Friday, August 27, 2010

Zucchini for Sillies: The Sequel

"You know what REALLY gets to me, though? What REALLY gets to me is that you're LYING. And I RESPECT you less for that."

A slightly overweight, red-in-the-face guy is standing over us, so aggressive I think he might punch me and my brothers and sister, or maybe there might just be a simple little *pop* and then his head disappears due to overexertion. Only, I know he won't hit us because we're at the Little League World Series and no one would actually hit anyone with all these kids around. Plus they don't sell beer here.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake - recipe below

I'm in Pennsylvania, visiting my dad and his kids. When you put the bunch of us together, we're really quite silly. And lately it's become so much more fun because they've gotten to an age now where they're actual human beings and not just little kids.

We get to the game, find some empty seats, and because they are empty, we sit down in them. Half an hour later this guy shows up and is STEAMING because we apparently took his seats. "You SAW the newspapers on the seats, I KNOW you saw them."

There were no newspapers on the seats. Plus if you're going to save seats at an outdoor sporting event, newspapers just don't cut it.

Anyway, my brothers and sister and I just stay calm and sort of smile out of the corner of our mouths because we know this guy is approaching this all wrong and has ended up just being slightly comical instead of convincing us to actually move. And we answer him here and there, saying things like "You, sir, are mistaken," which I've always wanted to say out loud. Eventually he walks away in a huffy puff to find other seats, leaving us to watch the game, which turns out to be pretty entertaining.

It seems that every game in the Little League World Series starts out with each team coming out on the field and dancing like wild for about ten minutes. Imagine if that was the case for Major League games: Derek Jeter doing the Lawnmower. Epic. On every team, there's the 12-year old who's about a foot taller than all of the rest of the players, as well as the kid who's a foot shorter. But it's impressive how they play baseball, and because there are naturally more errors than in a major league game, the game's more interesting to watch cause things actually HAPPEN.

We all get back from the game that night and start hovering around the chocolate cake that's lying out on the kitchen table.

My step-mom is a vegetable garden pro.

Every year she successfully grows zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, okra, green beans, lettuce, peppers, and several types of spices. I'm pretty sure I forgot something. Plus she grows lots of it. Overflowing amounts of green beans. Cherry tomatoes galore. And yes, so very much squash that she doesn't know what to do with it all. As earlier mentioned: this is a problem many gardeners contend with.

This chocolate cake is no ordinary cake. It smells fantastic and looks so, so moist because it's made with zucchinis from the garden. But so we're all eyeing the cake, and everybody knows we all want to eat it, but we're not sure if it's for us, or if it's for right now. And we're trying to be polite, which is weird, because when we're together, we almost never are.

"Is that for general consumption?" I finally ask, my mouth almost overflowing with mouthwater, the cake looks so good. I just am not able to wait any longer.

"Well, yeah," my step-mom replies, and before the answer is out of her, we are like monkeys on bananas. It's one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had. And my step-mom is pleased because all of us crazy kids are using up her zucchini. And probably also because none of us got our face smashed in because of some seats at a kids' sporting event.


Zucchini Chocolate Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ts vanilla
3/4 cup oil
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 1/2 ts baking powder
2 1/2 ts baking soda
1 ts salt
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 - 1 cup chocolate chips (optional, but you'll regret it if you don't)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat eggs and sugar together until creamy. Add vanilla and oil and beat. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add a little at a time to egg mixture, alternating with milk, beating after each addition. Stir in zucchini and add chocolate chips. Bake either in a greased and floured bundt pan for one hour at 350 degrees fahreinheit or in a 9x13" pan for 30 to 40 minutes at 325 fahreinheit. Go apeshit.

No comments: