9.09.2009

Hey Stranger! Got Eggs and Zucchini?

I loved reading all your comments about talking to strangers, and your views on the notion of "stranger danger" taught to many children.

I remember going to the mall with my mom and my great grandma when I was about five years old, and going through a "stranger danger" obstacle course set up by the police department in the middle of the mall - you know, big police men scaring the pee out of little pip squeaks like me in an effort to make us street smart.

Well, halfway through the course (which in my mind now seems like a giant Candy Land game), there was a police man without a uniform who asked me if I wanted a sucker. I said sure, only to find out that I was the sucker. He gave me a big talking-to about not accepting candy from strangers, blah, blah, blah. But I knew he was a cop and that I was in a safe place and that the candy was OK. Yet I still felt horrible, like I had failed.

I was duped by an artificial situation, set up by people I should have been able to trust, arranged to trick children in an attempt to educate them. Hmmm. Sounds like a standardized test.

Maybe I'm just feeling ornery (and a little anxious) right now about the way our society approaches the education of our children, which means it's probably not a good time for me to write a post about education. It would be a rant, far from inspirational. (Speaking of inspirational, if you haven't read Stefani's posts about homeschooling, especially this one, then please do).

Instead, I'll share a little recipe that we've been eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner - Zucchini Egg Foo Yung. We've got plenty of eggs and all of my friends and neighbors are keeping my fridge full of zucchini, even if my own zucchini plants are just about ready to be yanked and replaced with a cooler crop.

zucchini egg foo yung

Zucchini Egg Foo Yung

1 medium sized zucchini, grated
2 tablespoons onion, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour (we use rice flour to keep these GF)
salt and pepper

Stir all ingredients together. Ladle onto a hot, greased skillet, one large spoonful at a time. Cook over medium heat, a few minutes on each side, or until egg is cooked. Serve warm.

zucchini egg foo yung

These would be great topped with a little salsa or creme fraiche, or perhaps a gravy made of chicken broth, soy sauce and corn starch. We generally eat them plain, though. So good and easy, and extremely local.

In parting, let me just tell you a little something I tell my kids all the time, and one of the few things I believe for sure - There are more good people in the world than bad.

Go forth good people, and mingle with strangers. Perhaps you can even invite them over for some Zucchini Egg Foo Yung.

33 comments:

  1. Oh man. I am so making those tomorrow. Yum!!

    You and I are way overdue for an education talk, friend. Let's do that soon.

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  2. Harold saw the pic of your zucchini egg foo young from across the room and said "ooh, what is that?!" hehe. Good thing we have a surplus of zuke and summer squash!

    If you don't already read lenore's blog: free range kids, you totally should. I know you'd love it. http://freerangekids.wordpress.com

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  3. Those zucchini thingies look great!

    I love living where we're living (tiny Baltic state): little kids taking the trolly alone and roaming the Old Town with skateboards. I go to the States and worry that my girls' freedom will get me reported to CPS. Sigh.

    Free Range Kids is much too reactive for my taste, though. I'd prefer a more peaceful approach to the problem. But I guess that's not possible over there, is it?

    Oh, and I did lose my 3 year-old in the shopping center the other day. According to the Stranger Danger logic, she shouldn't have taken the hand of and followed the helpful young lady who found her.

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  4. Yum! Something new to do with all my zucchini! Thanks!

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  5. I was guilty of over-doing it on the 'safety' theme with our kids, especially the first. Now I regret it (although I also would have been inconsolable for not emphasizing the point with greater ferocity had they been kidnapped or something). In my defense, I meant well, and all the other parents were doing it, plus random strangers gave us grief for not being even more protective. All I know for certain is parenting is hard, and that there is a good chance things won't always go the way you planned, and a very good chance you will kick yourself for not doing a better job.

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  6. Great idea! Those look delish.

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  7. Have you seen Brain, Child magazine? They have a website too. They had a great article abouta mom's run in with the law over letting her kids go to the mall alone. It was the Summer 2009 issue. Totally recommend the magazine!

    Cathy T

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  8. nom nom nom! those look great. I would definitely eat them.... especially if a stranger offered :D

    looking forward to reading some of your thoughts on education!

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  9. i make a version of these often because my toddler will eat anything, even green things, in 'pancake' form.

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  10. Aha!
    My picky eater 2 and a bit yr old just ate 6 of these for supper! Admittedly dunked in tomato sauce but hey, that's just another veggie right?
    Thanks for the inspiration, my girl's just recently started liking zucchini and onion so after reading your post I got her to help me make them and she wolfed them down...
    And um, me too!

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  11. Related to the stranger-danger theme, have you read The Gift of Fear? It's really powerful, about following our instincts and other concrete signs, versus things like avoiding strangers. And, it talks about how, for kids, strangers can be a huge source of help if they are in a scary situation. I tell my girls if they are lost, go find any mom-looking person and ask for help.

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  12. Try them with tomato chutney-heavenly!

    I'm married to a very frustrated inner city high school math teacher who spends many many hours outside of school trying to be part of the solution. He doesn't fight dangerous situations, he battles apathy, both tired parents and students. It breaks his heart.

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  13. Those look so good! Have you ever used flax seed meal?

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  14. The crazy thing about teaching kids not to talk to strangers, is that they might seek help from a stranger when they really need it. I had a scary episode when I was ten, in which a man tried to get me to go with him. I knew not to go, or not to talk to him, and I rode my bike as fast as I could in front of him while he chased me. I finally turned into the driveway of the house of friends of my parents, hoping and praying that they would be home, and the guy took off. But I remember part of me being a little unsure about going to that house, because I didn't know the people that well. And that's just crazy.

    Then again, I have a mother who talks to *everyone*. Which mortified me as a teenager. But now, when I come across people who know her, they always tell me what a wonderful person she is. Yes, talking to strangers is a good thing. It makes fewer strangers in the world!

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  15. Oops--I meant in the previous comment, "They might *not* seek help from a stranger when they really need it." :-)

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  16. I agree there are more good people than bad. I want to raise my kids to follow their instincts. I can think of several times I should have listened to mine.

    That meal looks great! I am craving okra and all things with okra in it.

    have a great weekend! karen

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  17. Yum! I am totally making these soon. Thanks for sharing.

    As for the stranger thing - it like all things - is about balance. It's just a bit hard to teach kids balance when they hold so tightly to absolutes.

    We've focused on the "what to do" rather than the fear of strangers. It's hard as the stakes are so high on both keeping them safe and teaching them not to fear but to explore.

    Thanks for bringing this up - it's something I definitely want to think about more. I grew up in a family that wouldn't let me eat grapes alone in case I might choke.

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  18. Those look yummy... I highly suggest parsley and dill in them, that is how it is done in Turkey.

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  19. Once, when I was 15, I was riding a motorized scooter at night with my friend. Some car started dangerously tailgaiting, so I zipped into a parking lot to get away. He followed. Really, really closely. I sped up. Suddenly his blue lights go on and I got a ticket for speeding in a parking lot.

    We talk to strangers, when I am with the kids, and then I talk to the kids about how to tell normal behavior from abnormal behavior. I want them to be able to recognize when people are acting suspicious.

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  20. And just like that, now I know what to have for dinner!

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  21. Your zucchini egg foo yung saved me. It was after 7:00pm and I was working on an article and there was no dinner prepared. I had these on my mind....I slapped some cottage bacon in one pan and whipped this up in 10 minutes and served with 3 bean salad. Then I made a second batch with leftover corn. Thank you!

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  22. We may exist on these forever...Our zucchini plants hens are both generous. Thank you for what will be a favorite here...

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  23. thanks for the reminder that there are more good people in the world. i may need to stop reading the paper again.

    yum, yum, yum.

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  24. Hey, funny... I was going to send you an email to see if you wanted a big chunk of my giant zucchini. Can you smell the muffins?

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  25. I hadn't been here in a while (any blog really) and it is more fabulous here than ever! I must remember never to take a blog break again (at least from you). Your last post brought back this memory. When I was 7, I drove on my banana seat bicycle down the block of my Boston street and asked the first child I saw if she would be my friend. That friendship ended up determining what school I attended and many other very happy things. I'm glad I asked.

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  26. I can't wait to try this! It looks great

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  27. Those look super delicious. Just so you know I talked to a stranger today--it was fabulous and wonderful and everything in between. I'm writing about it this week for sure. Luckily I had my camera with me so I snapped a few pictures.

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  28. I love recipes from strangers - especially this one. thank you!

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  29. Really enjoyed reading your "Stranger" posts...Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Amen for good people!

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  30. Very yummy, I had made them for brkfst the other day! My family very much enjoyed them. Thanks for the recipe Moll. I got your thank you note yesterday! Thanks for the birdie:) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  31. Yum! will be making these. thank you wise one.

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  32. I made a very similar version of these this summer. We like a dollop of sour cream on top. Yummy for sure!

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  33. And, one year later, I will be making these. We have eggs from our neighbors and tons of zukes from our garden. Thanks for the simple plan that will help us capitalize on the abundance, Molly!

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