Off the grid and on to zucchini

Gloria Yoder - The Amish Cook

Will your zucchini patties be “love at first bite?”

Will your zucchini patties be “love at first bite?”

Amish Cook photo

I used to wonder how a person could ever go to work in the garden to unwind.

Pulling weeds just wasn’t on my list of things I particularly enjoyed. I don’t know what happened, but I repeatedly found myself ambling toward the garden during the past week after supper and breathing deeply. I felt my entire being relaxing as weeds were being removed and tomatoes staked.

This spring, the garden has been the center of countless quality family times. Our first cucumbers are itty-bitty things that will undoubtedly be picked before real maturity. Daniel and Jesse came into the house last week with our first squash.

Perhaps a dimension that has added so much joy is having the younger ones old enough to help marvel over the wonder of how God designed vegetable plants to have seeds that can be dried and used for a totally new cycle of more healthy foods for the family. Not to mention the amazing fact that these little boys are actually old enough to grasp the concept of not trampling down sweet corn or pulling vegetable plants instead of weeds.

Little Joshua loves joining us in the garden as he plays in the dirt or picks on the plastic in the tomato row. Yes, he’s been picking the plastic open, leaving holes large enough for the sun to shine in and weeds to poke their heads through, but you know what?

We discovered it’s also worth a lot to have our little curly-head happy and occupied as we hoe or plant the rest of the sweet corn or green beans. (We like planting in various hitches to enjoy more fresh from the patch.)

I think it would be the neatest thing to have a root cellar to help keep some garden goodies longer. But then that’s OK. I’m thankful for my ample refrigerator space.

And in response to our young nine-year-old reader, Miss Ashlyn, from Versailles, Ohio, who inquired on how we run our refrigerators and freezers, we have a large solar system with a battery pack that also gets charged when the motor in Daniel’s woodworking shop runs.

So yes, we generate our own electricity rather than using it from the line. Thank you for asking!

While we do freeze things, I do enjoy the ease of grabbing a jar in the can room and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice — no thawing needed.

I know not everyone has access to fresh garden goodies; if you have an opportunity to come our way, please stop in, and we’d be more than happy to fill a basket for you!

I’ve been racking my brain on what garden bounty recipe to pass on to you. I’m like, “Well, what’s better than a tomato sandwich — a plain old tomato sandwich, like a slice of bread with mayo and thick slices of tomato with a bit of salt and pepper on top.”

Or then there’s salad, and really anything can go in it. From fresh lettuce and spinach to plenty of onions, cukes, or even strawberries, they all find their way into an old-fashioned tossed salad.

Before we got married, I was introduced to my fiance’s family recipe of zucchini patties. It was love at first bite. Here you go- try it yourself!

Zucchini Patties

2/3 cup Bisquick mix*

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

2 cups grated zucchini

1 small onion, chopped fine

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Mix all together. Pour 1/2 cup batter in a hot buttered skillet. Fry over medium heat until golden brown. If desired, top with a slice of cheese or for a best-ever sandwich, try eating it with a slice of home made bread and a fresh tomato!

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

Will your zucchini patties be “love at first bite?” your zucchini patties be “love at first bite?” Amish Cook photo

Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook