I have a brown thumb. My horticulturist girlfriend once gave me an arranged plant bowl swearing they were hardy plants that I would barely have to take care of. Still killed it.
That didn't stop me from wanting a vegetable garden. I had this convenient dirt patch in my backyard that was perfect for little ol me. I built up a raised garden using torn up sidewalk concrete, poured in a yard of compost, and bought a soaker hose and timer. After all, if the soaker hose is on a timer, then I won't have to worry about forgetting to water.
This is my third year. Each year it gets a little better. I seem to do well with tomatoes and basil. Last year I had good cucumbers, but not so good on zucchini. This year I have great tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, basil and Thai basil, and a jalapeno plant.
I had put in a few zucchini and everyone told me - pick out the strongest one and pull the rest! You only need one zucchini! Sure enough, I've keep pulling zucchini off when they are a nice, small size, but the thing is, I've hardly been cooking at home this summer. So I keep getting more and more and they keep piling up.
There's a proliferation of zucchini recipes out right now on food blogs because we are all running into the same problem, I guess. So here's another. I took this Chocolate Zucchini Cake to my monthly poker game and it was soooo good and soooo moist. I had to take the leftovers home and I didn't even cover it with saran wrap - it stayed moist for a couple of days without any covering on it! That is one awesome cake!
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
•1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•3/4 cup buttermilk
•1/2 pound raw zucchini, shredded
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Generously grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with hand held electric mixer at high speed, beat eggs until light in color and fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until light and fluffy; beat in oil.
With mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
Drain shredded zucchini; fold into the flour mixture along with vanilla and pecans. Spoon into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar over cake before serving.