The Zucchino

My son gave me a giant zucchino (Italian, singular for zucchini) from his vegetable garden. (in Italian there’s one word for vegetable garden orto and another for the more formal kinds of flower garden or  park –  giardino.)

So I have this giant green zucchino staring at me telling me to hurry up and use it while it still is turgid before surrendering to age. I know where it came from – in a vegetable garden overlooking a cliff.  Hidden under a leaf until it got too big and was discovered by my son.

So now what shall I do with this giant zucchino? Guess I’ll have to make my  zucchini carrot coconut chocolate cake. Could make vegetable soup, but that would last me for a week at which point I would be tired of vegetable soup.

I have some flour – Manitoba flour, known also as American flour. I used to wonder why my baked breads didn’t rise properly. The fault of the Italian flour, my friend Margaret said. Use Manitoba. And that worked fine. I have eggs and sugar and oil, and grated coconut and, somewhere in my pantry, there’s a box of cocoa. Come on, lady, get your energy up, there’s David, who can’t wait to have another chocolate zucchini cake. And maybe Svetlana in her shop around the corner. She did give me some of her strudel with apricot jam. I do need some carrots though and since it’s not market day, I go to the lady at one end of the piazza – carrots, a bunch with their greenery still on.  Be sure they’re fresh, I tell her. That onion you gave me the other day was already past its prime. So back home, chop up zucchini. Chop up two carrots. Mix oil and sugar and eggs. Stir in the flour and Royal (that’s what the Italians call baking powder). And then it’s time to add the chocolate. But suddenly, when I get around to opening the cocoa box, it is practically empty.  Was so sure I had all I needed. Guess I’ll just have to make do. Add a bit more flour, a bit of brown sugar, and in the end the cake was even  better than its predecessors.

Making do. Being flexible. Isn’t that  what we always do? We start, thinking we have all we need. Thinking we know where we are going.  But along the way, we’ll always find that we have to make do.

4 thoughts on “The Zucchino

  1. Great story and I agree. It sounds like me, making do with what I have. How wonderful that the end result was even better!


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