When I was little, my family lived in rural North Carolina. It was an idyllic place to grow up: my siblings and I had nine acres in which to play, including a huge vegetable garden and woods perfect for creating tree forts. Our neighbors had horses, and cows from the local dairy farm used to pass through our fields on their way to and from pasture every day.
Although my parents – being from Maryland – had always considered themselves Southern, here they were “Yankees” and therefore very exotic. Once a man at a grocery store wouldn’t accept my mother’s cash payment until she told him all about where “her people” (that is, her family) were from.
Yet my parents quickly made friends in this close-knit community, many of whom they are in touch with to this day. One in particular was the kind of tough, country woman that my mother says she would want to be with in case of disaster. If there were ever a nuclear holocaust and civilization were to collapse, she would have had no problem surviving on her own. She was the type who could walk out in the yard, pick up a chicken and wring its little neck, and have it on the table by suppertime. The kind of person that pulled over for roadkill (why let good meat go to waste?)
For better or worse, my mother did not capture any of her friend’s roadkill cooking tips, but she did pick up quite a few other local recipes, including this one for zucchini rounds. Her friend served them to us with dinner one evening, and we kids just went crazy for them. My mother soon began cooking them for us on a regular basis, and it seemed like no matter how much she made, it was never enough.
I made them recently for my little Monkey; maybe they will become a tradition for my family as well! I have also decided these zucchini rounds are definitely one of my pregnancy cravings, although this may be just an excuse I’m using to be able to eat a lot of them!
Warning: The secret ingredient in this recipe is butter/margarine, but once you try these zucchini rounds, you will agree they are worth every drop!
1-2 medium zucchinis
Small bowl of finely ground cornmeal
1/4 cup of butter or margarine
Wash and slice zucchini. Leave them slightly damp. (The thickness of the slices doesn’t matter so much, as long as they are uniform. I wouldn’t cut them too thin, however, since they are more likely to burn).
Coat both sides of the zucchini slices in cornmeal and lay in a single layer in a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Melt the butter and pour over the zucchini, making sure to cover all the slices well.
Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the tops begin to brown. Keep a close eye on them, since they can burn easily. (I used the upper middle rack in our oven, which tends to be slow, and it took almost 10 minutes. My mother says in her oven it used to only take 5 minutes at most).
Serve hot. Enjoy!