The Sunday potlucks in Goodale Park have started again. An organic element of last summer’s Goodale Park Music Series, the potlucks provided a food-meets-music element that quickly catapulted the weekly events into my Top Ten Favorite Things To Do in Columbus. This year, the potluck (which was originally started by Lauren Wilson, a true gal about town), became an official part of the music series, and I moved up the chain of command from person who brings a dish to person who brings a dish, tablecloths and serving utensils.
Each week, a different Columbus food blogger “hosts” the event, providing a suggested theme (that complements the music) and a specific dish for attendees to look forward to devouring. The first week, Jim Ellison from cmhgourmand.com hosted and grilled more than one hundred hot dogs for his Americana-themed feast. (I brought succotash). This past week, Lisa Dillman from restaurantwidow.com brought a to-die-for shrimp and grits (complete with at least one pound of butter) for her Southern cuisine potluck.
I take advantage of these weekly meals to find a way to utilize my CSA wares, so when I woke up Sunday morning, I knew that my main ingredient was going to be zucchini. Too lazy to bring out the laptop or look at a cookbook, I searched for a southern-style zucchini recipe on my phone until I found the first one that didn’t require a trip to the store for additional ingredients.
More often than not, it’s quality ingredients that do the heavy lifting in making a dish excellent. Even the best chefs attribute their success to sourcing from incredible suppliers. By that theory, my zucchini bake should have rocked; locally-grown zucchini, Amish butter, free-range local eggs, hand-made breadcrumbs and an onion harvested from my own backyard all went into the dish. But what the recipe did not call for was seasoning. And so, even though I added Paula Deen’s Butt Rub (because it’s clearly southern and, for some reason, I have some), the dish came out bland.
That, of course, didn’t stop it from being devoured on Sunday afternoon. One of the best things about community potlucks is the anonymity of the dish. Aside from the dish brought by the hosting blogger, no one really knows who made what.
The series will take a break until August, when Andy Dehus from tacotruckscolumbus.com will celebrate street food, Bethia Woolf from hungrywoolf.com will feature grown-in-Ohio wares, Rachel Tayse Baillieul from houndsinthekitchen.com will fill our bellies with soul food and, finally, Becke Boyer from columbusfoodie.com will bring out the eclectic side of the culinary world. Where’s yours truly in all of this? While I helped to organize the blogger-portion of the event, I wrote myself into a supporting role. Which, if I continue finding my recipes on about.com, (with a one-star rating for heck’s sake) is probably a good thing.
Here you go. You can make it better.
Summer Squash Bake
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons butter
3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
3 summer squash, diced, about 3 cups
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs tossed with 1 tablespoons melted butter
In a saucepan, sauté onion in butter. In a large bowl, combine onions and butter with summer squash and chopped hard cooked eggs. Place squash mixture in a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Mix beaten eggs with half-and-half; pour over squash in casserole. Sprinkle top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Recipe for summer squash casserole serves 6.