Sound like an outtake from The Twilight Zone? It isn’t. Neither is Marge Piercy’s poem.
ATTACK OF THE SQUASH PEOPLE
And thus the people every year
in the valleys of humid July
did sacrifice themselves
to the long green phallic god
and eat and eat and eat.
They’re coming on, they’re on us,
the long striped gourds, the silky
babies, the hairy adolescents,
the lumpy vast adults
like the trunks of green elephants.
Recite fifty zucchini recipes!
Zucchini tempura. Creamed soup.
Saute with olive oil and cumin,
tomatoes, onion. Frittata.
Casserole of lamb. Baked
topped with cheese. Marinated,
stuffed, stewed, driven
through the heart like a stake.
Get tired of old friends. They too
have gardens and full trunks.
Look for newcomers, befriend them
in the post office, unload
on them and run. Stop tourists
in the street. Take truckloads
to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
Beg on the highways. Please
take my zucchini, I have a crippled
mother at home with heartburn.
Sneak out before dawn, to drop
them in other people’s gardens,
in baby buggies at churchdoors.
Shot, smuggling zucchini into
mailboxes, a federal offense.
With a suave reptilian glitter
you bask among your raspy
fronds sudden and huge as
alligators. You give and give
too much, like summer days
limp with heat, thunderstorms
bursting their bags on our heads,
as we salt and freeze and pickle
for the too little to come.
‘Tis the season of the Great Zucchini Caper. Beware the overzealous gardener. She wears a supernova smile, is generous to a fault, and favors the drop-and-run.
Did you know there’s a holiday for the zany zucchini? It’s called Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.
The brainchild of Tom Roy, it’s American-Idolish tomfoolery.
The drop spot is up to you ~
back seat, back porch, back forty.
Or any out-of-the-way place that has a sign posted.
Need to ward off stray dogs while you jog? Speak softly and carry a big zucchini.
Got puffy eyes? Zucchini is the new cucumber.
Think like Martha ~ spray them gold and arrange those glamazons into a festive wreath.
I have a love/hate relationship with this particular summer squash. With zucchini, as with most things, it’s the dose that makes the poison. So when life hands me too many zucchini, I go to Pinterest.
Pinterest connects everyone on the planet through whatever they find interesting. It’s a platform of inspiration and sharing, visual, addictive, and full of ideas for your summer surplus.
The ideas, like the squashes themselves, run riot. Grilled, fried, breaded, baked, sweet, savory, raw, sliced, diced, stuffed, hot, cold, pickled, marinated. In a breakfast omelet, luncheon salad, hot or cold soup, sandwich, brownies and breads.
Here’s a slap-up and savory little sweet. Zucchini, peanut butter, and flaxseed ~ it’s totally dinner. Love between the teeth, I kid you not.
FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER ZUCCHINI BROWNIES
Easy (one bowl, seven ingredients) and healthy (no refined sugar, flour, butter, or oil).
¾ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup shredded zucchini (don’t squeeze out water)
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ cup chocolate chips plus more just because 🙂
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Dump mixture into loaf pan and use a spatula to spread evenly in pan or wet your hands and pat it down. Sprinkle top with a handful or two of chocolate chips.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow brownies to completely cool (refrigerate overnight in the pan once cool) before slicing.
Got a recipe for that gone-rampant plenitudinous veggie?
Share it here. Oh, and leave the porch light on.
*Dave Barry makes his living weaving unrelated subplots, criminal activities, and the absurdities of South Florida into best selling books and Pulitzer Prize-winning columns.