06-30-16 The Garden

When we were kids, my mother used to plant a huge garden. I remember in late spring when she would get her tiller out and start tilling the plot of land she had dedicated to her garden. It was huge. I would follow her as she pushed the tiller up and down the yard, and I would hop from one footprint to the next. If I was barefoot, which I usually was, I would venture out of the indentions her own feet had made and let my feet sink into the freshly unearthed, dark brown soil. It was warm on the surface, but as you dug your toes in further, it would get cooler, a welcome respite from the mid-atlantic humidity.

Inevitably, my mother would turn around and see me dancing and playing in the dirt behind her and she would chide me for flattening the soil she had work so hard to dig up.

When it was time to plant she would measure the distance between her rows. She would get small sticks and tie string to them and stretch them across her garden to guide the rows of seeds she would be planting. With a hoe, she would go along the soil beneath the sting to create a shallow crevice in which to place her seeds. When it was time, she would walk along, dropping seeds in the small ditch, while my sister and I would follow behind her, covering the seeds with the soil and gently patting down the ground.

My mother grew pretty much everything- corn, carrots, sunflowers, lettuce, green beans, yellow beans, squash, zucchini, pumpkins, tomatoes, watermelons, and more.

When it was time to harvest, my mother would gather all of the produce and start canning. It would take her days, but when she was done, we would have veggies to last us for quite some time.

One of the special things she used to do when it was time to harvest the zucchini was to make zucchini crisp. I’m not sure where she got the recipe or what every happened to it, but it was one of our favorite desserts growing up. I know it’s strange, a dessert made from zucchini, but stick with me- for the most part, it actually tasted like apple crisp.

A few years ago, when we lived in the farm house and had a garden, I decided to make it myself. It wasn’t the same recipe, but it turned out pretty good.

Well, the other day, my kind neighbor gave me a huge amount of zucchini and yellow squash.

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My first thought was, let’s make some crisp!

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I chose this one because it was huge and my recipe called for 8 cups of diced, peeled zucchini.

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After chopping it up and adding all the good stuff- the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc- it was time to add it to the cake pan.

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Next was to add the topping (which is sugar, oats, flour, and butter) and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes!

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And voila! There it is! It smells amazing, and I’m really, really hoping it tastes as good as I remember!

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