a story about two boys and their favorite veggie

I have two grandsons aged 8 and 6 who come to visit me every other weekend so my son and daughter-in-law can have some time alone. I live out in the country and we have lots of fun hiking on the hill above my house, rambling through the pine forest.

They help plant my garden in the spring, pick the produce through the summer, gather pine cones to start fires, haul in firewood and rake leaves in the fall, and haul in firewood in the winter. They also have lots of fun sledding on the hill behind the house in the winter or riding their bikes up and down my 1/8 mile driveway the rest of the year. We have lots of fun together.

Their dad, my son, doesn't eat vegetables (I gave up trying to force him to eat veggies when he was five -- he has red hair and is about as subborn as they come, so his kids don't get many veggies either. I've been trying to figure out ways to get them to eat vegetables when they visit me.

I had several zuchinni plants this summer and started putting grated zuzhinni in their food. First I tried it in some brownies we had for desert one night and they didn't even know it was there (it soaks up the color of whatever it's cooked in). They laughed when I told them afterwards.

The next morning I grated zuchinni into their pancakes and didn't take off the green rind so there were green flecks in their pancakes. Wayne, the oldest, saw it and took a piece out of his pancake and ate it and, with a nod of his head, and his eyes opened wide proclaimed, "hey, you can't even taste it!" and proceeded to gobble down his speckled green pancakes. Nate wasn't so sure he wanted those green flecks in his pancakes but he ate it anyway, being as I didn't offer anything else for breakfast.

That evening the boys were in the other room while I was cooking red beans, sausage and rice for dinner. I was grating some zuchinni to sneak into the beans when Nate heard me grating it (his ears were sensitive to that sound by now). He came running into the kitchen wanting to know what I was doing. I told him I was grating it to put it in my salad. When his back was turned I threw it in the bean pot. They loved the burritos we ate later out on the deck and laughed when I told them that there was zuchinni in it. By then they were both gung-ho on eating zuchinni--thinking this is neat stuff--can't even taste it.

Then Wayne got this bright idea they should sneak some zuchinni home and have mom put it in their dad's dinner. Nate seconded that motion. So when it was about time for them to go home I wispered in Nate's ear, so his dad wouldn't hear, and reminded him about the zuchinnis. He got this bright gleam in his eye and a grin from ear to ear and ran over to the fridge and stuck a small zuchinni in his shirt and ran out the door A few minutes later Wayne came running in the door and ran to the fridge, got his zuchinni, tucked it into his shirt and ran back out the door laughing. Their dad was sitting on the daveno in full view--wanting to know what they were doing. I pleaded innocence.

They came back two weeks later, and with a dejected look on their faces, when they told me that mom wouldn't put the zuchinni in their food cause she doesn't like it either. It's still sitting in the fridge.

Later that evening Nate wanted some desert after dinner (red beans, rice again) so I decided to let the boys help me make cookies. I told them that the recipie I was using usually has M&M's in it but I didn't have any. Nate got this disappointed look on his face. Then, as if a flash of inspiration had hit him, turned around, opened the fridge and drug out a zuchinni, handed it to me and asked me to put it in there.

As you can imagaine my grandmotherly face had a big broad smile on it, but I said, nah, that won't be good. Then he pouted. You would have thought he was asking for a candy bar. So I relented and told him we can put zuchinni in the cookies too. Then he was all smiles. We put sugar and cinnamon on the top and it was real good. Green flecked sugar cookies. Tasted just like zuchinni bread.

These poor kids have it bad! WHAT HAVE I DONE TO THEM? he he

Lori Eldridge
Copyright © Sept 22, 2001

My Favorite Zuchinni Recipes

Chocolate Zuchinni Cake

Grate or put zuchinni in the blender
(no need to take out seeds in small
zuchinni or peel it) and stir into
any chocolate cake mix, after it's all mixed.

Zuchinni Pancakes

Peel and grate or put thru blender
and stir in ant pancake batter. Kids can't
even tell it's there. You can leave the
rind on for adults = green pancakes.