A while back, a friend shared a story about a visiting pastor who attended a mens breakfast in a farming community. An older farmer, decked in bib overalls, was asked to say grace. The men bowed their heads and the farmer began, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wonder where this was going.
    The farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was growing concerned. Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, “And Lord, you know I don’t much care for raw white flour.” The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room. He noticed he was not the only one feeling a bit uncomfortable and confused.
    Then the farmer added, “But Lord, when you mix them all together and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits. So, Lord, when things come up that we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we don’t understand what you’re saying to us, help us to just relax and wait until you’re done mixing. It will probably be even better than hot biscuits. Amen.”
    I am not a zucchini fan but like the story goes, I do not mind it when it is baked with other things. Here are some fun recipes I found on a cute website, “Mom On Timeout.” She has some down-home cooking ideas and recipes I will be using in the future.
    I do have to share a billboard I saw on my way home to Illinois for my nephew’s wedding this summer. “Bacon … the duct tape of kitchens because it goes with everything.” Bacon makes zucchini better.

Perfect biscuits
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces and keep in refrigerator until ready)
1 egg
1 cup whole milk
    Combine dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into flour mixture. Do not over work. You should be able to see butter pieces in the dough. Add milk and egg. Mix until just combined. Will be sticky. Turn out on a well-floured surface. Knead 10-15 times. Pat dough out to ¾ to 1 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or glass. Makes 9-12 biscuits. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Biscuits don’t have to be round. You can pat dough in square shape and cut into 9-12 cubes.

Zucchini quiche with bacon and hash brown crust
Crust
3 cups refrigerated or frozen hash browns, thawed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 shallot, diced (or small onion)
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 eggs, room temperature
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, a combination)
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine hash browns, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Press hash browns into bottom and up sides of pie plate firmly, forming a crust. Go all the way up the sides to allow for shrinkage during baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Using 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in skillet, sauté shallot over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add shredded zucchini. Turn heat up to high. Season with salt and pepper. Cook zucchini and shallots for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until nice and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes). Whisk in the Greek yogurt until combined and smooth. Add in the grated cheese, flour mixture, bacon and zucchini mixture and stir until combined. Pour into hash brown crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set, the top is puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand for several minutes before removing pie from pan and serving. Can also be eaten room temperature or chilled.
    Natalie, Mark and his brother Al, farm together near Rice, Minnesota. They milk 100 registered Holsteins under the RALMA prefix. Their four children are grown up and all involved in agriculture with hopes of someone returning to the farm. For questions or comments, please e-mail Natalie at mnschmitt@jetup.net.