Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Giant Zucchini Fiasco


 
“Why do I get myself into these fiascoes?” I mutter, as I wipe the kitchen counter for the fifth time, hoping the neon green of zucchini pulp doesn’t stain. The phone rings. It’s my eleven-year-old granddaughter, who’s the starter for our three-kid-and-two-grands Sunday chat.

“Whatcha doin’, Gramma?” she chirps.

“Oh, honey, I am up to my elbows in Zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, and zucchini mini-loaves. I underestimated how much zucchini pulp would make a cup, so I had to triple the recipe.”

She giggles before saying, “That sounds like a mess.”

“You have no idea, dear girl. I started out with a large bowl, transferred the batter to a huge bowl, and then had to graduate the bright green goo to my enormous chili pot. I ran out of flour in my canister, so substituted a chocolate cake mix for the final cup. I wish you were here to help me!”
 

We visit for a while, me cradling the phone on my shoulder as I fill muffins cups and loaf pans. Finally, I sigh with pleasure. “How many loaves and muffins do you think I ended up with?” I ask, mentally daring her to guess right.

That giggle reaches through the airwaves again. “I don’t know.”

“Three large loaves, eight mini-loaves, and sixteen muffins. And there is still a fifth of a zuke sitting in the fridge wondering if I forgot it!”

I’ve often joked how I use gardening in the summer and baking in the winter as therapy, because they’re cheaper than a therapist is.  But the zucchini fiasco has me re-thinking that philosophy. I spent three hours of my time mixing and baking, another hour cleaning up, and have yet to ask forty-seven people if they’d like to adopt a loaf or a set of quintuplet muffins to make their home complete. Isn’t my time worth at least two sessions with a shrink, in an office devoid of stained green counters?

The upside is, I have enough breakfast breads to last the winter, my grandgirl and I bonded a bit, and my neglected loaf pans felt needed.
 
 

But the next time I’m making a delivery for the office supply store I manage to a church with a “Free Produce” table in their vestibule, if I see an 18” long zucchini, I will run the other way!
 
Do you like to bake? Have you ever experienced a fiasco similar to mine? Do tell.