Zucchini the Prolific!

In historical Ohio, corn, beans and squash were called the “three sisters” because they were staple crops that were planted together. The Indians and later, settlers, planted them this way so the beans had a strong support to climb and the squash could grow in the shade of the corn.

Today, all three vegetables thrive in Zone 5; although they are most often planted separately.

Zucchini is one of those prolific, easy-to-grow vegetables. Even in growing seasons that are not favorable, zucchini manages to be a top producer. What we can't eat fresh, we freeze or make into bread.
Here is one of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy zucchini. This recipe is from my sister Dar. She is an excellent cook. She also has a sweet little blog - RusticRanch.blogspot.com.

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini with skin (if using large zucchini, cut in half and scoop out the seeds before grating).

In large bowl, beat eggs well. Blend in sugar. Mix together baking soda, powder, salt cinnamon and flour. Add oil and mixed dry ingredients into egg/sugar mixture. Blend well but do not over beat. Add zucchini, nuts, raisins. Divide mixture into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350. Let cool 10 minutes on rack before removing bread from pan.

For a bread that is more moist, increase zucchini by another 1/2 cup.

This bread freezers well.


some of.....The Fruits of my Labor

"Sweet banana peppers,"
long and tapered, await picking....
Should picking be delayed,
their yellow flesh will turn from yellow to orange to red.

"Great Stuff Hybrid" peppers are big and flavorful -
perfect for making stuffed peppers with rice,
tomato juice and ground beef.
This Burpee variety is also resistant to mosaic virus,
a virus which can be a problem in Ohio.

Pick a peck of PICKLES :)
"Little Dillicious" medium green cukes, 3 1/2" to 5"
long with blunt tips.
Great for pickling. These beauties are soaking.
Tomorrow, they will begin their pickle transformation.

"Fast Ball" cabbage has smaller, softball-sized heads.
The nibble holes are from the cabbage web worm.
I try not to spray, so if the pest is faster than me,
they get a meal before I get to them.

Eggplants - I love the color of this vegetable:
they shimmer like deep opals.
This is an unknown variety I bought from a local greenhouse.
One of the few starts I purchased this year.

The pears are starting to fall from the trees.
A little early, but no matter.
They were gathered and will ripen in the cool basement.
These make for a wonderful pear bread.

"Small Sugar" pumpkins grow to 5-8 lb.
They are a perfect pie pumpkin: fine grain, stringless and sweet.
One pumpkin has already started to ripen.
"Silver Queen" sweet corn.
We've been waiting and waiting on you my lovely!
This variety is very sweet & white. Ears grow to 8-9".
Variety freezes well too.

We had our first tomatoes yesterday - a lovely onion/tomato/parsley salad.
This is the "Super Beefsteak."
Fruit is smooth, meaty and averages 1 lb. each.
Tomatoes were started from seeds, indoors in late March.