On the Kitchen Table – Posh Squash

Zucchini.

Does the word conjure up anything in particular for you?

For me, I always chuckle and slide back in time to 1974, the year I, city girl that I’d been, became a farm wife, the year I planted my first-ever garden. What great fun I had poring through the seed catalog, naively selecting seeds, and finally placing that order: winter squash, zucchini, lettuce, beets, onion sets, tomatoes, green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, beets, turnips, and potatoes. I was, I admit, perhaps a bit overenthusiastic.

By the end of that summer, I’d learned three vital gardening facts. The first two were, in order of importance: one must never plant an entire package of zucchini seeds, and the growing season in the Catskill Mountains was unusually short, so that early ripening tomato seeds were a garden must. My tomatoes ripened late and most tomatoes came into the house green just before the first frost.

I will never forget that zucchini crop. It seemed zucchinis that were about three inches long in the morning grew to the size of toy foam rubber baseball bats overnight. I cooked them, pickled them, froze them, and watched my neighbors hold out their hands in a stop gesture when they saw me approach with an armful.

The next summer and every subsequent summer, I planted no more than six seeds per garden. This has worked out very well.

One recipe, Posh Squash, has remained a favorite through the decades and is on my table tonight. The creamy custard, rich with Parmesan cheese, never fails to taste sumptuous.

Posh Squash

1 pound yellow and/or zucchini squash
2 beaten eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 small onion, chopped
¼ green pepper, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook squash until just tender; drain well. While squash is cooking, beat eggs together, then add remaining ingredients. Lastly, mix in cooked squash and pour all into buttered baking dish. Dot with butter and crumbs, if desired.
Bake 30 minutes at 350. 6-8 servings.
Recipe from my friend, Deni Drennan

IMG_20150710_204207212_HDR (2)
And the third vital gardening fact I learned that long ago summer? A garden, in order to thrive, requires the basics of any healthy relationship: daily time, attention, and love. A heart filled with gratitude is one of the gifts in return.

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About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
This entry was posted in Family, Friendship, Gifts, Health, In the Kitchen, Mother Nature, Mystery, Simplicity. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On the Kitchen Table – Posh Squash

  1. Elaine Ercolano says:

    Thanks Mary Jo. Just in time for our zucchini harvest!

    Like

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