About the Author

Jill Maisch - as a writer, speaker, missionary, and educator - has a tendency to wander upstream... against the more comfortable current of social and spiritual complacency.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Joy of Zucchini

Nate lives at Safehaven – a temporary housing unit in Westminster, Maryland.  This summer he has been taking care of the vegetable garden some volunteers from our church put in last spring.  I’m told that each morning he’s out there weeding, watering and checking on the veggies.  He was there this morning when a group of us went to weed and mulch the flower garden in front of Safehaven.  I asked Nate if he would show me the vegetable garden.  He proudly pointed out the squash, corn, strawberries, and various other plants that were all thriving… all except for the beans which looked pretty scraggly.  Not the least bit concerned, he explained that the ants were eating up the bean plants, but he said that’s OK – he thinks it keeps them from eating the other plants.  He was surprised that I was able to pick a couple handfuls of beans off the scrawny plants anyway.  Toward one end of the garden loomed the largest zucchini plant I had ever seen.  I noticed one huge zucchini along with many smaller ones that were not quite ready for harvesting.  I asked Nate what he was going to do with all the zucchini.  He didn’t know – he had never cooked up a zucchini before.  I shared with him our family’s summer favorite of stir-fried zucchini, yellow squash and onions.  He said he might try that.  I also asked if he liked zucchini bread.  He said he did, but didn’t know how to make it.  I offered to take the one zucchini home with me and return this evening with a couple loaves of fresh zucchini bread.  I ended up with so much grated zucchini that I was able to double the recipe.  Nate will definitely have enough zucchini bread to share with the other residents of Safehaven.  The four loaves of zucchini bread are in my oven right now and they smell amazing!  More amazing, though, is how a friendship can begin over a simple vegetable.

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