Wednesday, July 09, 2008

On t-shirt skirts, not being a control freak, etc.

Hello, dear friends out there! I hope you are well and that your stems are strong in this wilty heat that has all our tomatoes keeling over to the ground like drunks.

Speaking of--here's what every photograph of me in Virginia looks like:

Except the ones where you can't see me because I'm inside a bag of potato chips or leaning out of the frame to get a bite of someone's hot dog. We had a wonderful time--especially after I gave myself over to the chaos of it. Eight cousins is a lot of cousins, and you would definitely not have walked into our condo and thought, "Oh, by mistake I have entered a silent meditation retreat." It was noisy and wild and really, really fun. Also, I kick serious ass at Beyond Balderdash, even if Michael's brother David did actually beat me.

Here's what Ben looked like in sultry, historical Virginia:

And here's Birdy, looking more like an exhausted little Viking than a Colonial somebody:

The column that will post next Monday tells more about the trip, including Ben's critique of Jamestown's peculiar style of Colonial propaganda. (Have I piqued your curiosity? No?)
Meanwhile, please if you get a chance do read my other new wondertime columns here, here, and here.

And, onto the important matter of the Alabama Stitch Book skirt. I have sewed many of them, though I only have photos of Birdy's and mine. All have been made out of t-shirts thrifted from the Salvation Army.

The process is called "reverse applique," where you stitch around your design, then cut out the top layer to reveal the layer below. I am addicted to it. If there were photos of me at home, it would look like the top one, only the hand that wasn't holding the beer would be sewing. (Also, please note that in real life, I do not actually look like I have a pair of wee clementines hot-glued where a regular bosom should be.)

Okay. Take care, and send me your zucchini recipes. (Do you like how I sprang that on you right at the end?)


  1. Love the photos of your trip! So glad to hear you had a good time. Here's the zucchini recipe I'm currently addicted to. Check out the photos of these I posted on my blog!

    Zucchini Pancakes
    2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
    2 tablespoons grated red onion
    2 extra-large eggs, lighty beaten
    6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (if the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)
    Heat a large (10- to 12-inch ) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

    -Barefoot Contessa at Home

    p.s. I used vidalia onions. And quite a bit more flour. And cooking spray and just a bit of butter.

  2. I've got nothin on the zucchini but I'm running out to get the Alabama Stitch Book right now! Your skirt and Birdy's kick some serious tush.

  3. I am in love with those skirts!

    Ok, for you, I am going to try to put a link to zucchini recipes in a comment.

    zucchini recipes

  4. Hey, it worked! My first link in a comment. Don't you feel special.

  5. Anonymous11:07 AM

    easy zuc. recipe ... slice zuc. (& squash, bell peppers, onion - white or yellow) ... put in a tinfoil bag, add butter, salt & pepper to taste, seal tinfoil, toss on grill (not directly on heat, if possible - you know, the second rack) ...flip the veggie bag when you flip the meat ... grill on low to med heat. about the time your chicken is done, your veggies are, too (or, about 15 minutes, each side)

    also, corn on the cob (minus the stringy silks & husk) can be done the same way - when you start to smell the buttery-corn smell, done.

    Of, if it's raining & grilling is no fun - all the above applies to oven-baking on 350 for about 45 minutes (put foil covered stuff on a cookie sheet) ...


  6. This is the only thing I ever bother to do with zucchini is this chocolate cake, a potluck favorite from my childhood.

    It's not hot here - it's rainy. How summery!

  7. Zucchini Bread from the Pampered Chef library of recipes. I will be happy to comment back with the recipe if you don't have your own library at home (I do - unfortunately).

    Also, I plan to simply slice zucchini, squash and red onion to use for kabobs this weekend. My twin sister is visiting with my lovely niece and nephew. With five kids and three adults to feed, I felt veggie and steak kabobs would be easy-peasy.

    I'm glad you had fun in VA.

  8. Catherine, I loved your articles in the latest Wondertime magazine- both the camping story which almost makes me want to camp (and I HATE camping!) and the recipes- we have tried the Perfect Salad (hubby was pretty skeptical of potatoes on a salad but liked it) and the Peanut noodles recipe, both were very good! The summer food inspiration was much-needed at our house. I'm going to hope the Miracle Gro kicks in for my sad little zucchini plants so I can try the 'best of' here.

  9. Best Zucchini prep ever:
    2 zucchini
    1/4 c. sour cream

    Grate the zucchini, heat butter in skillet, saute the zucchini until opaque, season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Enjoy and mmmmmmmmm.

    I'm making those skirts. New summer project!

  10. completely tantalized by all discussion of children/jamestown/colonial symbolism/etc.

    I've been slowly changing this recipe for "chicken tacos" into a recipe for "zuchini tacos" over the last couple of summers. yummy, esp. the cilantro slaw. not sure the link will come through...

  11. Ahhh!!!! Why don't I sew??? Those are fabulous! :)

  12. Sorry, no zucchini recipies...

    BUT, I do love the wilted Birdy picture- that's basially what every photo of my kids look like whenever we whip out the camera on boat rides. (Well, without the colonial attire)... I mean, they LOOK like they hate it, but they don't, I swear.

    The skirts are really great. Love that they are made from thrift store tshirts.

  13. Those skirts make me want to learn to sew or at least get my sewing friend on it immediately! And by-the-way, how wonderful are skirts for doing such a pretty job of covering thighs!

  14. 8 cousins is a lot of cousins in one place! We have 13 on my husband's side. I requre a lot of beer when we get together.

    We just finished devouring a batch of our favourite chocolate zucchini muffins:

    Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp each backing soda and cinnamon
    3/4 tsp of salt (or not, I leave it out)
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 whole eggs
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/3 cup veg. oil
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 cups packed, grated zucchini
    1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or just pour in as many big ones as you like, for a chunkier chocolate experience)

    Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine flour, coca, aking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, applesauce, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in grated zucchini. Add wet ingredients to dry. STir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
    Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes for regular muffins, 12 for mini muffins (these times are approx. b/c the recipe is originally for a loaf, which bakes for 50 minutes. We prefer muffins. I just keep checking them for doneness).

    Remove from oven, cool slightly, eat three in a row, feel sick and full of self-loathing. ;)

  15. from my all-time favorite cookbook, Moosewood:

    zucchini crusted pizza
    *you can make the crust several days in advance
    *even the pickiest eaters (aka Noah) will chow down on this one, despite the fact that the recipe is not titled "mac and cheese"
    *perfect for cooking with the kidlets, unless, of course, yours enjoy flour fights as much as mine do...and then it's only good if you have time for sweeping your kitchen floor and putting everyone (including any pets that get in the way) in the tub for a good soak).


    olive oil and flour for the pan
    2 cups (packed) grated Zucchini (I use a food processor grating attachment...I plan to amortize the heck out of that thing )
    2 eggs beaten
    1/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup grated mozzerella (again I use the FP)
    optional: pinches of basil, marjoram, rosemary...or oregano if it has become the star of herbs gone wild in your backyard and therefore is put into everything...

    topping suggestions:
    extra olive oil
    1 large tomatoe sliced
    extra Mozz cheese, sliced or grated
    2-3 cloves garlic, thin sliced
    sauteed mushrooms
    thinly sliced bell peppers
    sliced olives

    1) preheat oven to 400. Generously oil a 10-inch pie pan and coat lightly with flour (you can also use a jelly roll pan)
    2) combine zucchini, eggs, flour, mozzarella, parmesan, herbs, and 1 tbs. olive oil in a bowl and mix well.
    3) spread into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. About halfway through the baking, brush with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Remove from oven. When it has cooled for about 10 minutes, use a spatula to loosen the crust from the pan so it won't break later.
    4) top with your favorite pizza items and bake at 400 until heated through.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Hey Catherine!

    I'm a long time reader and first time poster. Your blog entry Heat Wave is my favorite one to date. Here is my favorite zucchini recipe to date...

    Zucchini Parmesan :

    2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 jar spaghetti sauce
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
    In a large pot boil the zucchini until tender; drain. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender.
    Combine the zucchini, onion and garlic in a 9x12 inch casserole dish, and mix well. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the mixture and stir well. Top with mozzarella cheese (use more or less depending on your preference).
    Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

    PREP TIME 15 Min
    COOK TIME 30 Min
    READY IN 45 Min

    This was robbed from Allrecipes.Com years ago and is still a family favorite

  18. No zucchini recipes I'm afraid. But I absolutely LOVE your skirt, it looks fabulous, and how about that reverse applique! Thanks so much for joining in the challenge and I'll be sure to post a link to this shortly!

    Lina x

  19. Anonymous8:33 PM

    I cannot believe no one has commented on your decolletage. For a woman who is always bemoaning the latitude of her "nursings", I would say your girls look fabulous. What kind of bra are you wearing in these photos? After breastfeeding three babies my girls could sure use a similar "clementine" pick me up!

  20. OK I cannot resist sharing my own photo of my own kid in the same colonial gear (probably exactly the same set of said gear) from our own trip to Jamestown this past school vacation in April. It was also with cousins, one of whose kids felt compelled to goof on mine in the pic. Our weather was also less than ideal, but instead of sultry, it poured rain the entire time. The ultimate observation of the day came from my cousin's oldest daughter (12) who announced at the end of the afternoon "No offense but I don't really want to learn about history on my school vacation.". 'Nuff said.

    Anyway here's the pic:
    Donning the Armor

    If enough other people also have photos of their kids wearing that armor, perhaps we could start an album! :-D

  21. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Fabulous zucchini fritters, and SO easy. Add some basil to the roasted red pepper dip. YUM!

    And as if I didn't have enough knitting to do to use up all the time that I pretend is spare time (but is actually me not cleaning the house). Now I have skirts to sew as well!

    Michele :0)

  22. Anonymous11:19 PM

    No zucchini recipes, but on Sunday I made hamburgers where the hamburger itself was not actually "burger," but thickly sliced, lightly fried eggplant. It was divine (throw on a slice of fresh mozzarella and some tomato and onion, maybe a dollop of vidalia onion dressing or some light mayo...mmmmm).

  23. Anonymous12:54 AM

    Those skirts are so pretty. It is a shame I can't sew at all.

    Hey, where did you get your shirt in the first picture? So pretty!

  24. Love the skirts! Do post some directions, please! Or don't if it's copyright infringement. but seriously, I'll have to get that Alabama book.
    Oh, and when I realized there was another post on your blog, I became soooo happy immediately, that my husband asked me, "What happened?" And then had to come over and peaked at the computer because he couldn't believe I could get so excited about "just" a blog post.
    Fun, fun pictures. Happy you're having a great summer!

  25. Anonymous8:24 AM

    Oh my God, I'm so hungry now! I don't have a recipe of my own, so I'll steal my dad's. He takes the zucchini's that get super big at the end of the summer and slices them in half (from top to bottom), then hollows the halves and puts in any mixure of pre-cooked hamburger or sausage with herbs and spices and veggies and grills the whole thing. Wow, is it good! Mmmm, I guess that's not so much a recipe - more just a fond memory. Happy Summer!
    ps - love the clementines! i have a bra the does the same thing to my droopies! ;-)

  26. Anonymous12:43 PM

    I have three favorites and they are all from the same place. I've made this one three times in two weeks:

    it's too hot to be ove a stove right now but I've eaten this alone for dinner(and we use leftover almonds to stir into ice cream):

    And I haven't tried this one yet - because I used up all my zucchini on the first one!:

    I adore the smitten kitchen website most everything I've made from there has been excellent.

    best to you all. xo E.

  27. What gorgeous skirts! I am predisposed to shun homemade clothes in fear of looking dowdy, since I was forced to wear a lot of not-so-stylish homemade dresses (which matched my sisters!) when I was little. But those skirts! Those are COOL!

  28. No zucchini for me.... I'm not the baking type (at least that is the excuse I use most often). My mom thinks something went very wrong in my genetic code-I come from a long line of farm wives who cook, bake, clean and sew. I don't have talent in any of those areas. I do love your skirts!!! With three daughters I'm tempted to try your idea!

  29. Anonymous3:21 PM

    I have the Yorktown armor photos of my oldest and his best friend -- and there are probably photos of me drinking all manner of things from the same trip, although my wardrobe is no match for your'n.


  30. This is my current favorite zucchini recipe:

    Zucchini Bread

    3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
    1 2/3 cups sugar
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    4 eggs
    3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I like walnuts)

    Mix everything together. Put into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.

    I love all the other recipes. My garden is currently overproducing zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers. It's making us a little crazy. My husband made pickles the other night and I came in to find a jar of pickled squash. It seems he was making any attempt to preserve it that he could. I already have a ton of it in my freezer, some of it even in huge batches of spaghetti sauce (oh- that's another thing you can do with it). It's kind of getting the best of us, but given those who are having such financial struggles these days, I'm not complaining! Love the blog.

  31. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Catherine, this has nothing to do with zucchini. The other day I went to the library with my two little guys and we got Richard Scarry's "What do people do all day?". I have been reading it to them non-stop, and I remember a post of yours back in the babycenter days that had a comment with regards to the lack of female employment in this book. It's actually quite hilarious how non-feminist this book is. Now, I am a trained economist, so the book appealed to me in a "how the business world works" kind of way but the lack of female role models is quite something! There is a line that goes something like "Daddy Cat bought Mommy Cat a new dress. She earned it because she did such a good job taking care of the house!". Yikes. I had a real conflicted feeling though because I actually resigned from my work position after having my first son, so the feminist in me has a hard time reconciling with my stay-at-home-mom title. This is a very long comment to say that something you wrote several years back really stayed with me! Glad you had a good trip and good luck with the zucchini.

  32. Catherine, I've loved your writing for a long time and seldom take the time to tell you so. I started with your blog on babycenter and have stalked you ever since. Keep up the fabulous work.

  33. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Wowza! Looking good there, lady. I don't mean it creepy, but it keeps coming out that way. I mean it in a sincere compliment to your hardworking nursings kind of way. No zucchini recipes to offer, just my creepy/sincere compliments to you and yours. Glad you had a crazy fun vacation. --Cathy K

  34. hey catherine, my name is megan. just chiming in to tell you a few odds and ends. firstly, i have gone completely crazy for your writing, and thusly for you and your family. i am in the middle of "waiting for birdy" and yesterday i was laughing so hard in the other room that my husband thought i must be watching seinfeld. he came in to see what all the ruckus was, and said, "oh, you're only reading."(not an avid reader.) secondly, since last weeks wondertime blog, what with all of your amazing suggestions, my wallet is now $50 less heavy, i am in the middle of two books, and stitching myself a reverse applique head scarf from natalie chanin's ridiculously brilliant book. loved your skirts! and thirdly, a suggestion to send your way, if you don't already have husband is canadian, so when the barenaked ladies put out a children's album, i figured we should check it out. it is wonderful and clever and makes us crack up and dance around...and two songs in particular, for some reason, made me think of your called "eraser" and one called "popcorn"...
    i have no zucchini recipes to share but i am paying close attention and will try some of these from other readers....i do make these crazy muffins sometimes, that i add zucchini to if i have some, but they are so very fiberous that i really only recommend them if your having issues with that sort of thing, (i.e. i used to make them for my good friend's daughter when she was about birdy's age. they were the remedy to what she affectionately referred to as "spiky poop")....the recipe is on the back of bob's red mill flax meal. they are so good they have raisins and apples and carrots....delish! i'll send it to you if you want it.
    oh and lastly, lest i forget, loved the pilgrim pictures...i just finished re-reading the little house books with a friend of mine. we were talking about them so much that her husband starting reading with us....we were sitting together at dinner one night, and carrie and i were talking about how pa put out a fire by starting a fire! (such a freaking genius, that pa) and her husband, jon, said, "well, girls i don't wanna ruin plum creek for you, but ma's got some balls too."
    we're going to have a pioneer party soon and everyone has to make their own costume! so i am totally taking notes from ben and birdy's picure.
    megan lemay

  35. Anonymous1:26 PM

    hey- since your so addicted, can you make a skirt for me and z? or a better idea! you could put them up on, then send us a link and we'll buy them from you... cause they really are so cute and boutique-y and I don't plan on learning to sew until i'm thirty and z's in school. :)
    by the way, i DO have wee clementines where a real bosom should be. :(
    nursing giveth and nursing taketh away.

  36. Catherine, I'm so glad to see someone take on the Alabama sewing and fashion a rocking skirt. I once looked (lovingly, jealously) at a Project Alabama shirt at a store that was $800. Oh my. Definitely my style, but not my budget.

  37. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Ha! You are drinking a Sierra Nevada! My husband's beer of choice. I'm more of a wine girl. Those skirts are great! Unfortunately, I do not sew. I did just learn to knit. Been reading your articles forever. thanks so much for sharing your wisdom (and the days when you don't feel so very wise).

  38. I love those skirts! I think I have to order that book since I can't find it through the western Mass. library system...

    Also, for zucchini, I tend to grate it into everything, pasta sauce, salads, my usual pancake batter where I then add a dash of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. You can grate it on the box grater and then add it to pesto pasta, or even rice - then add a bit of cheese and bake it into a casserole... yum!

    As always, thanks for your writing!

  39. i'm am really interested in your column monday as i used to be an archaeologist in the williamsburg/jamestown area and lots of my friends still work there.

  40. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I have to echo the comments above - the zucchini pizza and all things smitten kitchen.

  41. So it leaves me to be the one to comment on your most excellent mary-jane shoesies!!! Birks? Or just fabulous sandally types of shoes.... too cute, regardless of what they are. I will wear mary-janes til the day I die, just absolutely feel better with them on..

  42. Hey Catherine, My name is Lucy. I wanted to tell you your book got me through a tough time and brought me to your blog. I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old, and I'm an artist/creative person wanting to do more with my kids around. right now they are to young for me to start sanding glass or oil painting with. But I do break out my sewing machine often , mostly for their stuffed animals and stuffed things and all of the family blankets. I am going to get that book and make some stuff/skirts etc. keep writing, believe it or not I enjoy reading your wondertime stuff knowing this mom gig will get easier and more fun. Your really inspiring and I love your completely honest style of writing and parenting.


  43. In exchange for the utter delight that you've given me by introducing me to the Alabama Stitch Book (so pretty! And simple!), I'll share my ridiculously easy calabacitas recpie with you.

    1 small-medium onion, chopped
    4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 medium tomatoes, very coarsely chopped (or 4, if you want more of a stew and less of a taco-filling)
    salt and pepper
    1 tbsp oregano
    1 tbsp cumin
    1/4 tsp chipotle powder (but cayenne would work, too)
    2-3 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
    kernels from 2-3 ears of corn (around 1 cup or so, if you'd prefer to use frozen)
    1 lime
    1/4 c cilantro, chopped

    In a large skillet (w a lid) over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper, cover and cook until tomatoes break down (5-10 minutes). Add spices and zucchini. Simmer, covered, until zucchini is just-tender. Stir in corn, heat through. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and cilantro.

    Serve with soft corn shells, cotija cheese, and sour cream.

  44. Hi Catherine. I love how your Alabama Stitch Book skirts turned out. Very inspiring! I have the book, am dying to get to it. I have been making many zucc. recipes--they're on the blog. Take care! Mary Beth

  45. Anonymous1:37 PM


    I've also been hangin' with you since the Babycenter days, when I was pregnant with my very own son and your camping story about Ben asking so sweetly to pet the dogs made me cry and cry. I savor your columns and I love reading the entries on your blog! I have two thriving pumpkin plants in my tiny, tiny garden patch, alongside three frighteningly small corn plants. I must have the most nitrogen-depleted soil in all of St. Paul, Minnesota, this corn is so short. Whenever we drive by a corn field, I enviously eye the tall, dark green stalks of corn...what I cannot figure out is when these farmers sowed their corn, when our spring was so bitterly cold and wet?! I guess that's why I'm not a farmer.

    Your talent for writing inspired me to start my own blog. It's a little funny that we both wrote about travel drama within weeks of one another, must be the season! I love, love, love your writing. Please don't ever stop making the rest of moms feel like we're not in this alone.

    Jenni P.S. How I wish I could sew, those skirts are rockin'!!!

  46. Don't speak to me of zucchini. For the second--SECOND--year in a row, the nursery has sold me a yellow squash masquerading as a zucchini. A changling, as it were. Unclean.

    Hope you are fabulously fabulous, dear. Hug your zucchini for me.


  47. Anonymous9:05 PM

    FYI, there's an article on Natalie Chanin, the Alabama Stitch Book author, in the current (Aug 08)COOKIE. Great stuff.

  48. These recipes look great! We traveled through Virgina on our way back from Myrtle Beach! We might have been in the same state at the same time. I know how exciting that must sound.

    Glad to hear you are doing well in this wilty heat.

  49. Thank you Catherine. I have been reading your journals and blogs since day one and just today started my own. Feel free to visit!!!


  50. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Catherine -

    I love the skirts you made! Inspired by your Wondertime column (also because I'm in a wild stitching frame of mind not to mention the fact that for the past couple of months I've been thinking "maybe I can save money on fabric and be green at the same time by necrophagizing old clothes etc from the charity store!) - I have requested the Alabama Stitch Book from my local library. It is currently in transit. Can't wait to make my first Frankenskirt!!!

    Since you mention them, I will say that your Tetons look nothing like the elongated pancakes you often describe in your columns - they are looking rather more like dumplings boiling over.

    I wish I had a zucchini recipe to offer you but I just tend to you it in my pasta primavera, veggie lasagna, quiche, on my pizza. There is a recipe for Zucchini featherbeds in "The Passionate Vegetarian" by Crecent Dragonwagon (which also uses up old heel ends of bread - which I know you, like me, save until they become a penicillin farm) - but be warned that it needs a little something extra - seasoning, cheese or whatever takes your fancy to make it a little less BLAND.

    Enjoy the rest of the summer!!!

  51. Anonymous1:58 AM

    I make this all summer (it's winter here boo). It's yummy hot or cold with tasty chutney and a green salad and some chips/fries or bread.

    Self crusting Zucchini Slice

    12 oz zucchini
    1 large onion
    3 rasher of bacon (or ham) optional
    1 cup grated cheese,
    1 cup self-raising flour
    1/2 cup oil
    5 eggs
    salt and pepper

    grate the unpeeled zucchini. Finely chop onion and bacon, combine all ingredients.
    Bake in a greased 6 x 10 inch tin at 350F for 35 to 45 mins or until browned. Decorate top with tomatoes or peppers or mushrooms.

  52. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Catherine, I immediately thought of you and Ben this weekend when I was running my fingers through my 8-year-old's hair and felt.... something.... big and gross and OMG! It was a huge tick on my baby's head! I nearly died. It had been there for possibly three or four days. My husband acted like I had grown a second head when I whispered, "What about Lyme disease?!?" Ugh.

  53. Catherine,

    Totally unrelated to this post, but what are your favorite beaches on the Cape. We will be heading there soon and we are looking for a cool beach with as little seaweed as possible ;) (my four year old daughter's request).

    By the way, LOVED Chilling Out. We also read Cat and the Hat Comes Back with "poppers" ... too funny. I have also found myself becoming a bit more open over the last year to otter pops, popular movies and the like. It's definitely more relaxing and also a lot more fun to let go of a little bit of the worry. :)


  54. Sorry Catherine, I'm not sure if this is my second or third comment, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for making the comment about "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be."I had t check it out, and I'm so happy I did! I can't put it down. So much encouragement!
    Thanks for your posts!

  55. No zucchini for us this year. We conveniently forgot to plant it. I might even put up a sign on our porch that says, "This is a zucchini free zone" just in case friends and family think I'm lacking a certain essential zucchini enzyme or something. That said, there's a great recipe for zucchini and feta cheese pancakes in some cookbook or other. Is it Moosewood? I'll have to check and get back.

  56. Your last 2 Wondertime posts (7/14, 7/21) were too good to miss.

    You, quite simply, uplift other parents.

    How's THAT for a job description??

  57. Your stories are always so captivating. You have a wonderful spirit and a wonderful family!

  58. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Hi Catherine! I love your column, and often send quotes from it to my other mom friends...
    Anyway, here's my favorite zucchini recipe. It uses a lot - perfect for summer. I have it in full-fat and lite versions depending how you are feeling. Personally I do some sort of combination of the two. I don't like all the processed stuff, but thought some people might like options.

    Zucchini Bake
    3 cups diced unpeeled zucchini
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    4 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup veg oil
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper
    1 cup buttermilk baking mix

    Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix all ingredients and pour into pan. Bake 30-40 min until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

    Lite Zucchini bake
    1 cup chopped peeled zucchini, pureed (1/2 cup)
    1 cup fat-free egg product
    2 TB melted butter
    1/2 tsp parsley flakes
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp peeper
    1/2 cup grated parmesan
    3 cups diced unpeeled zucchini
    1 small onion finely chopped
    1 cup reduced fat buttermilk baking mix

    Preheat oven to 350. Combine pureed zucchini, egg product, butter, parsley, salt, pepper, and 6 TB of the parmesan, blend well. Stir in the diced zucchini and onion. Add baking mix; mix well. Pour into a spray-coated baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese, and spray cheese with cooking spray to lightly coat the top.
    Bake at 350 for 35-45 min.

  59. great wondertime post this week. A few weeks back, I wrote about a dream I had where I nursed Lizzie until she went to college. hmmm. exactly what was THAT all about? Also, great zucchini recipes you got folks to give up. Now how 'bout asking for some tomater recipes too?? My garden runneth over and I am still scared of canning (thanks to Noah, who diligently reminds me each year that tomatoes, if canned incorrectly, become "as poisonous as a dart frog."

  60. Hello,

    Here are my favorite zucchini recipes. Ina Garten is always reliable. The second recipe calls for 8 zucchini!

    Zucchini Vichyssoise Copyright, 2004, Barefoot in Paris, All Rights Reserved
    See this recipe on air Thursday Jul. 31 at 5:00 PM ET/PT.

    Show: Barefoot Contessa
    Episode: Fast and Elegant Supper

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon good olive oil
    5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (4 to 8 leeks)
    4 cups chopped unpeeled white boiling potatoes (8 small)
    3 cups chopped zucchini (2 zucchini)
    1 1/2 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons heavy cream
    Fresh chives or julienned zucchini, for garnish

    Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot, add the leeks, and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then process through a food mill fitted with the medium disc. Add the cream and season to taste. Serve either cold or hot, garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini.

    Zucchini with Parmesan Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All rights reserved
    Show: Barefoot Contessa
    Episode: Stress Free Dinner Party
    This recipe is available for a limited time only. Why?

    8 medium zucchini
    Good olive oil
    2 large yellow onions cut in half and sliced 1/2 inch thick
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Remove the ends of the zucchini and, if they are large, cut in half lengthwise. Slice the zucchini diagonally in 1/2-inch slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, until they start to brown. Add half the zucchini, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook, tossing occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until just cooked through. Sprinkle with Parmesan and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove to a serving platter and repeat with the rest of the zucchini. Serve immediately.
    Note: If you cook too much zucchini in one pan, you end up steaming rather than sauteing it. I prefer to cook it in 2 batches.

  61. These zucchini-sweetpotato muffins are really good:
    and for a long time were the only way my almost 3 year old would consume a green vegetable.
    But my absolute all time favorite, eat it every day I possibly can in summer recipe:
    corn, zucchini, and tomato pie
    Pot Pies: Comfort Food Under Cover | January 2000
    Diane Phillips

    This pie is made from the overflowing bounty of the backyard garden. Fresh corn and zucchini seasoned with dill bake underneath Parmesan-crusted tomatoes to make a scrumptious entrée that can be served warm or at room temperature.

    Servings: Makes 6 to 8 servings.
    3 cups fresh, or frozen and defrosted corn kernels
    5 small zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
    2 tablespoons melted butter
    3 to 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Preheat the oven to 375°. In a 13 by 9-inch ovenproof baking dish, combine the corn, zucchini, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, the dill, and the melted butter, tossing to coat the vegetables. Cover the vegetable swith the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
    In a small bowl, combine the cheese and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove it from the oven, and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    SO SO SO good. Even if the zucchini is a minor player, it really brings everything together in what is my defining taste of summer.

  62. Anonymous3:44 PM

    If you are interested in 'putting up' some zucchini for the winter, the Ball Blue Book of Preserving (I have such a hard time saying this without giggling) has a good, ol' fashioned canning recipe for zucchini relish. It reminds my husband of his great-grandma's relish. Who knows it may be the recipe she actually used.

  63. Kami is SO right about the zucchini relish. It is the best ever. I also make bread and butter pickles with zucchini. That recipe is also in the Blue Ball Book (that's what we call it).