Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Funny Zucchini Story

This is one very funny-looking zucchini that Roger harvested the other day, but the story I want to share is about a different zucchini. It was the first zucchini I ever grew in the very first garden I ever had. It was back in 1972 when my twin brother, his partner Kathy, our dear friend Martin, and I left California and moved to Portland, Oregon. We ended up renting an old house on 14 acres of land in a little rural town called West Linn. It was our "back to the land" dream come true.

Back then we were all reading Alan Watts immersing ourselves in The Way of Zen. We held hands before dinner and may have even chanted a few Zen-like things. We were vegetarians. We were spiritual. We were gardening. We were making our attempts at an awakening.

As luck would have it, we read that Alan Watts was actually coming to our neck of the woods, about 40 miles away to a small town college in McMinnville. Of course we decided we should go and hear him speak. What an unexpected thrill that was going to be. So before we left for the event, I went out to the garden and picked the biggest zucchini I could find. Oh it was big, it was HUGE! I didn't know anything about zucchini back then, I figured bigger was better. I brought that zucchini with me to the gathering.

I wish I could remember all the things that Alan Watts said that day. I don't. I actually don't remember a single word of it. What I remember is afterward asking someone if I could give Alan the beautiful big zucchini I brought him. They actually said, "Yes!" So I went up to Alan Watts and looked deeply at him and handed him the zucchini like I was handing him the gift of enlightenment. I said, "Do you know what this is?" He said, "Yes, I do." I said, "We grew it in our garden." I actually gave him that zucchini.

I am laughing as I type this. I love remembering my naive 20 year old self. And that's my funny zucchini story.

36 comments:

  1. Wow, what a story! We call those huge zucchini marrows and a popular recipe is to half them lengthwise, scoop out the seed and stuff the hollow with whatever glorious things you find in the fridge, top it with grated parmesan and bake and that's another one of the massive harvest done and dusted.

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    1. Sabine-- Sounds delicious. I used to make zucchini "meatballs" from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's "World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook." Delicious, but definitely labor intensive.

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  2. Thank you! A beautiful story and photo (-:

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  3. Zucchinis tend to have a lot of good stories about the. They are huge, prolific and influence more than just your garden.

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    1. Red-- It's true. We have a lot of zucchini stories.

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  4. down here they get that big in a matter of a few days from flower to huge. you have to check the plants every day and they are sneaky, those zucchini, they hide. I wonder if he ate it.

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    1. ellen-- It's so true, we check our plants everyday. It's amazing how prolific they are. I doubt he ate it, but I hope he had a good big laugh about it.

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  5. Wonderful! Someone just gave me the biggest zuchinni I've ever seen. Truthfully, I had no idea what to do with the darn thing. Grated some in salad etc. The rest went to the worm bin. They're very hungry critters.

    Sweet story of the young you.

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    1. Linda-- There are some good things do make with zucchini, but sometimes there's just too much of it. Thank you for the kind words.

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  6. Oh yes, your story reminds me of the time I went to visit Ram Das, uninvited...and I never reached his retreat in New Mexico because it was winter and only 4 wheel drive vehicles could climb the mountains. I left a gift- a hand drawn calendar, tied to the sign where we turned around.

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    1. Barbara-- I love that you went to see Ram Dass! How wonderful. What a great story leaving the hand-drawn calendar for him. Love it!!

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  7. Cute story and you did mean well. Did you know the biggest one measured was 7 feet 10 inches. Ha ha, that wasn't the one you gave him was it? I guess that is one case where bigger isn't better:)).

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    1. Patti-- Yikes! 7 feet 10 inches! No, I think the one I brought was probably 18 inches. Pretty big. True... sometimes bigger isn't better. LOL!

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  8. That's an awesome story! I bet Alan Watts told people about it for years afterward. LOL! (Although I bet when you're "famous" people give you a lot of weird stuff.)

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    1. Steve-- You made us laugh out loud. I love the idea of Alan Watts telling that story. I've been trying to remember, since I wrote this post, what I gave to Jackson Browne at a very small venue in Hollywood in the early 1970s. If I remember I may post about it. LOL!

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  9. If it was that big you gave him a marrow, very nice stuffed I'm told. Mum used to do it when I was a kid & I hated it

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    1. Billy-- Wow! I hadn't ever heard the word marrow in reference to a zucchini. Very interesting. Thank you so much for that.

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  10. What a terrific story! I just read it to Judy and we're both laughing. We planted several zucchini plants in our small garden in Phoenix many years ago and were thunderstruck by how many zooks (as I took to calling them) we got. We gave away many and probably dumped some but we learned our lesson. They are profuse.

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    1. Catalyst-- I love knowing that you read this to Judy and that you both laughed. Yes! Zooks definitely overtake the garden. No matter how hard we try to keep them under control. The grow and grow and grow!

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  11. Haha - I totally love your Alan Watts/zuke story! For all the reasons you might imagine :)

    I picked 40 pounds of heirloom tomatoes today, the most tomatoes I have ever harvested in one day....more tomorrow!

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    1. John-- I was hoping you'd stop by and read this. I thought you might enjoy it. 40 pounds of heirloom tomatoes! That's quite a harvest.

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  12. Lovely. If this was my story I'd call it a 'cringe' moment. I have many of those thinking about my naive younger self - some of the things I said and did. I'm sure Alan Watts was very gracious about receiving your generosity.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- Yes! It is definitely a cringe moment. I will remember that.

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  13. you have some wonderful stories of back in the day, and the amazing cultural icons you met back then. I love this zucchini story -- hey - we were all twenty, once upon a time! It obviously impressed him and his crew.

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    1. Tara-- It is fun to look back and remember these stories. I did get to cross paths with some interesting people. For a shy girl like me, it's pretty crazy!

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  14. Ha! Good story. Maybe he passed that zucchini on to someone else to cook -- paying it forward, so to speak! When we had our farm in Ontario, our elderly neighbours asked if we would like some of their "extra vegetables" from their rather large garden. We figured, sure. The next night, we arrived home to find 3 big sacks full of massive zucchinis - real whoppers. I think our neighbours just couldn't bear to toss these on the compost heap, so they gave them to us. We fed most of them to the couple of hogs we raised that summer. I probably made baked zucchini with a stuffing made with tomatoes, onions and celery.

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    1. bev-- I love your idea. Wouldn't that have been cool if someone actually made a meal of that. Do you have the Madhur Jaffrey cookbook "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking"-- it's got some great zucchini recipes. Yum!

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  15. I love this memory! We live and learn, don't we?

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    1. Colette-- I am so glad you like this. We do live and learn.

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  16. That was a fun story today, Andrea. And do you also like zucchini as much as we do?

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    1. Beatrice-- Glad you liked the story. Oh yes, we love to eat zucchini!

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  17. I love imagining this, picturing it, your earnestness. I love it even more than you were utterly sincere, then and now.

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    1. 37paddington-- Thank you so much for your kind words.

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