|Zucchini in the garden|
It has a rather foreign sounding name, said to come from the Italian word for squash (zucca). But Italians brought it over to America in the 1920s and it started getting popular, even though it was already being grown in places like Mexico and South America. I had always found it pretty easy to plant and grow, and sometimes, it comes in a deluge! In fact, one summer I had so much I basically substituted celery for it, and called my recipe "Zucchini Chow Mein." Of course, that presupposes I wasn't using much chicken, but it was in there, along with the bean sprouts, onions, soy sauce, a dash of sugar and some rice on the side. The Bristol Herald Courier (VA.) daily liked it and gave me a white (with red border) "potluck" apron for my efforts.
I've since learned that this low cal phenom is loaded with vitamins. It has a whole "set" of vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, K, B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. And it has such a mild taste that is great in soups, salads, chow mein(!), or in the kind of sweet bread recipe used for bananas. I so look forward to this favorite fruit (it has a lot of seeds in it, as a fruit does). But last summer it didn't do as well, as it needs certain insects (bees) to pollinate it. People can help pollinate the female flower (the male flower is much smaller) using a Q tip, if needed. I may try that. But I did put marigolds nearby and wonder if they didn't distract or repel the bees last year.