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Dear Zucchini,

I’m sorry to have to do this to you in such a public manner, but you leave me no choice.

I have tried to let you down gently, but you just don’t seem to be getting the message. At first, I thought that if I just ignored you, you’d understand. But you didn’t.

I tried leaving you in the refrigerator, but you insisted. I withheld water, but you kept coming. I even left you for three whole weeks, without any contact, and still you were there.

I don’t know any other way to do this but to send you this letter in the hopes that you will finally hear what I’m saying:

It’s over.

Yes, it’s true, things were great in the beginning. You were so fresh and green, the only plant thriving in a garden of that had, up until that point, been bare.

You were sweet, Zucchini. You were. You were always waiting for me when I got home from work and on weekends, you filled me.

I don’t deny it.

But Zucchini, you’re too much. You don’t know when to stop. You put too much pressure on me. You, I could handle. But then your family started arriving, and your extended family, and your friends … what was I supposed to do with all of you?

Look, I thought that going to Italy for three weeks would be the answer. I thought that during that time, left alone to your own devices (and no water), you’d understand that you couldn’t crowd my space.

How was I supposed to know that it would rain for the entire summer? How was I supposed to know that while the rest of the garden slowly began its inevitable decline, you would still be inviting your zucchini relatives over? How was I supposed to know you’d live so long?

Please don’t take this the wrong way. I will always think you’re beautiful and there will always be a part of me that loves you.

But right now, it’s all about the tomatoes. They’re plump and juicy.

You’re not.

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Goodbye, Zucchini. It was fun while it lasted. Call me next summer. Maybe we can hook up again.

Yours truly,

Cream Puff

Ciao!

Zucchini Cakes
A Cream Puff Original

Makes about 20 little cakes.

Note: The never-ending supply of zucchini has forced us to be most inventive when it comes to ways to cook them. This is a recipe that I came up with that’s always a big hit. The success of this recipe depends on three things: 1) You must squeeze as much water out of the grated zucchini as you can; 2) You must flatten the cakes as they fry so that they crisp up nicely; and 3) You must eat these hot; once they’re cold they lose their appeal. Try making them with yellow zucchini as well!

4 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
fresh herbs, finely chopped, such as basil, parsley, mint, etc., to taste
additional salt and pepper

Place the grated zucchini in the middle of a clean dishcloth. Roll the dishcloth up and then twist the ends, squeezing out as much of the water from the zucchini as you can.

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Place the zucchini in a large bowl. Add the flour, water and eggs and mix until everything is well combined. Add a handful of fresh herbs (use whatever herbs you like and add as much or as little as you like).

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Add the salt and pepper and mix.

In a large frying pan, heat an inch or so of olive oil until hot. Drop large spoonfuls of batter into the pan (don’t overcrowd). Very quickly flatten the drops of batter as much as you can. Flattening the cakes will help them to crisp up nicely.

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Fry for two or three minutes and then flip the cakes over and fry for another minute or so.

Remove the cakes to a plate lined with paper towels and then season with additional salt and pepper.

Serve hot!

Enjoy!