Its offspring, hanging there for me to pick, was a 6-pound green-skinned squash.
I've not seen anything like this squash at the market. It's like a winter squash, with pale golden flesh, big seeds stuffed in the center, and so tender you don't need to peel it.
Before I realized that it wasn't like zucchini, I'd decided to use it in a zucchini casserole from an Armenian cookbook.
Published in 1968, the book is "Favorite Recipes" by Daughters of Vartan, Los Angeles. It's my go-to book for Armenian food, given to me by the woman who helped compile it. The original recipe was contributed by Virginia Kidian.
Later, I saw similar squash, although smaller, in a Korean market, where it was labeled "Korean squash." And I have planted Korean squash myself to use in the dish. But the squash that the vine produces is more like ordinary zucchini, which is fine, because that's what the cookbook intended.
1 1/2 pounds zucchini or Korean squash
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound Jack cheese
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes and cook in boiling salted water 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup of milk. Place the flour and baking powder in a small cup. Stir in the 1 tablespoon milk until smooth, then gradually stir in some of the egg mixture until well blended. Add to the remaining egg mixture.
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with some of the butter, then dot half of what is left over the bottom of the dish.
Place the zucchini in the dish, then top with an even layer of Jack cheese cut into small cubes or slices.
Sprinkle the cheese with the green pepper, dill and parsley. Pour in the egg mixture. Season with salt to taste. Dot the top with the remaining butter.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the top is lightly browned.
Makes 4 main dish servings.