The three zucchini plants that germinated, this year, were remarkably productive, the only plants — other than, arguably, some puny jalepenos that are finally coming in — nothing else produced much at all. No doubt, cold spring, wet spring, dry summer… It was a weird year — but they always are. Even the tomatoes were useless.
But the zucchini plants were ridiculous. One, in particular, was producing a well-endowed zucchini per day for several weeks. The little squashes have never been given unusual regard — just another thing to be eaten, now and then, and one of those plants that doesn’t take much effort to grow successfully, like tomatoes, or beans.
The tomatoes had no pulp. Just a shell and mostly useless, just good for garnish or salsa. Beans, too, were a failure, and who can’t grow beans? Beans are no brainers! But this year, of the twenty seeds planted, only 4 bonsai vines emerged — none grew taller than twelve inches. The envelope had to be checked to make sure that bush beans had not been bought — purportedly not… Of those four plants, about a quart of beans were gathered and they were puny, tough and flavorless…
But the zucchini grew like crazy and by mid-July everyone agreed, no one wanted any more zucchini. So it was breaded and fried, stuffed, noodled and made into moussaka. It was stuffed into enchiladas, made into zucca-ghanouj, sauteed and shredded into loaves. Finally, they idled in refrigerator drawers.
As fall approached, and as happens on occasion, a kohlrabi was picked up at the market, because they look like aliens and they’re fun to play with. They are also sort of difficult to incorporate into meals, usually ending up as salad garnish or steamed — by which they are pretty good.
With the load of zucchini and an aging kohlrabi, so came about these empanadas, and remarkably good empanadas they were: Steamed kohlrabi cubes and sauteed zucchini, caramalized onion, garlic queso fresco and a little bit of shredded fervido cerebros. The kohlrabi gave a nice hautiness to the little pies, the onion a little texture, cheese chewy and the zucchini provided a nice amount of moisture. Quite delicious.
“When you read Marx (or Jesus) this way, you come to see that real wealth is not material wealth and real poverty is not just the lack of food, shelter, and clothing. Real poverty is the belief that the purpose of life is acquiring wealth and owning things. Real wealth is not the possession of property but the recognition that our deepest need, as human beings, is to keep developing our natural and acquired powers to relate to other human beings.”
― Grace Lee Boggs