Posted by: Kath Usitalo | July 28, 2010

The Amazing True Adventures Of Zak The Zucchini

Zak was homegrown at Walloon Lake

This is the story of a homegrown summer squash and his trail from Petoskey to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It began last weekend when our friend Pat plucked the first zucchini of the season from the garden behind his home on Walloon Lake. I was smitten from the moment I saw this amazing vegetable. I couldn’t get over his size, his smooth skin—even the nice twist to his stem.

Zak relaxin' at the Walloon shore

Zak chillin' on the dock at Walloon

He was so photogenic I snapped pictures of him lounging on the dock, on the shore of Walloon Lake, and at several places on our friends’ property.

And then Paige and I bid a fond farewell to our hosts and to Zak (yes, I secretly named him Zak).

We headed into town to check out another friend’s new business, Jolly’s Cookies & Cafe, and were amazed to see Zak’s “parents,” Pat and Sue, in the parking lot—they had tracked us down and turned over custody of Zak to us!

I was speechless at their generosity. Zak didn’t say too much, either.

We carefully tucked Zak into the Splattered Van for the trek to the UP.

Zak swinging in the hammock at Blue Skies

Paige and Zak share a lighthearted moment before dinner

Once we arrived at Blue Skies Paige, Zak and I enjoyed the beach, where he napped in the hammock and, when the waves kicked up, surfed Lake Michigan. Zak rocked.

Whitecap chasing a surfing Zak

Finally, we had to admit that as gorgeous as he was, Zak would be better off doing what he was put on earth to do.

We sliced and sauteed him and added him to the pizza we were made last evening.

He was delicious on that homemade pie.

But Zak was so huge we could only use a portion of him on the pizza.

This morning when I woke up I shredded two cups of Zak to make a gorgeous zucchini chocolate chip bread.

Still, a chunk of Zak remains to be enjoyed this afternoon.

Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

Enough already, Zak. Geez.

And he’s just the first zucchini of the season.

Am I glad I don’t grow zucchini.

Zucchini Bread

By popular demand (okay, Min, it’s for you), here is the recipe for the bread shown below, adapted from the book Michigan Cooking…and other things by Carole Eberly

3 C flour (I used 2 C unbleached, 1 C whole wheat)
1-1/2 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 C shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1 C chopped nuts*
1/2 C raisins*
3 eggs
1 C salad / canola oil

* I substituted chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and butter loaf pan.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, zucchini, nuts and raisins (or chocolate chips). In another bowl beat eggs and oil. Pour into flour mixture and stir until blended. Bake at 350 for 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes before turning out.

Zak and the zucchini bread



  1. Awesome. Good ‘wholesome’ reading. 😉

    • It’s sort of a Veggie-Tale.

  2. Hmm…I thought for sure the zucchini bread recipe would be posted.

    • I can do that. Check back.

  3. A little Charlotte’s Web tear is trickling down my face.
    That’s Some Zucchini!

    • Yes, Zak was (is) a good one.

  4. […] Today the Great Lakes Gazette presents to you a rare occasion…A guest blogger! You may recognize me from my past appearances on the blog; my personal favorite was in my good friend Zak the Zucchini’s feature. […]

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