Bounty of Community Garden: More Zucchini (with chocolate)

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I’ve been a sucker for vegetable gardens since my father tilled a spot at our home in Erie. He carefully plotted out the garden on graph paper – tomatoes here, lettuce there and zucchini (eventually everywhere). He fenced it in to keep out the critters, which did find their way into our suburban veggie patch. I have memories of my mother telling my father that he wasn’t allowed to shoot groundhogs in Millcreek (Pennsylvania).

At the time I wasn’t particularly fond the garden. It involved weeding, watering and eating vegetables. We weren’t careful tenders to the zucchini, which eventually came to be the size if cricket bats if we weren’t mindful.

When I moved to the Midwest, I realized that farmstands with fresh tomatoes, peaches and corn weren’t the norm. So I started container gardening tomatoes. One year, I moved mid-summer, and packed the tomatoes in the back of my two-seater convertible for the ride across town to their new patio.

Until this summer, I kept my gardening to myself. I’d share the abundance of tomatoes and squash with friends and neighbors, but my home-grown gardening stills were limited to my home. This summer I have a much more flexible schedule, and so I started volunteering with the Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network’s community garden at 22nd and Parade streets, Erie, Pennsylvania. My responsibilities included cleaning up, weeding, planting and watering. I’m on hand once a week to help the neighbors who have raised beds with any questions. This past week, I helped while the workers at PRI Community, an affiliate of Provider Resources Inc., weeded, cleaned, and planted the plot. PRI Community provided the services to the SSJ NN at no charge. The PRI workers were paid and learning skills in the process. With their help, we were able to plant more than 300 lilies along the border, weed the beds, mow, and trim in less than 4 hours.

This allowed me to get into the shared beds and harvest some squash that were hidden among the gigantic leaves. A recent post by TwoPeasandtheirPod provided just the right recipe to test.

Print Recipe
Bounty of a Community Garden: More Zucchini
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
9x13 cake
Ingredients
Cake
Frosting
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
9x13 cake
Ingredients
Cake
Frosting
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. To make the cake, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter, coconut oil and sugar with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer. Add vanilla and eggs and beat to just combine. Stir in yogurt.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet. I prefer to mix this by hand. Stir until there are no dry lumps.
  4. Stir in zucchini, coconut and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  6. To make the frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and creamy. Add a pinch of salt and vanilla. Beat until combined. Spread on top of cooled cake and top with toasted coconut.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is from TwoPeasand theirPod.

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Marniemead

Mom, blogger, former magazine editor in who loves family, friends, good food, and adventure. She is the owner of Meadballs, LLC, which delivers farm-fresh meals she has cooked in her northwestern Pennsylvania kitchen.

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