Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipes of the Damned, Volume IV: Poor Man's Apple Crisp. A cautionary tale.

From the Family of God Lutheran Church Cookbook, circa 1984.

5 cups zucchini

[Sprays a geyser of Coke Zero all over recipe book, coffee table, and freshly laundered clothing. Swears, grabs a fistful of paper towels. Cleans up. Continues.]

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup water

Okaaaayyy.... [Raises eyebrow, looks dubious.]

Slice zucchini and cut away seed.

[Hands over ears.] Nah nah nah nah, I can't hear you!

Cook until tender 15 minutes.

[Hands over ears.] NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!

Will be juicy, poor [sic] into 9” pan.


1 cup flour
6 tablespoons soft margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Well...okay. Alright. [Tents fingers.] I'm listening....

Mix well, sprinkle over cooked zucchini.

Aaaand you've lost me.

Bake 45 minutes at 350º.

You know what, why don't you go ahead and skip that “baking” step.* I've got a better idea:

I get that zucchini is one of those things that is traditionally hidden in other things. I've tried zucchini bread, but I have absolutely no paradigm for what zucchini actually tastes like, I just remember that it's green. I'm pretty sure it's spongy. It's like a spongy cucumber that isn't an eggplant. What is the point of its continued existence? We should eradicate it like polio! Don't American children deserve to walk limp-free and eat desserts that aren't savory? THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN.

Jeremy just peered over my shoulder, grimaced, and asked “Is this from the same f*cker that submitted the recipe for Mock Chicken Salad?” He then went into the bathroom to brush his teeth. Moments later, he stuck his head into the hallway--toothbrush in midair--and said, foamily, “If you sherved that to a sheven year old, they'd shtart wetting their bed in protesht.” A moment later I heard him spit, then call, “You know what? Scratch that. They'd start wetting your bed.”

And you'd only have yourself to blame.

*Unless you truly plan to eat this, in which case you'll want to add a "getting baked" step.


  1. vegetables and desserts don't mix.
    And really WTF? Are apples in danger of rocketing up in price? Are they getting scarce? The day zucchini is easier to find than apples I stop baking.

  2. It is bad enough that some folks try to sneak zukes in bread, but now I have to start taking a closer look at my apple crisp??

  3. Jill, you and your wonderful hubby can make me laugh hard enough to draw tears. Even on days when nothing else seems funny. THANK YOU!

  4. I was told zucchini keeps baked good moist without changing the flavor. It's probably not true, but that's what I was told once.

    I wish "poor into 9 inch pan" was a clever reference to the recipe title, but I think that would be giving its author far too much credit.

    And what's so "poor man" about this anyway? Is zucchini that much cheaper than apples? And if you can't afford apples, why the hell would you have cinnamon?

    Why has this recipe got me in a tizzy?

  5. Bradley, this is the thing that most makes my head explode. I actually went to the USDA website to check produce prices, and zucchini costs nearly twice as much as apples per pound. TWICE. My theory is that the author of this madness was too lazy to go to the store, had an August garden overflowing with zucchini and decided to run a little experiment on her unsuspecting family.

    It's the "will be juicy" part that gives me hives.