*Dave Barry says you can’t grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.

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.

 

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‘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.

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Did you know there’s a holiday for the zany zucchini? It’s called Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.

 

Unknown-4The 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. Unknown-6

 

 

 

 

Need to ward off stray dogs while you jog? Speak softly and carry a big zucchini.

Got puffy eyes? Zucchini is the new cucumber.

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Think like Martha ~ spray them gold and arrange those glamazons into a festive wreath.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks, Alexis. Visit her blog Hummusapien.

 

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.

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Got a recipe for that gone-rampant plenitudinous veggie?

Share it here. Oh, and leave the porch light on.

 

Toni 8/18/16

*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.

Fall is my favorite season, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees. 

Hilarious, that David Letterman.

So is New Yorker artist Edward Koren on this 1988 cover.

ozgd7wgotspgey

 

I won’t be seeing most of my feathered friends for a while.  Before they return, I have lots of Fall house cleaning to do.

 

 

Cleaning out birdhouses isn’t without surprises.

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They’re filled with an assortment of grasses, twigs, leaves, feathers, and mosses and wildlife too small to see.

 

Mine are designed for Sialia sialis, the Eastern bluebird. Males and females arrive in spring, investigate two or three houses, and then the male steps back and lets the female decide where they will nest.

IMG_0018This summer, my blue beauties were driven out by tree swallows and house sparrows and wrens.

These birds never clean out the rubbish left by previous residents.

While they’re busy listening to their personal cassette players and falling from trees,

some of us have work to do.

RbirdhouseHmouse

Toni 11/5/15

WELL, SEPTEMBER 23, YOU’RE HERE AGAIN

The astronomical fall officially begins today.

Yes, America, here it comes  ~

Eastern Daylight Time: 4:21 a.m.
Central Daylight Time: 3:21 a.m.
Mountain Daylight Time: 2:21 a.m.
Pacific Daylight Time: 1:21 a.m.

Sweaters are coming out of the closet.  Leaves are falling. There’s pumpkin spice-flavored everything.

 

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

199373-Hello-September-Be-Good-To-Me

I can’t deny it any longer. It’s autumn. A turning point in the life-force-driven year of my garden. Chrysanthemums are here, pumpkins are ripe in the field. Yet, still shining in all their punch-drunk dizzying glory, are the golden rudbeckia and sunflowers ~ all showing off their miraculous optimism.

IMG_0164September is a gratifying month. There’s garlic in the barn, pickles in the refrigerator, sauce in the freezer. I think the humble beauty of vegetables is amen-astonishing.

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wikiHow is all over that equinox hoo-ha. Here are their 11 ways to celebrate. But I think ancient Chinese philosophers know best.

autumn_westness_Nago_Okinawa_Beverly_Fish_9-22-2012
Autumn westness on September 22, 2012 in Nago, Okinawa, Japan via EarthSky Facebook friend Beverly Fish.
  • Stand facing west, considered the direction of autumn in ancient Chinese philosophy. Just stand for a few moments and honor the “westness” of autumn. Consider your dreams and visions, and the path on which you’re moving forward through your life.
  • Light white candles against the growing darkness of the season. Or place white flowers on your table. White is the color of autumn in the Chinese tradition.
  • Allow yourself to weep for things you have lost. Weeping is the sound of this season, according to Chinese philosophy.
  • Find the courage to face what’s ahead.

 

Sun rays are lowering. nights are crisp. outside, There’s a lot of scurrying for survival.
Such a bittersweet time.
because everything is saying goodbye.

Toni 9/23/15