So much summer squash… so much zucchini… so many patty pans…

Saturday was a really raining morning, the kind I actually prefer to work outside in. That meant fewer volunteers showed up, but the summer squash waits for no one – it still needed to be picked. If we decided to put it off a few more days, we would end up with baseball bat sized zucchinis.

With fewer people to take home the bounty, I foolishly volunteered to be the new home to two or three buckets of summer squash. It was a mixture of zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pan squash. I tell ya, I am so sick of looking at these buckets in my kitchen. I am down to just half of one bucket, but I am starting to lose my steam with them.

I made two batches of zucchini relish, with each batch calling for 12 cups of grated squash. The relish tastes really similar to sweet pickle relish. It can be a great way to use up those extra huge zucchinis, which are not good for much else.

As the canner quietly boiled on the stove, I dug out my beloved food dehydrator. My mandolin slicer cut the squash into very thin slices and they took about four hours to dry out completely. I am storing them in a plastic ziplock bag for use this winter in soups or stews. They also make great chips!

It hurts this time of year to have my chest freezer packed away in storage. If I had it around, I would grate summer squash into one cup increments and keep frozen until needed in zucchini bread or cookie recipes. Alas, I don’t have the space in this house.

I think one more round of dehydrating will clean out the kitchen of squash. I’m going to try thicker slices this time, so they can act as an alternative cracker for eating cheese. But man, I wish a zucchini fairy would sneak into my house and just silently take away these last few zucchinis…

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Written by Renee Wilkinson