Summer Musings

I’ve completed the first chapter of my first draft of my current work in progress. We could argue about what a “first draft” really is, since I’ve rewritten the first chapter at least six times. But it’s too hot to argue. Suffice it to say, I’m ready to move on to chapter two. Brightly colored sticky notes map out the first act on my closet door…my version of outlining. The new manuscript is officially under construction.

Meanwhile, my garden is exploding. Heat and rain have resulted in an abundance of zucchini and cucumbers. The onions are doing well, the beans are in blossom, and carrot tops battle the weeds. But it’s those zucchini and cucumbers that are keeping me on my toes. If I miss picking them even one day, that cute little squash turns into a green ball bat.

What to do with them all???

Yes, I could can pickles. And I could bake zucchini bread and stash it away for later. But both of those tasks create heat. A LOT of heat. Have you ever canned? I used to. But the universe has this perverse plan where the steamiest of chores need to be done at a time of year when the thermometer tops out in the nineties. Whose brilliant idea was that?!

Besides, my pickles always turn out mushy.

As for the zucchini bread, I’ve learned a trick. Shred the squash, measure out enough for one recipe, and stash it in the freezer until the weather turns cold…when heating up the oven and the kitchen actually feels nice. Plus, that frozen, shredded zucchini can be thawed and added to a quick frittata.

Hey, where zucchini is concerned, you have to get creative.

The robins outside my office window have flown the coup. Only an empty nest remains. I miss the fluttery sound of wings against the wall and the squawk of the parents scolding Moochie for snoozing on the porch a little too close to their babies.

Summer marches on.


Joyce said…
The robins outside my front door have flown, too.

I could use some zucchini, you know. Have you ever tasted chocolate zucchini cake? Sounds weird, tastes delicious!
Annette said…

Come and get it! Too bad you aren't coming to the Firearms workshop. I plan to have a bunch of there to give away.

Haven't had chocolate zucchini cake, but I have heard it's yummy.
Jennifer Shirk said…
I just saw a Food Network show called "The best thing I ever ate" and one of them was a pickle from Chicago. It made me want to start making pickles. LOL
If I had cucumbers, I would!
Jemi Fraser said…
I've never tried to freeze zucchini - great idea!

I love zucchini slices on the bbq - yummy :)
Annette said…
Jennifer, there's nothing better than a home-canned bread and butter pickle. Unless I'm the one who canned it. :-(

Jemi, the thing to remember when you use frozen zucchini is to thaw it in a colander to drain off the excess liquid. But it works well otherwise.

I sauteed zucchini chunks with onion this evening and added a jar of spaghetti sauce, then served over pasta. Cucumber salad on the side.
Becky said…
I remember Fred buying pickle seasoning packets you don't have to cook the pickles. I don't remember how long they last in the fridg but that was not a problem we eat them up. Yummy.
Annette said…
I may have to try that out, Becky.

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