Rome Shot 274

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Cafea Fruor says:

    Squash blossoms! I wish I could find some of those in my area. I’ve never seen them, even at farmers’ markets. Maybe someday, if I ever have a home with a garden…

  2. Eriugena says:

    Fried pumpkin flowers? One of my favourite foods, but my wife REFUSES to make them for me…

  3. teomatteo says:

    E. Yeah. I tell my wife i like something….and i never see it on my plate again.
    My thought is, when you run outta stuff to deep fry then go after the blossoms

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    My first thought was ‘stuffed’ – and I see Elizabeth David long ago noted “In some country districts marrow flowers are stuffed with rice, cooked in oil, and served cold.”

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Rome Shot 273 now has me tangentially wondering how much – or, little! – soil and sun one would need to grow some of these…

  6. Squash, zucchini, will grow! It really volunteers.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Venerator Sti Lot and Fr. Z:

    “There was an old Kansas farmer who had a piece of bottom land, it was all rocks and brush…”

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Semper Gumby,

    Jolly – thanks! But my limited experience with zucchini, pumpkins, and, for that matter, nasturtians* (the leaves of which also stuff enjoyably) in a small patch suggests that they tend to get about their business largely – and abundantly – without me (except for some extra water, if the rains fail).

    *About which, recall – or see – Tolkien’s letter 148 (7 August 1954), about his trouble with a proofreader who thought he knew better.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    Venerator Sti Lot: Jolly indeed!


    One fine day when I was a silly lad of ten our family sat down at table for dinner. After we bowed our heads and said grace, dishes were passed around and I eagerly picked up my fork to tuck into a plate of Mother’s chow. Then, out of the corner of my eye, a large serving spoon appeared and my plate suddenly contained zucchini.

    My internal dismay and distress was immediate. I looked up. My family was discussing the events of the day: Dad guiding his workers through another day in the salt mines, Mother’s continuing efforts to teach rascals manners, and sister’s growing bewilderment that she was a princess without a carriage and horses.

    I pondered the zucchini situation. I knew from hard-gained experience that protestations and appeals to obscure and alarming medical conditions were futile. Then it occurred to me, surely a Benevolent Deity would secure the Blessings of Liberty for His faithful servant and swiftly banish the zucchini into the outer darkness.

    I looked about, the family Bible was out of reach. I raised my eyes and arms and beseeched Heaven. I recited the Litany of the Saints. I called Rover over, affixed a hastily-written note to his collar and urged him to fly like the wind to Fr. O’Malley’s rectory to inform Padre that my dinner plate was in dire need of an exorcism. If I was a TLM altar boy there is no doubt that I would have politely excused myself and returned clad in cassock and surplice, vigorously swinging a smoking thurible.

    Alas, to no avail. If I was to joyfully spend the last hour or two of daylight after dinner with my boon companion Chet shooting bottle rockets at each other, I knew the plate must be clean. That evening, for God and Country, I dined on zucchini.

    The end of summer approached. Zucchini appeared on the bill of fare several more times.

    Then, one fine day we loaded into the Family Truckster to visit the homestead of Uncle Billy and Aunt Pam. After a few hours of horseplay with the cousins, which included Uncle Billy patiently supervising a contest to determine who could steer the straightest line with a riding lawnmower followed by a basket-filling contest in the vast garden, we all sat down to dinner.

    After bowing our heads in thanks, the feast was on. Aunt Pam passed around a large platter of thickly-sliced curiously-colored bread. The sheer brazenness of the display inspired me to partake. The aroma was intoxicating, the flavor could best be described by Shakespeare, perhaps Homer. There were notes of spice and honey, of baseball glove oil and dewy meadows. My ten year-old self was beside myself. I thought, “What ho! Truly this bread is a boon from the gods, a gift from Elysium meant to fortify the body and illuminate the soul.”

    I looked around the table, alive with barracking and the clatter of cutlery. Mother and Aunt Pam were smiling at me. I smiled back. Then, slowly, dimly I thought, “Methinks something is afoot.”

    I set down the bread. “My fair ladies, pray tell,” I exclaimed. “Put this poor squire out of his ignorant misery. From what sunny upland of Heaven arrived here today this manna. Truly, the chef does not walk in the ways of the wicked or allow iniquity to overtake her. A hymn of praise shall be composed to uphold her righteous cause, and surely the beasts of the field and the birds of the air rejoice in her presence.”

    I took another bite.

    “The voice of the Lord thunders over the mighty waters, from the mountaintop it wakes the dawn. My eyes are no longer dimmed with sorrow, my feet are set upon sturdy rock. The enemy encamped against me shall be struck down in their tents. My sinews are strengthened, I will strike my enemy’s cheekbone, those who make war upon my soul shall be confounded.”

    As one suspects, that zucchini bread was really good.

    My ten year-old self wouldn’t put it this way, but God answers our prayers in His own time, in His own way, and often wrapped in a bit of a lesson about the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

  10. prayfatima says:

    Semper, what a delight it was to read this. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    prayfatima: Thank you for your comments also. God bless.

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