Zucchini Invasion

It's the time of year when I'm trying to avoid being buried alive in zucchini. Actually, I have quite a few ideas for them. So far, I've managed to harvest all of them before they grow into weapons of mass destruction. When I was preparing to make refrigerator pickles last week, I needed to purchase a bunch of dill. After that, I had a whole bunch of dill left over. So, I went in search of a recipe that used dill. In my searching, I came across a recipe I'd listed in the "Untested" category. It used a full cup of dill and 1-1/2 pounds of zucchini. Bonus!! This is Chilled Zucchini Soup with Chicken. It's a make-ahead recipe because of the "chilled" part, and that's just fine with me. I can cook dinner any time of the day, and so that's where I started yesterday. We had it for our dinner last night.

We liked it, and I've recategorized it in my database now. The soup only has just a few ingredients and then it is pureed and refrigerated. The chicken was gleaned from a leftover whole roasted chicken from the grocery store. I added some lemon juice, more dill and parsley, and some mustard to that, and it too went into the refrigerator. The recipe has instructions for making the croutons, but I made my usual Sandwich Sprinkle Croutons. You could use store-bought too. The only thing I'll add is to say that we liked it better with a sprinkle of Jalapeno Tabasco. 

It added just a little bit of heat, but it brought a nice smoky flavor to the dish. I can recommend this recipe if you find yourself overrun with zucchini. I have another zucchini buster on the menu for this week, so stay tuned for more ways to kill off the zucchini.

While I was making the soup, I was also processing my haul of pickling cucumbers. We're loving the refrigerator cucumbers I made last week. You can find the recipe for those right here. We've been nibbling at those all week, and they are very tasty. They'll keep in the refrigerator for four months, which is both good and bad. With all the cucumbers I have coming, I'll have a whole refrigerator full of pickles, and we'll have to create an exclusive diet of pickles. There won't be room for anything else.

Okay, so obviously, I had to find a way to make them shelf stable, and that was yesterday's task. I made a batch from a recipe I found in this book:

There are quite a few recipes from this book in my database. If you're looking for a way to pickle most anything, I can recommend it. As for yesterday, I made the Really Quick Dill Pickle recipe. 

My yield was 4 pints, with a few cucumbers left over. I just popped them into one of the jars already in the refrigerator. Now we have to wait a full month before we open a jar for a taste. It'll be the longest month in history. I'm not at all sure we can survive it. Of course, I will report back on my findings, and I'll share the recipe if it's good. We must all be patient while the pickling is in process. I suppose we could call ourselves patient pickle process people. (Awesome alliteration.)

There was still watering to do, and so it was fairly late by the time I was able to do any sewing. I sewed two more rows together for Ella's Flower Garden. From here, I was sewing the bottom half of rows together.

By day's end, I had just one seam left to sew to bottom and top halves of the quilt together. No doubt I'll get that finished today.

I wanted to say something more about changing the name of the quilt to honor my grandmother, Ella Richards Nelson. My computer being down a couple of days (working again today!), I wasn't able to get access to a picture that popped into my mind. This one:

I'm thinking my dad probably took this picture sometime before I was born, but it came into my head when I was thinking about the quilt name. I've mentioned my maternal grandmother many times because she was the quilter in the family. My paternal grandmother doesn't get mentioned as often, but not because she didn't have her own hobbies. She made beautiful ceramics, including this nativity set for me:

She was also a talented knitter and crocheter. I'm guessing she must have been in her 40's in the image above. I really have no idea when it was taken, except that there were pictures of my mother in the same garden. My mom was young and thin (for her), and so I feel fairly certain the pictures were taken sometime in the 40's or 50's. Here's a picture of my grandmother and my grandfather in their later years. By the way, my mother made that shirt my grandfather is wearing.

They both lived into their 90's and they were married more than 70 years when they both died on the same day. My grandmother was completely ravaged by Alzheimer's Disease when she died, and my grandfather, a World War I veteran, was living separately from her in a VA Nursing Home. No one ever told him she had died, but he took a turn for the worse around two hours later, and he died too. I'll never believe it was a coincidence. I think she came to him and told him it was time to leave. Pretty romantic when you think about it.

Okay, so coming back to today's activities, I feel pretty caught up with my vegetable slaying, watering, and weeding. There are a couple of housekeeping tasks to do, but they won't take long. It's going to be a mostly sewing day. I want to finish the last seam for Ella's Flower Garden, and then make a back for it. Tomorrow is the first day of August, and I'm determined to get it into the pile of quilt tops to be sandwiched, with a goal of getting them all sandwiched before the end of the month. When I have that finished, I'll get back to quilting the Dream Big Panel. Oh yes, and tomorrow is the reveal of the newest challenge for The Endeavourers art quilt group. The latest prompt was "Opposites Attract." Be on the lookout!


Barbara said...

The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt. ~ Dave Barry

Terri in BC said...

What a sweet love story! I'm glad he never had to suffer the pain of learning his wife had passed. Good luck on taming the zucchinis!

MissPat said...

It seems it's not unusual for long-married couples to die the same day or a day or two apart. Something sort of romantic about that.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh that picture of her with the flower garden just suits the quilt choice name. I'm sure she took his hand and they strolled off together.

piecefulwendy said...

Fun to see the photos of your grandparents, and how interesting that they both died on the same day. My mom used to say she wanted that to happen for her and dad, and as a young adult, it always made me a little freaked out. Now I get it.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

That's the mark of a true passion - to die on the same day. Obviously they couldn't live without one another. Seeing the photo of her amongst the flowers I noticed what appears to be her purse on the ground beside her....perhaps they were visiting a public garden somewhere.
On the subject of pickles, I love the title of the book. Very fitting!