J’s parents live next to the family that owns our local Chinese carry-out. They have an amazing garden planted in their backyard, along with a chicken coop. We visited their backyard the other evening to check-out the chickens (they’re super cute) and the elderly father of the house, along with his son, came out to visit us. There were some gourds hanging over the chicken coup, as a sort of canopy. J remarked that their vegetables are beautiful this year. The father asked if we would like some gourds and we said yes, of course. He asked if we wanted two and we said certainly. Keep in mind that we thought he was referring to gourds that are normal sized. When he came back, he handed us two of the largest gourds I’ve ever seen.
We didn’t even know what they were until we came home and looked-up the information. As it turns-out, they’re bottle gourds, similar in taste and texture to a zucchini. I put the apple from our tree there for a size comparison. There must be twenty pounds of gourd there. We found a bunch of different recipes online for these behemoths, but the first thing we tried was a stir-fry. It was delicious, too.
We used the gourd, broccoli, onion, carrot, bamboo shoots and chicken, along with a bottled stir-fry sauce. It was very tasty. We gave the other half of the gourd to a neighbor and still have one of those suckers to eat. The kids are fascinated by them and actually ate all of their stir-fry, asking for the leftovers to be packed in their lunches. I figured they wouldn’t care for it but the taste of the gourd is pretty benign. From what I’ve read, they’re very beneficial health-wise, so we’re chowing down. To reciprocate, J took the family some hot peppers from our garden, for which they were very thankful.
I made an apple cake with the apple from our tree. This is one of my favorite apple recipes. It’s so easy and so very, very yummy.