I was chopping up some zucchini for dinner last night, I realized that
summer is finally here. Zucchini always reminds me of summer. Both my
mother and grandmother grew it in abundance in their gardens. My mother
would cook constantly with the massive amounts that we would harvest.
She served it as a vegetable, but also made zucchini bread, which was
definitely considered a new, fairly exotic item during those times (at
least in the Midwest). I considered zucchini bread to be a real treat
because my mother was such a “no sugar” healthy food advocate. Sugar
rarely passed my lips as a child.
grandma, an immigrant from Italy, would also cook with zucchini when it
was in season. She would make it for literally every meal. "You eat
what is in season and in the garden," she would say. Sometimes she
would use some of her zucchini to work into the antipasto she canned
during the summer. Other than that we ate our fill and gave away bags
and bags of it to the neighbors. I got really tired of eating zucchini
at her house. I still have it memorized… "Saute a little butter with a
little onion, add a fresh sage leaf from the garden, cover, cook on low
until it sweats."
Al dente. Of course, she was Italian.
after it rains - if you have been lucky enough to have rain this
summer, or not battling the horrible floods - the summer days bring a
humid, lush feeling like no other. Although I'm pretty notorious for
disliking the heat immensely, I do definitely respect and appreciate the
season. Yes, zucchini flourishes in the summer. Everything seems to
flourish in the summer.
year it seems to be our urban backyard that is flourishing. Two overly
active birdbaths. A mother rabbit plus her little bunny baby, and this
year the biggest surprise of all, a mother cat and her two orange
kittens. Nothing like opening the back door at 6am and finding two
orange little balls of fur fast cuddled up in the chair - wide eyed and
surprised. My husband said "at least they're cuter than squirrels
(which we also have in abundance). Maybe they'll even help keep the
mice away." My neighbor says all the activity is due to the “good
vibes” radiating out from our backyard. Other friends suspect the fairies in
the rose and herb garden. I think it's because they all know they are
safe and we will not hurt them.
course throughout all of this, our two sweet old rescue pugs snore
their day away. The third rescue, Franky, remains on high alert. So I
guess I'll be outside clapping and banging before we let him out.
Enjoy your July. Take some time to observe and love your own backyard. You might be surprised what you find.
~ diane fergurson
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