Zucchini, Za’atar and ZigZag fruit


Family Food Fare and Favourites

Join me as I dig through my memories, and recipes, to rediscover my family’s food “back in the day” and how those food habits have changed over the decades to today’s diverse and multi-cultural cuisines. This is my theme for the 2021 A to Z challenge.

THEN

Saturday was mum’s baking day and she took to it with zest. Her grandfather was a pastry chef and confectioner, and even had his own chocolate factory! Is it any wonder we have an obsession with sweet treats. Mum’s cakes and biccies frequently included the zest of oranges or lemons (rarely limes, if at all). There’s nothing quite like the fragrance of freshly grated citrus fruit, even if it can be a pain to scrape from the grater.

It was a recipe I found in mum’s collection last year that set me down this path for the 2021 A2Z Challenge. It’s called Zenith Cake and I have tripped over the recipe card many times this month but somehow didn’t scan it. Of course, now can’t find it anywhere! I think this month’s blogging has passed its zenith and it’s time to stop and send up some ZZZZs.

Ta dah, I found it finally!

Zucchini was an obvious food for this topic, but I don’t think we even knew it existed when I was a child.

NOW

Zucchini is now found frequently on our menus. For Christmas 2016 my recipe clippings show we prepared a Zucchini and Sweet Potato Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes, a recipe that’s had regular outings since then.

This recipe was in a book which we bought in Chianti, sadly culled in our move from Darwin. I don’t even have the title.

And there was the Zucchini pie/Scarpaccia (above) we cooked for our daughter and her partner when we met them in Chianti in 2000. It felt so exotic, and companionable, to be sharing a meal and wine in our “own” villa near Siena.

Or the story of eldest daughter cooking zucchini fritters from Master 3 or 4, another gourmand in training. After the taste test his response was: “It’s not my favourite, Aunty L…”

I do believe that back in my early married life I experimented with Zabaglione before deciding it was too much trouble…or perhaps too temperamental.

NEW FOOD FARE

Clipped from Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Christmas 1999.

Za’atar is a new ingredient that’s joined our culinary repertoire with the introduction of Middle Eastern cooking. It adds a delicious flavour[i].

When feeling a bit stumped by foods, or looking for recipes I may have forgotten, I’ve explored some websites and was amazed to discover this one which I just had to share with you. It’s called ZigZag fruit (Melodorum leichhardtii) and the websites say it is an Aussie native plant which “has a very pleasing spicy orange-sherbet flavour, and is used in making sauces for gourmet dishes but also to make liqueur[ii]. News to me, and, I’m thinking, quite likely to you as well. I don’t think we even encountered it at the Daintree’s Cape Trib Farm’s exotic fruit tasting.

Back in 2013 we visited a Zanzibar spice farm and saw a whole range of spices in their natural habitat. We had great fun but the family gourmand was much better at knowing which spice it was, having already visited once. I call that cheating 😉

Another discovery I’ve made is a drink called Zurra which is a white wine version of Sangria. I found this recipe in a Vogue Entertaining and Travel and because it’s so delicious I clipped it to share here.

I don’t know about you, but after a month of posts I’m zonked, and thinking a glass of zurra would go down well!

Is zucchini a favourite vegetable in your house now? Was it when you were young?

Had you ever heard of ZigZag fruit or Zurra?

Have you made your own Za’atar?

Are you zonked from the A2Z challenge? This is my 950th post on this blog so you can be pretty sure I’m zonked entirely.

Part of the Cassmob at the Spice Farm, Zanzibar.

[i] https://www.feastingathome.com/zaatar-spice-recipe/

[ii] Https://justcooking.in/dictionary/zig-zag-vine


35 thoughts on “Zucchini, Za’atar and ZigZag fruit

  1. It was fun reading all about your family foodstuffs this month. 🙂

    Yes, I’m zonked! *laugh* But I always feel that way after exercising, and the A-to-Z is definitely quite a (writing) exercise!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your Zzzzzzs are very exotic. That zucchini recipe looks a keeper. I must try it. I was never a fan of zucchini as a child. Too much like squash and chokoe – all cooked far too long. They are my husband’s favourite as he slices them and puts them on the BBQ.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Similarly zonked here! I’ve enjoyed your culinary journey which has sent me down memory lane, several rabbit holes and has set me thinking about my lack of exposure to some interesting foods and tasty recipes.

    I now wonder if my Mum’s lack of cooking ability wasn’t a lack of ability at all but perhaps she was more interested in other pursuits and, as a fulltime working mother, she invested her time in things that held more interest for her. Sadly I can’t ask her now.

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    1. Thanks for journeying with me Jill. it’s been fun having genimates along with me. I can easily understand your Mum prioritising other things. Mr Cassmob’s Mum was a more unusual cook than mine and I think PNG initiated my diverse food journey.

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  4. Zucchini is one of my favourite foods. We definitely didn’t know about it when I was young. I don’t think I even cooked it for my own family. Cheering here that the last AtoZ is done! But I will miss your food posts. They have been wonderful and have brought up so many memories for me. I made your Mum’s passionfruit cordial as we have had a huge amount of them. It’s amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thanks for using that and letting me know. We’re all so pleased to have made it go Z. Thanks for joining me on the journey and sharing your memories.

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  5. We do like zucchini but it’s one of those things that when it arrives during the summer it is everywhere. Did you ever read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver? It is a wonderful book about their year of eating locally and there is a great section on zucchini in it. Weekends In Maine!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today! Yes, we did go in a similar direction. I almost included Za’atar in my Z post because I have brought it back when we have travelled to Israel. ZigZag fruit is definitely new to me! I’m so glad we made it all the way through April. Taking a deep breath . . .. One day a while back I was taking some pictures of some things in our house to post on a blogpost. I said something about a “house tour” and several folks commented that they would enjoy. To begin with, I think I’ll do a room at a time . . .and ask others to “show that same room” and tell us about it. I would love for folks from different parts of the country to participate and for folks even in other countries. I love to see houses and “how folks live.” To be honest, I don’t know if I have enough followers for it to be a success but I think I’ll try it anyway. Hope you will check back and join us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Know the feeling when you can’t find… but know you saw it! Zucchini big fav here but we often call it squash. I have a great recipe for a squash quiche if you feel adventurous to make. We usually get antsy to make when the first ones come in. It’s an appetizer for the most part

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. Hubby’s family had so many stories and I am honored in being able to preserve them for the family. Many often said… if you want to know something about our family, ask Jeanne… as she knows more than we do.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, we did! I used a new 3×5 card method (26 of them) this time to outline each post. Helped tremendously!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on getting to the end! As usual, I had to google most of your foodstuffs, though I did know Zucchini, we have it sometimes, though not when we were young – we call it courgette here. I like the sound of Zurra, must try it as soon as the sun starts making longer appearances. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One month of posting was heavy and I ran late most of the time … but it is done now and I’m glad I did it 🙂
    Zucchini (in South Africa we call them Baby Marrows) was not part of my growing up but it is a big part of my cooking now. And I love zucchini fritters.
    I love the smell of orange or lemon zest and any cake made with orange is always a treat 🙂
    Your A to Z was really great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting Regina. Yes the month was pretty intense. I enjoyed your travel jaunts though it reminded me what we’re missing out on right now.

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