Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Great Expectations

Summer it seems, has not been keen on sticking around my neck of the woods this year. That was until this past weekend. It was a long weekend for us in Ontario and it poured sunshine every day, like cats and dogs.

Dissipating rain clouds gave me a chance to check on the status of our garden and I was mildly surprised. Okay, so, I was really, really excited and I yelled across the pond to my husband that there was a giant zucchini in the garden. (I didn't plant zucchini but that was besides the point.) I soon discovered patty pan squash...


and embryo pumpkins. For those of you that don't know, that's a green baby pumpkin that grows beneath the female flower and yes I made it up. There were also lots of flowers on the tomato and cucumber plants and a few eggplant blossoms too. I'm in zone five so things are a little slower to get going here; it really has nothing to do with the late frost and our late tilling (I'm sharing that one with my husband; I like to share.) and my even later planting, nothing at all. I have to say my heart was going pitter patter with the thought that I wasn't completely inept at growing vegetables after all.

We had proudly showed off our garden as a work in progress to our mothers about six weeks ago and received similar responses from both of them. While they were both very optimistic for some reason they kept turning their attention to our sincere pumpkin patch, ignoring our tomato and pepper plants; my darling beauties I had started indoors from seed. "Well, you know," they said, "it takes a few years to develop a good soil and my aren't those pumpkins doing extremely well!" Yes. Right. I could read the writing on the wall. I set my expectations low, knowing they were right. I mean come on, I could spend a few hours every day removing the grass that keeps growing back in the garden, that soil must be completely overripe with nitrogen. With that in mind, it felt very strange to think nothing much is happening in your garden one day to discovering a giant zucchini the next. Later, we looked through our seed packages and, it does seem we did plant zucchini after all. I planted a mix of summer squash which included zucchini. Whew!! For a few brief moments I thought I may have had to send out an SOS vegetable identification post which had the potential to become slightly embarrassing. Well, at least I can identify an embryo pumpkin, can you? Now, does anyone have a good zucchini bread recipe?


Elle Bee said...

Someone in our little blogging circle just had a recipe up for peach zucchini jam but I can't remember who! Did you see it? I pasted the recipe into a word document and can give it to you if you like. :o) Hey, we have embryo pumpkins too! 'Cept I never called them that before today. :o) I just pollinated two this morning. Your patty pan squash looks so cute. I should have planted some of those!

Elle Bee said...

Hi Andrea! Here's the recipe for the zucchini jam. It looks like you can add any flavor of gelatin you prefer. If you make it, let me know how it turns out!

Zuchinni Jam

6 cups shredded zucchini

6 cups sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice or 1 tablespoon lemon concentrate

1 can crushed pineapple, drained. KEEP DRAINED JUICE!

2 packages apricot gelatin (I used peach)

Bring the zucchini to a boil for 6 minutes along with sugar and 1 cup of liquid. (The juice that you drained and add water to make 1 c).

Stir often so the mixture does not burn. Add lemon juice and pineapple to mixture and boil 6 minutes together with the boiled zucchini mixture.

Remove from heat and add 2 packages apricot jello. Pour into steril jars and seal. Two ways to do so: either with paraffin wax or seal w/hot water bath.

Unknown said...

Thanks Elle! I will definitely let you know how it turns out!

The Silver Age Sara said...

I enjoyed seeing your garden. Ours is a little behind this year because of the weather. That zucchini is amazing.