My late mother had a problem with gardening and if you ask my husband, it’s the same problem I have. Some would call it impatience, but I prefer to call it “I don’t have time to wait, I’m busy multitasking.
My mom was constantly balancing life as a single mom of four, vineyard owner/manager, full-time college professor, sideline cheerleader, doctoral student and household cook. Looking back, I really don’t know how she did it. I sometimes can’t keep my head above the water with one child.
One of the things we did every year was grow a garden, mom’s way of teaching us about photosynthesis and patience. Sometimes it was a big garden, other times just a few small pots on the deck. Summers often ended without too many vegetables since summers were blazing hot and we were all a bit busy. But there was this one thing that would grow out of control.
I hate zucchini. But every summer since my mother’s passing, I find myself grating that green vegetable I despise so much and relishing in the memories that waft through the kitchen spelling faintly like cinnamon and hot summer days.
It’s amazing how food connects us to family. Recipes passed through generations, meals shared around a table. These experiences remind us the soak up the memories. Because once we’re separated from those we love the most, those memories and the familiar taste of meals shared are all we have.
My daughter is still too young to truly help in the garden or kitchen, but I look forward to sharing with her the stories about grandma and making new memories she can cherish.
Do you have zucchini in your garden this year?
Zucchini bread recipe (makes two loaves)
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
Optional: walnuts or mini chocolate chips (I recommend that latter)
Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients adding zucchini and mix-ins last. Mix well again and pour into two well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.