watering more.”


    For days, the gardening guilt plagued me. But then we noticed a peculiar mark along the stem of our sad little squash plant. It looked as though something had gnawed at it. Had all those cute little bunnies roaming our neighbourhood broken through our tiny garden fence and had their way with our defenseless plant?

    The answer came from an Associated Press article. Our once-healthy plant was likely the victim of the “squash vine borer.” This tiny insect lodges itself in the plant’s stem in spring or early summer, “when a pretty moth with an orange and black body crept out of the soil and looked around for a mate. She evidently found one, and soon after that sought out your squash plants,” according to the story.

    The bug lays her eggs in the squash plant — she’ll settle for gourd, cucumber or melon plants, too — and once her larvae hatch, they eat their way through the plant’s stem.

    Argh. There are ways to deal with the Walshia micecolorella moths. Because the pest lays her eggs early in the season, protecting the young plant with a mesh cover for a few weeks should do the trick.

    Other gardeners turn to insecticide, such as rotenone, pyrethrin.

    Dropping a heavy object, such as brick, at intervals along the squash’s “trailing stems, inducing new roots to grow at those points” can also help, according to the AP story.

    So, next year we’ll know what to do. Sorry, Honey. You watered just enough.

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