Because It’s August I’m Blogging About Zucchini

If you grew zucchini this year you are doubtless up to your eyeballs in it right now. That’s totally normal. In fact, most gardeners will tell you that there is no way not to grow too much zucchini. Like the fine æther described by the alchemists, zucchini expands to fill all voids in the universe.

Yes, that is a zucchini under my hand. My mom grew it. It is not the largest one she's gotten this season.

Yes, that is a zucchini under my hand. My mom grew it. It is not the largest one she’s gotten this season.

Like most zucchini growers, I have been looking for new and interesting ways to use my squash. Mr. Food It yourself bought me one of those “slice your veggies into noodles” contraptions. It works pretty well.

Check it out...they twirl!

Check it out…they twirl!

There has, of course, been zucchini bread production. I currently have about half a dozen loaves stock piled in the freezer. There’s nothing like a loaf of zucchini bread during a Nor’Easter to remind you that New England Winters don’t actually last forever. Here is my go-to recipe. I like it because it uses lots of zucchini.

One recent experiment: zucchini refrigerator pickles. Mr. Food It Yourself is an avid pickle fan, so when he wondered out loud if pickled zucchini was a thing that could happen, I swiftly accessed the internet and found this awesome recipe from Kitchen Treaty.  I already had everything needed for the recipe. In fact, I had enough zucchini for a double recipe. I went for “spears” instead of “rounds”, as the recipe called for, and I think the volumetric variation lead to the need for a triple batch of brine for my double weight of zucchini.

 

Be careful when heating a vinegar brine. The smell is super strong; inhale carefully

Be careful when heating a vinegar brine. The smell is super strong; inhale carefully

After 24 hours in the fridge the spears were just kind of o.k. My spears were a little thicker than the ¼ inch the original recipe called for, so the decision was made to let them infuse just a little longer. By the end of day 3 the zucchini had fully absorbed the brine. We’ve been snacking on these guys all week!(I will take this time to reiterate that I was able to safely vary the shape of the zucchini because these are refrigerator pickles, not “canned” pickles. You all know you must never waver from a canning recipe, either in ingredients or methods, right?)

Finally, my amazing mom found instructions on how to freeze zucchini while maintaining the quality. Here are the basics from Pick Your Own http://pickyourown.org/freezing_summer_squash.htm. The best tip mom gave me- freeze the slices flat on wax-paper lined baking sheets, then transfer to bags. The slices stay separate.

Here's my blanch/chill set up. Some day in November I'll be glad I took the time to save this squash.

Here’s my blanch/chill set up. Some day in November I’ll be glad I took the time to save this squash.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing. However, as food growers, that’s often what we aim for. Have you had a bumper crop this year? How are you saving the extra for future use in your DIYet? Share in the comments!