Something funny has been going on in my backyard.
After the garden of 2010 that died from neglect and the garden of 2011 that never was planted, the garden of 2012 is a stunner.
Despite the lack of rain and the fact that I got a late start (the one year when it was warm enough to plant on May 1, I got nothing in the ground until June 9), the vegetable gods are with me this year.
Everything is dark green and healthy, I’ve been able to keep the weeds under control, and so far the only thing that’s gotten chewed on by any kind of creature is some of the basil.
This year, I decided to limit what I planted, rather than trying to put in so much that I would have no time to tend it all and we would have a repeat of 2010.
When it came to squash, I put in two zucchini plants and three yellow crook-neck squash, a favorite in my house.
There actually had been some rain (yes, I apparently live in one of the pockets that has gotten a little water this summer) and when I went out to assess the situation, lo and behold, I already had zucchini.
There was one ready to pick on each of four of the plants.
I only put in two zucchini plants.
Is it possible, I wondered, that the zucchini somehow managed to cross-pollinate with the yellow squash, completely taking over the plants?
I stared at all five with the look of a mother who just found out her teenager was having sex — in her own backyard.
“What’s been going on out here?” I scolded them. “You do realize the neighbors can see you?”
A friend told me that zucchini plants will do that sort of thing. “They are like the tramps of vegetable life,” she said.
I wasn’t sure she knew her botany, but it sounded plausible to me.
I was still in a bit of shock at the possibility that my backyard had been the scene of a garden-variety orgy, when a friend who is a master gardener told me that the plants I purchased were probably just mislabeled. A farmer friend said the same thing.
I was feeling relieved, until the realization set in that I now have to find a way to prepare the offspring of five zucchini plants. Five randy zucchini plants. Oh dear.
This could prepare me for raising rabbits.
I shredded the first two into some pancakes, which turned out pretty tasty.
So here’s my recipe, which I think I have named appropriately, given the circumstances.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY ZUCCHINI PATTIES
2½ cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 cup flour
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
½ small onion, grated
Shred zucchini on largest holes of a box grater or in a food processor. Squeeze out excess liquid. Measure out 2½ cups.
Beat eggs, add to zucchini and stir to combine.
Combine flour, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir flour mixture into zucchini and eggs until well combined.
Grate onion on smallest side of a box grater. Add onion and parsley to mixture and stir to fully incorporate.
Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a preheated, well-greased griddle or skillet. Allow to cook until tops begin to look dry around the edges (like when making a pancake). Flip and cook on other side, pressing down with a spatula slightly to make sure all batter gets exposed to hot surface, so that patties won’t have raw spots in the middle.
Cook time on a griddle set to 350 degrees is about 5 minutes per side.
Serve hot, at room temperature or cold. Can be served with sour cream, salsa or even a drizzle of pesto sauce.
Makes about 1 dozen 3-inch patties.
Note: These patties can be made smaller by using just 2 teaspoons of batter. They make a great party appetizer because they are just as good served at room temperature.