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June 20,2017

Posted 7/10/2017 9:39pm by Don Kretschmann.

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,  

It even surprised us how much zucchini we picked the first time through the field.  Generally there are lots of male flowers and after a good week of that, the female flowers and zucchini develop.  Not this year.  Box after box, we picked and passed them out of the field. 

Good to see our helpers back from Mexico. We’ve gotten a lot done in their first few days back, including mulching all the tomatoes.   We’re still mourning loss of their father.   

We’ve had no need to worry about irrigation-generally-except under the plastic mulch we use for warming the soil in the zucchini and cucumber fields.  All that rain is also growing a terrific crop of weeds.  Beets and carrots are competing for their lives.     

It looks like the start of one of the best zucchini crops ever.  The plants grew so well, they just overwhelmed the weeds in the aisleways.  If you have a favorite zuc recipe, please share.    Along with everything else, we’ve had a spate of machinery issues—bad starter in one tractor; leaking anti-freeze in another; one walk-in cooler not working.  Always something...

As spring turns summer, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky,Maria & the Farm Crew

ID: Herb in a bag is oregano.  It’s not something you want to keep in the bag in your refrigerator. It dries easily with good aeration. After which you can crush it between your hands and put it in your spice jars. Ropey looking green stems are garlic scapes.  Use where you would use garlic. Strawberry Pie-- Combine 2T. cornstarch+ 1c. sfugar+ 1 1/2c. boiling water.  Cook for 2 min. stirring occasionally, then add 1 box jello.  Remove from heat and stir well, then pour over 1 qt. cleaned strawberries.  Cool and put in a baked piecrust, top w/whipped cream and garnish w/ strawberries.  

Zucchini Ideas: 

Zucchini Pizzettes:  Slice zucchini into ¼” rounds.  Brush cookie sheet with olive oil.  Lay out zucchini on sheet then brush with olive oil.  Bake 10 min @350.  Remove and add dab of marinara sauce and grated cheese of your choice. Continue baking until cheese is bubbly Zucchini Parmesan:  Cut up zucchini into quartered slices kind of like you’d do a dill pickle spear.  Lay on oiled cookie sheet or 9x16 pan and brush top with olive oil.  Mix together ½ c. grated parmesan, garlic powder, and mix of Mediterranean herbs—basil, oregano, thyme are good. Spread on top of zucs.  Bake @350 15 min.  Then broil 5 min until golden.

Grilled Herbed Zucchini:  Slice 3 zucchini into ½” rounds.  Beat together 4 tbs. melted butter,1/4 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp lemon juice, and Mediterranean herbs of your choice (oregano, thyme, and basil are great)  Brush zucchini with mixture and grill until blackened and just tender on both sides.

ZucScampi-make Shrimp Scampi then add a grated zucchini or two...cook barely a minute or two longer.

Zucchini Lasagna: Preheat your favorite tomato sauce.  Slice zucchinis 1/4” thick in rounds or lengthwise.  Mix 1# ricotta cheese with 1/2c minced parsley.  Brush bottom of baking dish with olive oil. (9x13” is our favorite size)  Spread layer of tomato sauce on bottom of pan, then add first layer of uncooked lasagna.  Spread layer of zucchini, then layer of ricotta, and then a more tomato sauce.  Repeat the process until the pan is full and top with grated mozzarella.  Bake covered at 325 deg. until pasta is cooked, then remove cover and bake another 10 min. 

ZucchiniParmesanStrips: Combine 1/3c bread crumbs w. 1/4c. grated parmesan. Cut zucchini in lengthwise strips. Dip in egg, then in crumb mix. Place on oiled baking sheet for 20 min. at 450 degrees.

Easy to make without a lot of bother.  The secret is: don’t cook the pasta. Zucchini Lasagna: Preheat your favorite tomato sauce.  Slice zucchinis 1/4” thick in rounds or lengthwise.  Mix 1# ricotta cheese with 1/2c minced parsley.  Brush bottom of baking dish with olive oil. (9x13” is our favorite size)  Spread layer of tomato sauce on bottom of pan, then add first layer of uncooked lasagna.  Spread layer of zucchini, then layer of ricotta, and then a more tomato sauce.  Repeat the process until the pan is full and top with grated mozzarella.  Bake covered at 325 deg. until pasta is cooked, then remove cover and bake another 10 min. 

Garlicy Collards: Remove thick rib from leaves and coarsely chop collards. Then parboil for 5 min., drain.   Saute diced garlic scapes 2 min. then add the collards and continue for another 5 min. until they are tender.  Salt & pepper.  Lemon or balsamic vinegar if desired.