Once, my mother had the audacity (in my childish opinion) to defy the Sunday meal ritual. Every Sabbath after church, because of time constraints, Mama always prepared hamburgers with French fries or we had a late brunch of scrambled eggs and pancakes.
On this occasion, my mother announced that because the weather was inclimate, stew meat was on sale that week, and we'd be having the stew she'd prepared earlier that morning and was now simmering in the crockpot.
I was less than thrilled, and in my six year-old mind I formed a plan I thought would convey my gross displeasure nicely.
It was after Sunday school classes when I put my plan into action. Waiting until there were several people seated in pews around me, I pulled a baggie filled with Cracklin' Oat Bran™ cereal from my patent-leather purse. I cleared my throat and announced in a very loud voice: "My parents are now too poor to afford hamburgers. That's why they're feeding me this cat food."
Before I could've said "meow," I was hustled down the church aisle by my mother, red-faced with embarrassment. She gave me the most painful of punishments--allowing me to see the pain in her eyes while she told of how my actions had disappointed her. Mama ended the "talking-to" by hugging me and saying "Bless you, you're gonna get your raising one of these days."
For years I thought the latter was a blessing...until I had children. Then I realized it's an exasperated mother's way of cursing her daughter.
I love both my sons--they're my heart, world, and I couldn't imagine life without them. But it seems that they have inherited my mischief ten-fold, especially when it comes to food they don't like. The family dog has had more than his share of liver, slipped to him by tiny hands beneath the table. And as a result of the "Great Mixed-Vegetable Revolt of 2013," the dog became a lover of peas and carrots. It was a relief, to a point. I was getting tired of veggies squishing between my toes when I put on my boots.
So I've had to learn how to be creative in the kitchen, especially with vegetables. We've had mashed potatoes made from cauliflower, and eggplants made into pizza crusts to name a few. But I love the versatility of the zucchini. True, technically is a fruit, but it's graced our table in the form of burgers, breads, fries, and as a dessert.
I'm sharing my favorite dessert recipe--zucchini cobbler. The texture is similar to cooked apples, and seasoned with the right amount of spices, no one can tell that the filling isn't made from apples.
I Can't Believe It's Not Apple! Cobbler
4 cups zucchini (approximately 4 medium)- peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 cup white sugar
¾ cups margarine, chilled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Place zucchini and lemon juice, salt, vanilla, sugars and spices in a medium saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
In a large mixing bowl, combine salt, flour and sugar. Cut in margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir ½ cup crumb mixture into zucchini mixture and stir until well combined.
Press 1 ¾ cups of the flour mixture into the prepared pan. Spread zucchini evenly over crust. Topped with chopped pecans. Crumble remaining crumb mixture over zucchini and pecans, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.