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Just One More Zucchini Recipe

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It may only be July, but if you planted your zucchini back in March like moi, then you have already prepared it at least 900 ways.

Although we gardeners facetiously complain about our abundance of this venerable vegetable, we love the multitude of recipes we can make with it. We have already roasted, grilled, deep-fried, frittataed, sautéed, stir-fried, skewered, stuffed and spiralized it. I’ve baked it into brownies, cakes, cookies, waffles, pancakes and mock-apple pie. And of course, I’ve baked enough zucchini bread to feed the entire Valley. However, even with all the myriad methods to cook this amazing veggie, it seems I always stumble upon one more recipe to add to my repertoire. This latest addition was inspired by a recent trip to that big box membership store.

First, let me say that this store overwhelms me. There are so many choices of prepackaged, organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, imported, outsourced, overpriced, over-packaged food that my head starts spinning like the inside of a dust devil. And why is it, every time I try a sample of anything, I have to run for the trash? Discreetly, of course. But I need my ration of cheese and bacon so I must power through it all. The checkout is the worst and makes me feel like a sack of flour on the conveyer belt, as they rush me through while I’m still trying to find my membership card, write the check (no, I do not have American Express or Visa), all as the box boy is asking me if I need a box and the food court is distracting me with 99¢ mochas.

But this particular visit had me drooling over the Polish dog for a buck-fifty, including a drink. Even the warning from the guy behind me in line was not enough to deter me. “Ohhh no, you don’t wanna do that. Those Polish dogs’ll kill ya.” Notice, he did not say, “Those Polish dogs are killer;” he said, “Those Polish dogs will kill you.” It sounded really good, even though I had a kitchen and garden full of stuff that I could drag out and make something quick, wholesome and cheap. But come on—a buck-fifty, plus a drink. So I went ahead and preordered. But as fate and the fast-paced world of consumerism would have it, the Polish dog deal was not added to the bill. I took this as a sign, a lesson, a reproof, a reprimand for depreciating my benevolent gardens and indulgent kitchen.

With my now lucid and steady state of mind on the ride home, I was able to think rationally about using up what I already had at my disposal. Naturally, my head filled with visions of putting to good use that unpretentious, ever-faithful, prodigious supply of zucchini to recreate something as close as I could to the Polish-dog-missed-opportunity. Hence, the crazy idea of the Zucchini Dog was born.

I started in the morning, harvesting the bun-sized fruits, and since they have the supernatural ability to double in size in a matter of mere minutes, I went back later in the afternoon and picked a couple more. I sliced them lengthwise and scooped out the seeds and pulp so a Ball Park frank could fit snugly; I would have used Polish sausages if I’d had them. I laid the wieners on a bed of shredded cheese and topped with minced onion, garlic, seasoning and a little squirt of extra virgin. I capped it with the other squash half and wrapped each one up tight with a slice of bacon. Baked on the grill at medium heat, they were fork-done in about 20 minutes.

Now, I certainly don’t expect this idea to go viral, but it was just one more tasty way to use up some zucchini and save a buck-fifty. Now all I have to do is invent a zucchini mocha. Hey, if unicorns and dragons can be made into frappuccinos, then it’s definitely a possibility and would certainly be a heck of a lot healthier. Get ready for the Zucchino.

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