This may come as a complete surprise to some people, but I am fat. Granted, I would like to believe that I am not as some charts tell me, morbidly obese, but none the less, I am fat. I contribute this factor much to the very simple fact that I like to eat. And I really like to eat stuff that tastes good. Although many people have told me that low fat and sugar free options don’t have to taste bad, mostly I think those people are full of crap. I don’t drink diet soda, it taste icky. And anything less than 2% milk is basically just white water. On some occasions growing up, my mom would get the whole milk from Oberweis Dairy. It came in the glass bottle which kept the milk especially cold. Now that was good milk. At least I’m not drinking that every day, but I probably would if it wasn’t so expensive.
Now, don’t take this as a sign that I only eat high fat, sugary foods. This summer we had a garden, and one of my favorite treats from the garden were fresh picked cherry tomatoes. I actually had a few this morning. From my back deck, I could see a few ripe ones in the garden. I picked a handful and ate them before I even made it back into the house. That was my breakfast this morning. That and two cups of coffee with probably too much Coffee-Mate Creme Brulee Creamer. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, do yourself a favor and pick some up. It makes your coffee taste like candy. Which brings me right back to my problem. I am fat.
As with many people, food for me is a stimulant. Certain foods and food smells bring back great memories. And good tasting food can always spark a great conversation. And very often, a good time can generally be defined by how good the food was at the time. My friends Doug and Dyani throw a Cinco de Mayo party each year, and I always look forward to it because Dyani makes the absolute best Carne Asada and guacamole. She even takes the time to warm her tortillas over an open flame. Sure it is just the burner on her kitchen stove, but still it makes them so much better then when I warm them in the microwave at home. Dyani kicked things up even more this last year by making these outstanding grilled pork chops. Thin cut and on the bone, they were outstanding. I had three, and still managed two helpings of the Carne Asada on top of that. Needless to say, I am fat.
Which finally brings me to the topic of this particular blog entry. Fried zucchini. I was somewhat disappointed when it looked like the zucchini we planted weren’t going to come in. Very early on, we got these beautiful flowers to bloom from the plants, but as they wilted, no zucchini. Maureen, being a librarian by trade, quickly discovered that these early flowers were probably male, and they do not produce any fruit. Those would come later in the season. But as the summer went on, our plants got brown and spotty and seemed to be dying off. It looked to me like I had planted them too close together, and they were being overpowered by other plants. So some time in August, I thinned out that whole area of the garden, and low and behold, we got zucchini. For me, zucchini is best when still rather young. You have to pick them before the seeds get a chance to get too big. They don’t seem to hold up as well once they do. I like zucchini raw, and will slice it up and eat it just like that. Or raw zucchini can be chopped and put into a salad to add bulk and flavor. See, I can eat healthy. But for me, the absolute best way to eat zucchini is fried.
As a child, my mom also kept a garden, and she too grew zucchini. After picking a fresh one, she would slice it into rounds about a quarter inch thick and dip them in an egg wash. She would then coat them in a crust of Italian bread crumbs and into a pan of hot oil. They cook rather quickly, and you don’t want to overcook them because then they get too soft. They looked and smelled great. The whole family would stand around the stove as my mom made them and we would grab them up as quickly as she pulled them from the oil. Crispy and brown and delicious. Most of the time we would burn our mouths because we couldn’t wait for them to cool off. This simple recipe is still the way I make zucchini, only I spice up the bread crumbs with some garlic salt, ground pepper, and some Cajun Seasoning.
Maureen made us a very tasty meatloaf last night for dinner, cooking some potatoes right in the pan with the meat. She even made an excellent gravy from the drippings. I made the fried zucchini and got yelled at a few times because I kept flashing back to my childhood and eating the fresh treats right from the pan. Hot, crispy, spicy and good. Of course this did not detour me from having a second helping of meatloaf, and we both ate like we were going to the chair. Way past the point of one wafer thin mint.
So, I guess I am just going to have to get used to being fat. Because I still have a few more zucchini in the garden, and a lot more new memories to make.