Saturday, June 28, 2014

every summer.

Every summer I dread that it's summer. (And I'm pretty sure that every summer I blog about dreading summer!) It starts in the Spring...the dread, the fretting...that in a few short months it's going to be so dang sweltering hot in my neck of the woods that I'm going to be forced to stay inside in an air-conditioned space for the next three months.

No matter my attitude...or my meager little tinge of holding out hope that it might just maybe possibly not be that hot this year...the summer arrives with a blast of hot air. And that, is that.

Oh, summer...why must you be so cruel?

However, over the past few years I've come to the realization that I can either fight summer (futile) or I can embrace it (realistic). Unfortunately, being realistic has never been my strength so this change in attitude has taken lots of hard work, lots of crazy self-talk and lots of blood, sweat and tears. Mainly sweat. (In case you haven't come to this conclusion on your own by now...being dramatic has been a strength of mine all my life. My mom and dad will attest to that.)

Honestly, what it's taken is a realization that not of summer is sweltering. There are many nice days that don't go above 90 degrees. And if I'm honest, and pay attention, I realize that I'm really OK up to about 90. I don't necessarily love it. But I'm OK.

Another summer life saver is our garden. The knowledge that garden plants need heat to grow and produce amazing vegetables, that tomatoes won't ripen without the heat, is the knowledge that gets me through summer without too many major meltdowns. (Get it? Get it? I know...I'll be here all week.)

So every summer I become full of more angst than usual. Every summer I mope and whine and complain that it's summer. And every summer, in spite of my bad attitude and the sweltering heat, we grow zucchini. Number one because it's good. But also because it's so easy to grow and it's great for one's gardening ego. Zucchini grows big and lush and makes you look like you really know what you're doing as a gardener. And it produces! One day you've got nothin' and the next day you've got several zucchini the size of your forearm and you wonder where the heck they came from!

So every summer we harvest lots of fresh, organic, delicious zucchini from our very own backyard. And every summer we make Ryan's Fried Zucchini Cakes. They are delicious and we all love them! They are a bit labor intensive what with the grating of the zucchini and the draining of the zucchini and the squeezing out any extra moisture from the zucchini. But once you get through all that? Smooth sailing. And worth the effort. They're even good if you mess 'em up! Forgot the minced onion? No problem. Not enough parm in the fridge but you make 'em anyway?

I'm telling you, if you like zucchini, and I'm thinking even if you don't, you will love you some fried zucchini cakes. I made them for dinner the other night with a marinated London Broil and an Asian slaw and it was fantastic. The four of us ate as a family and there was very little conversation. Just lots of chewing and a few "will you please pass the {fill in the blank}?"

Have I convinced you yet? Wanna make them and see for yourself? Here's the recipe case you breezed past it earlier. You won't be sorry...I promise.

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