Garden Overflow Madness

DSC02594By Patricia Zick @PCZick

The rest period is over for gardening here in western Pennsylvania. First, we had a very long winter. Then we went to hot and humid for a week. Now for at least two weeks, the weather pattern is stuck over us with showers nearly every day. It feels as if I’m back in a Florida summer with the high temperatures and humidity and afternoon showers. The garden loves it.

Last night I grilled zucchini and onions. My husband steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Also he shelled and cooked the last of the peas – I’ve already frozen more than twenty bags. We also had a few green beans.


But the freezer still overflows with produce. Later today I plan to freeze broccoli and cauliflower. Then I’m going to make my “soup starter” mess with zucchini and onions. I bag it up in two-three cup servings. Then when I want to make a soup or sauce, I pull out the freezer bag and have an instant starter.

We pulled onions this week, too. My husband tried to pull some potatoes but discovered they are far too small to pick right now. The cucumbers are coming in slowly, but we’re enjoying eating those we have. I slice them lengthwise and sprinkle with salt and pepper – it’s heaven. Lots of work, but lots of rewards, too.DSC02596

Here’s the recipe for Soup Starter in From Seed to Table.

Zucchini Mess or Soup Starter

Chop up zucchini, onions, garlic, peppers, yellow squash (whatever you have!). When tomatoes come in you can add chopped tomatoes, too. Add herbs of your choice, fresh and/or dried. I tend toward the Italian variety. For this batch I used fresh basil, dried oregano, thyme, tarragon and a good Italian dried herb mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute until just tender, but not overcooked. Cool and bag in two-cup portions (or whatever amount you’ll use in one recipe). During the winter months, when I want to start an easy soup in the crock pot, I pull out a bag and I have the “starter” ready to go and just add the other ingredients to make any type of soup you can imagine. I’ve also used it in chicken and seafood recipes. Bon appetit!

Available on Kindle $2.99
Available on Kindle $2.99

Published by P. C. Zick

I write. It's as simple and as complicated as that. Storytelling creates our cultural legacy.

6 thoughts on “Garden Overflow Madness

    1. It’s all my husband’s green thumb. I just try to keep up with using it or preserving it. I froze five bags of broccoli and cauliflower and 5 bags of soup starter mess last night. I’ll love that I did it this winter.


  1. Your garden is flourishing so nicely! Thank you for this recipe. I have frozen squash in my freezer from our abundant crop. Our tomatoes are just starting to turn can’t wait. We planted various type of heirlooms for experiment along with canning tomatoes. My work will be cut out for me when the canning tomatoes ripen. They ripen in our hottest part of summer so I’ll be canning very early in the am. Using up the last jars of stewed tomatoes from last years canning just in time for a new batch! I have become my mother!!


    1. We picked out first tomatoes today. Can’t wait to eat them. I put up five bags of the soup starter mix last night – love that stuff. Last year I froze whole tomatoes and they make a great sauce when thawed. It’s great to do when the tomatoes are coming in fast and furiously.


  2. My “like” button hasn’t been working lately. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Anyway, I’ve been having similar weather with lots of rain. The tomatoes like the lots of rain! I’m growing an heirloom plant and it is giving me a good crop! The first one that appeared several weeks ago is STILL growing! I keep hoping I’m going to see it turn red some day but it’s turned that white-ish green just before it turns red. I can’t wait to taste them. My cherry tomatoes seeded themselves again and I have 4 plants from their self-seeding! I put one in a pot and it’s doing the best of them. I prefer the rain over the drought of last summer. It’s easier on the pocketbook! We’ve had some beautiful weather here: mid-70’s which is incredible for July. I love it! This is my kind of summer!


    1. Hi there – glad to see things are going well in your garden. I have to say though our tomatoes are not enjoying the rain and with a two-acre yard I can’t get away with mowing every 10-14 days this summer. There’s pros and cons on each side. We’re eating fresh tomatoes every day, but so far I’ve not come close to having enough to can. Our zucchinis rotted before I could even store any for the winter. It’s both a blessing and a curse from my side. Good to hear from you, Marcella.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: