July 13th, 2013


Beware the zucchini of doom!

My mother was a "crunchy granola mom" before that term really existed. She had a huge kitchen garden even before I was born, and it only got bigger as the years went on. Her father also gardened for food as well as for flowers, and both adults thought that children should be included at all stages of the garden. So my youngster years were spent in the dirt and weeds and mulch, in the sprouts and flowers and fruit. I learned about peas and beans, artichokes and asparagus, tomatoes and cucumbers.

And, of course, I learned about squash. I learned about steamed zucchini, stuffed zucchini, zucchini cookies, zucchini bread, etc. (though never fried zucchini, as that was just too hot to make and unhealthy to eat). I learned the jokes about locking your car in the summer in case of people sticking extra zucchini in the passenger seat. I learned that two plants were plenty for a family of four, and if you wanted any variety at all in your summer vegetable diet, maybe just one plant would suffice. Really.

(I love having a kitchen garden now. Nothing beats my own fresh-picked, sun-warmed tomatoes or peas. I know that there were no pesticides on my plants, and that they were grown with loving neglect and freedom. But sometimes it overwhelms me...)

This year, I have one zucchini plant, one straight-neck yellow squash plant, and a slew of cucumbers. For grins and to save my back, I planted them all in the "new" raised bed (built last year) that has the freshest and yummiest soil. They are apparently liking the local habitat. We didn't even put in the watering system this year, and still, I can't keep up. I'm having cucumber salad for lunch, stuffed zucchini for dinner, leftover stuffed zucchini tomorrow, and I'll be giving away a grocery bag of mixed squash and cukes at work on Monday.

Books: Unidentified Funny Objects, edited by Alex Shvartsman

Unidentified Funny Objects, edited by Alex Shvartsman. Science Fiction (though it contains some fantasy). Anthology. 319 pages. Absolutely a stand-alone.

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I picked this book up because I like humor in my science fiction, and I have been wanting cheerful things to read lately. I recommend this book to fans of Asprin and Heinlin more than Anthony.

Books and stories read for 2013