In the movie Forrest Gump, his friend, “Bubba,” talks to Forrest about the versatility of shrimp and how he’s going to go back to Alabama when the war is over and get himself a shrimping boat. As most folks know, Bubba died in the war, leaving Forrest to go back to Alabama and ultimately make it big in the shrimping business. He, of course, did not forget about Bubba’s family, giving them Bubba’s half after he sold the business.

As you may remember, Bubba had a wonderful quote in the movie regarding the versatility of shrimp. Bubba said to Forrest, “Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."

Well, now that I have my little 20 x 50 feet community garden plot at work, I feel like I am the Forrest Gump of squash, specifically zucchini. It seems that six plants put out a lot more squash than you (or actually I) would expect. I planted six yellow and six zucchini squash and it seems like that every morning I stop in to check on how my garden did during the night, these great big zucchinis show up by the droves.

I’m taking them home in a laundry basket I got at the dollar store. Well, after two or three days of canning, freezing and pickling zucchini squash, I’m started to feel a little like I need Forrest Gump’s best good friend, Bubba, to help me out with some recipes or creative ways to prepare my daily haul.

Yes, I do give some away, but the joy of eating out of my little garden is more than I could have imagined.

Where is Bubba on this one?

Well, I don’t have the way with words that Bubba did, but here’s my take on it.

There is zucchini noodles, zucchini hummus, zucchini salsa and zucchini carpaccio. How about stuffed zucchini, stir-fried zucchini, or in your meatloaf or coleslaw. Maybe zucchini bread or baked in chocolate or cream cheese cake? On the “Zucchini Carpaccio,” I didn’t know what carpaccio was, but I checked and it looks pretty good.

Throw in a little sugar and vinegar and you can pickle zucchini real easy… You can pickle just about anything for that matter. If you grew up in the South, you know that – we pickle everything, even ourselves from time to time.

Zucchini is great for grilling, broiling, steaming, sautéing, oven roasting, and microwaving. Heck, I even saw a recipe for smoked squash. And don’t forget just plain frying… Maybe I’ve said that already. We fry everything in the South also, but then we get our cholesterol report and we have to start using air-fryers or other similar contraptions sold on the basis of getting rid of the oil.

Do you know what you have when you are frying without oil? I don’t know, but I know you aren’t really frying anything.

Zucchini marries up with many interesting flavors including garlic, cheeses, various nuts, yogurt, tomatoes, lemon, soy, ginger and all kinds of herbs and spices.

And just for our best good friend Bubba, there’s Zucchini Shrimp Scampi, Garlicky Shrimp Zucchini Pasta, Pan Roasted Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini, and Shrimp with Zucchini and Tomatoes.

Enough is enough…

I was sitting on my front steps and reading an article in the newspaper the other day about how good gardening is for your health and well-being. I think that it must be true. My younger neighbor walked by and asked from the street, “They still make those?” referring to my newspaper.

I said, “Yes and I sure am thankful they do.”

My spaghetti squash are now about to explode. Time to see what I can do with those.


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