I am a flower girl. No, not the tiny kind that precedes a bride, tossing petals down the wedding aisle. Maybe I should say flower woman. I find delight in planting flowers in the spring and watching them bloom all summer long.
For many years, I believed I had a black thumb. I managed to kill all houseplants that came into my care. I even killed a cactus —turned it from a green living thing into dust. But once Hubby Bryan and I bought our own home, I became a dedicated gardener. Every spring I plant a plethora of seedlings and a few seeds all around the house.
So the watering ban currently under way in Worthington has been a difficult thing for me. In my head, I understand that the well field that provides our H20 continues to be extremely low and the need to conserve this precious resource. But my heart yearns for bright pink and purple and blue and white blossoms.
So this past weekend, I went out and purchased a few plants —enough to sprinkle among my big blue pots and the flower bed in front of the house.
Don’t call the water police on me. I also rigged up a rain barrel. Well, it’s almost rigged up. I have a barrel. I still need to purchase a rain barrel conversion kit and get Hubby B to install it. In the meantime, he managed to plug up the downspout on the garage, and the overflow from the gutter is filling up not one but two barrels.
I have aspired to be a rain barrel owner for a few years now, but it took the lingering drought to convince HB that it was something we needed to pursue. If we had more room, I would also like to be the proud owner of a compost container of some sort. Not sure what it would take to convince HB of that necessity.
As we wait to see if Mother Nature will provide the necessary moisture to see our flower beds and gardens through to a fruitful harvest, I think way ahead —to the zucchini harvest. No, I am not following in my zucchini-loving mother’s footsteps. But after I recently put together a food page that featured a pizza with a crust made from cauliflower, a reader submitted a similar recipe for one made with zucchini. Since I won’t remember where I put it when zucchini season rolls around, I’m printing it now. It’s up to you readers to keep it in a safe place for that time a few months down the road when your refrigerator is overflowing with zukes.
“I often make this when the zucchini is abundant. We have some for supper, and I freeze the rest, for several later meals,” writes Phyllis Vander Linden of Ashton, Iowa.
For crust: Combine 4 cups shredded zucchini, 2 cups cooked rice, 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 eggs. Press mixture into an 11- by 15-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until set and lightly browned.
For filling, brown 1 pound ground beef with 1 medium onion, chopped. Add in 1½ cups spaghetti sauce, 1 teaspoon oregano and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle with 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Cut and serve. This dish freezes well.
While it may have been a bit premature for the season, I greatly appreciate Phyllis’ contribution to this forum. Please share your own favorite recipes —seasonal ones are especially welcome —by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to Beth Rickers, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.