Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Lock Your Doors!


Marilyn Pappano, whose newest book, In the Enemy’s Arms, is on shelves now–and it’s fabulous, tells a joke about being from a Small Town World where the only time you lock your doors is during zucchini season. Guess what?

It’s time! 🙂

Most of my family LOVES squash. I remember eating it as a kid with ketchup, but I got smarter after that.

Grandma Reeves wouldn’t eat it at all. Mama could fry up a big platter, and Grandma would just pass it along. “I don’t eat squash. It’s poor folks’ food!”

“Then I’m a poor folk.” Daddy grinned big. “Pass that squash over here.”

We told our kids it was grown up food, and they couldn’t have any. Funny how that makes them beg for it! (It worked until they figured out what we were doing.)

I like straight or crook neck (yellow) ever better than zucchini, but I don’t quibble if someone else cooking. IT’S ALL GOOD.

You know how they tell you in church that you can’t out give God? You can’t out give a squash plant, either. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving. You can batter and fry the blossoms or eat the whole fruit.

The squash itself can be fried, baked, stuffed, boiled, broiled, sautéed or made into a casserole or dessert bread. (There’s not much better than zucchini bread. Yuuuum!) I’ve read you can even put leftover stewed squash in white bread, but I’ve never tried it.

When G-Man and I were first married, we were very successful at growing squash. (Hey, if you water it, it will grow.) We cooked that stuff every way we could think of. And we froze it.

If you freeze squash, don’t let your dog unplug the deep freeze. Bags of frozen squash left to defrost and sit a few days before you find is a real mess. (Blech.)

My absolute favorite way to eat squash is fried. Yuuummy goodness.

Here’s how Mama taught me–

First you slice the small fruit into a bowl of salted water.

 Keep the slices thin.

Dredge the slices in salted flour. (I’ve found that just salty water, the way Mama did it, isn’t enough seasoning.)

 Shake off the excess flour and fry the slices in oil. I use Cannola Oil, but any vegetable oil works. I don’t deep fry my squash, but you could.

Then you just set them on the table and watch them disappear. If they make it to the table. Sometimes it’s a toss up–will we leave any to serve with dinner? 😉

So–that’s my favorite way to prepare squash. Please–someone share their favorite zucchini bread recipe with me. I’ve never baked it. 🙂

My hibiscus–just for fun.

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

9 thoughts on “Lock Your Doors!

  1. Found this recipe years ago in Indian Electric Newsletter and used it every since. Beware, when folks find out you can bake it, they will remember you and be knocking at your door before, during and after Zucchini Season.

    Oh, another thing, I put my own “spin” on original recipe. Who’d thunk it? 🙂

    Chocolate Zucchini cake/bars
    1/4Cp. crisco
    1/4Cp. butter- creamed with 1 1/2 Cp. sugar- add 2 eggs and mix well
    then set aside.
    2 Cups Flour
    1tsp soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2 Tbs. rounded cocoa.
    Add flour mixture with creamed mixture and mix in 2 1/2 Cups grated
    If this mixture is to dry, peel and core 1 tomato and then puree and add
    to mixture.
    “Yes it works” and you won’t know it’s in there.
    Pour mixture into 9×13 or 8×15 or small loaf pans—experiment.
    Add 1 Cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup nuts into mix or on top.
    Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes depending on oven. Don’t over cook or
    it will be dry. Stick toothpick in to test.
    Again experiment and enjoy.
    If you like warmth–take seeds out of and remove stem from jalepeno
    pepper and puree the pepper with the tomato. Sounds unusual but it
    You can mix zucchini with carrots, yellow squash also

  2. Love it fried too. It’s great cooking it like Mama did, but it was better just eating hers!!!

  3. Susan, we love fried squash! I RARELY fry anything, but will fry squash and green tomatoes once on a blue moon…and they NEVER make it to the table here either! Lol! When we had a vegetarian exchange student recently, I put thin sliced zucchini in the layers of homemade lasagna. It was great! I also cut it into chunks and boil it with fresh tomatoes and vadalia onion. Season with salt and pepper and a little garlic salt. My dad will eat a big pot of it fixed that way! It goes well in spaghetti sauce. Just some ideas to get you started! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the plug!

    I love squash and zucchini every way. They’re great in stew, too. We like to slice them lengthwise into planks and grill them. That’s my favorite.

    And my second favorite: we use zucchini usually, but you can do it with yellow squash, too: slice them, toss them into a large nonstick skillet with a bit of butter and oil, cook until they’ve given up most of their liquid and have those beautiful caramel-type marks on them, then sprinkle with grated Parm, give a good stir and eat. Yumm.

    • No plug there, Marilyn. I was just telling the truth. I don’t want my reader friends to miss a great book. I’m loving it!
      Grilled is good, but fried is B-E-S-T!

I'm so glad you dropped by my Small Town World! Hope you'll leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

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