Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What to Do when Your Mom Mails You the World's Largest Zucchini

My mom loves to send me care packages. In fact, a lot of people do. From one aunt, I receive a loaf of freshly-baked bread from a delicious bakery at home about once a week. I have more bread in my freezer than any one person (especially any one size 14 person) should ever eat. My grandmother's packages are in a league of their own. She's been known to ship everything from biscuits and homegrown tomatoes to full-size bed pillows and pincushions. (Pincushions, you ask? Yes. Pincushions. Come to think of it, the pincushion was actually shaped like a tomato.) I thought this phenomenon might end when I graduated college when I lost my broke-as-a-joke student status, but I was wrong- I still arrive at home to find a random package on my doormat about once a week. (These are not to be confused, of course, with the packages that arrive weekly-ish due to my online shopping habit. But that's another story for another time.) Now, I don't mean to sound ungrateful- I do love these packages. They keep life interesting. You just have to be aware when opening the box that you never know what might be waiting inside.

A particularly hilarious care package arrived from my mother in a wide, flat box one afternoon this summer. Floating around inside was an assortment of things: some magazines, all of which had dog-eared pages of the articles she thought I might find enjoyable, some Nestle chocolate chips she had found on sale at the grocery store and got for me to bake with, which had then melted into one large chocolate chip hunk en route to Athens in the Georgia heat, and, this enormous zucchini:

She grew it herself. She made sure to include a note stating this, of course.

So, I decided to do the only logical thing when faced with the world's largest zucchini. I sliced it up and got out my casserole pan. After all, a southern lady doesn't like to see food go to waste!

The following is what the casserole looked like when assembled, before I put it in the oven. Apparently I got so excited upon taking it out of the oven that I forgot to photograph the final product. Oops.

Anyway, you get the idea. It was completely delicious. I didn't like it as much right away as I did when I was eating the leftovers throughout the week... It almost tastes like a breakfast quiche, with that sort of spongy consistency. I ate mine with cheddar cheese grits and biscuits from Mawmaw :-) What'll you eat yours with?

Zucchini Casserole

1 large zucchini*
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cheese
(Cheddar and mozarella were my weapons of choice, but you choose!)
Salt and pepper to taste

*World's largest not required

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice fresh zucchini into rounds. (You may cube it if you prefer!) In a bowl, combine eggs, oil, flour and other dry ingredients with shredded cheese. Mix together well. Arrange zucchini slices in a 9" x 14" casserole dish. Pour batter over zucchini and ensure all slices are well coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

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