I have a confession - I am terrible at growing zucchini.
Yep, the one plant that takes over everyone else's garden and is so prolific that they are practically begging friends, neighbors and co-workers to take off their hands.
Not ours. Our plants have been known to shrivel up, rot or put out a measly one or two fruits.
How frustrating! I successfully grow more finicky plants from seed year after year. Aren't zucchini supposed to be the plant that practically grows itself?
And, to make matters worse, despite their being prolifically available during the summer, they are often relatively expensive to purchase.
The one that got away...
This year we've had moderate success with our bush baby variety from Territorial Seed Company - about 10 zucchini thus far with a few more coming on as I write this. Hummm...Maybe we boldly try two plants next year.
For the most part, we have harvested the fruit when fairly small - about 4-8 inches long. But, there was one that did get away from us while we were on vacation (see above).
Rather than despair at its girth or create a squishy stuffed squash recipe, we decided to shred it for zucchini bread.That way we will have a refreshing little bit of summer later on this fall or winter.
Fresh herbs when we want them
On a similar note, we had a crazy amount of oregano and basil in the garden this summer. Since we like to use both for salad dressings and marinades throughout the year, we froze bags of both for use this winter and next spring.
To do this, I washed the herbs and then separated the leaves from the stems. Then I whizzed them up in the Cuisinart, adding a tiny bit of olive oil so that each had a paste-like consistency. Next I placed each herb in its own freezer Ziploc bag, flattened the contents, labeled and dated the bags and placed them in the freezer.
The whole process took less than a half hour, and now we have fresh herbs from the garden to use throughout the winter!