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Sarah Stultz: Zucchini season — one of the best times of year

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

 

I pulled my first vegetable of the year out of my garden over the weekend.

After about a month and a half of hard work, I was one proud momma to see that zucchini.

Though I have many new healthy zucchini recipes I plan to try out this summer — imagine everything from zucchini lasagna to zucchini enchiladas — over the weekend my family and I were set on a more indulgent recipe: zucchini bread.

Zucchini bread has been a longstanding summer tradition in my family over the years since I was a child. My dad has always had a large garden, and I have fond memories of making zucchini bread with him.

I remember using a contraption my parents had to peel and shred the zucchini, making the recipe and then enjoying the results of our labors with a taste afterward with a big glass of milk.

I don’t have the same machine my parents had to peel and shred the zucchini, but I’ve figured out how to make it work with a simple peeler and grater.

A couple weeks ago, I was worried about my zucchini plants after I found eggs for aphids on the undersides of the leaves. I sprayed the plants, hoping to eradicate them of the little pests, and so far it seems to have worked.

About a week ago, I became concerned again after finding several rotted smaller zucchini on the plants with a fungus on the flowers. I took off those bad zucchinis, and so far this week, things seem to be going better. In fact, it looks like later this week we might have an abundance of zucchini starting to come through. It’s exciting, and I’m sure before I’ll know it, there will be zucchini coming out of my ears. I hope my friends and family are ready to get some zucchini bread and more than likely some actual zucchini, too, if the crop turns out like it’s looking so far.

I loved a friend’s approach to making use of all of her zucchini. When she got to the point of having enough zucchini for her and her husband, they started driving around to their friends and leaving them on their doorsteps.

I have a feeling some of that may be in my future as well.

As I type this, I’m daydreaming about zucchini bread — that’s how much I love that stuff.

In addition to my Dad’s zucchini bread recipe, this year I also hope to try out some alternative recipes.

Growing up, I was used to having the one particular type of zucchini bread that my dad made that I didn’t even realize there were other types out there.

Dad’s bread is lighter in color, while I’ve come across other recipes that are darker and have more of a cinnamon flavor. I’ve also come across chocolate zucchini bread. The possibilities really are limitless.

As in years past, I’m glad to have a garden this year. It is providing some sense of normalcy amid all the other changes happening in the world right now, and it is rewarding to see the fruits of my labors.

If you want some zucchini, check back with me in a week or two. I bet I will have plenty to give away.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.