I finally have over ONE pound of harvest in a week. And I will freely admit that the squash blossoms pushed me over that 1 lb mark.
It's my first home-grown zucchini! I know most people have "problems" with their zucchini plants being too prolific, but I was excited to get my first full-sized zucchini this week. I actually hand-pollinated this one with a small brush last weekend, because I wanted to make extra certain that this female flower got pollinated, after seeing another female flower, along with its embryo zucchini, just wither away and die two weekends ago. I'm guessing that's what happens to female squash flowers that don't get pollinated.
I've been reading about fried squash blossoms. Edible, cookable flowers? Heck yeah, I had to test this out for myself. Unfortunately, I only saw two blossoms that seemed fit for harvesting on Sunday, so I ended up with just two. I prepared a beer batter according to one of the recipes I found online, and fried up the two blossoms. The verdict? Well, let's just say that there's room for improvement. There was nothing really wrong with them, but I just wasn't overly impressed as I had hoped. Maybe my expectations were too high. Or maybe my frying technique needs more practice, as I hardly ever fry anything. I will try this again before I give up completely. Does anyone here have a good recipe for squash blossoms that they would recommend? I also sliced up my one zucchini into coins and sticks and fried them up using the same beer batter. But I discovered that the batter was just too thick/heavy for the zucchini. I really need to work on my frying skills and recipes.
There was another handful of green beans this week. We are loving growing (and eating) our own green beans. We made a note to plant many more beans next year. We may even try multiple varieties. The one we planted this year is Burpee's Blue Lake 274. Do you have any favorites that you would suggest we try next year? These beans got sauteed in a little bit of olive oil with some garlic for Sunday dinner.
Oh, I also harvested another female flower/baby zucchini after watching it closely for a few days and not seeing it grow any bigger compared to my hand-pollinated zucchini (above) that grew about 1-2 inches every day. There wasn't much to eat on this baby zucchini (it was about a finger length), but I suspected that it didn't get pollinated, so if I had left it on the plant, it would have just met the same shriveling death as its sister did two weeks ago. I just sliced it and ate it raw in two bites, while Keith watched and wrinkled his nose in anti-zucchini disgust. It tasted just like a regular zucchini.
In other garden news, I'm slowly getting over my squeamishness over all things buggy, and have been bravely picking off any creepy crawlies of pest persuasion from my vegetable plants. Just this weekend alone, I removed a yellowstriped armyworm and an unidentified bright green caterpillar from my bean plants, and four Japanese beetles from my basil. All of them were quickly smooshed dead by the bottom of my unforgiving shoes.
Yellowstriped Armyworm eating its last meal