The weirdest thing happened. For Labor Day festivities, I made Steve Raichlin's Grilled Zucchini Salad from The Barbecue! Bible. (Yes, the exclamation mark is in the title.) I doubled the recipe, which meant it was supposed to serve eight. Yet, after I had cut up the slabs of zucchini which I had grilled so patiently in two batches, it made a measly little heap in my red serving bowl. You know that nesting Pyrex bowl set from the 1950s that goes blue red green yellow? Yellow being the biggest? The Grilled Zucchini Salad filled up about two thirds of that small red bowl. Not only does it shrink with cooking, but then again with chopping the long slices into quarter-inch strips.
At least the salad was zesty, with lemon juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, and mint that Will picked from the garden. A tiny, spunky salad, like Rhea Perlman, only not funny.
Good thing I had another dish to make,the opposite of small and green. Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing, from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, is luscious and large. I was too lazy to grate fresh ginger, having just slaved away grilling a mountain of zucchini that had so sadly shrunken to a little molehill, so I used two tablespoons of ground ginger and no harm done. Her icing amount is way off, though. I had to make another batch just to cover the gingerbread, let alone give it the nice blanket of icing in the picture. Fie on those food stylists and their manipulations!
I was beginning to feel like Alice in Through the Looking Glass, what with everything shrinking. Fortunately I am not growing mysteriously huger myself, like Alice did. Wait, that's not true. My fallen arches have just in the last couple of months caused my feet to "grow" a bit past what I consider to be an acceptable woman's shoe size. Would that I still wore a dainty size 9. I laugh to think of when I was in high school and coveted a size 6. Now I'm into the dreaded two digits, which is just weird.
You know what else is weird? Even though the zucchini salad was so small, I still have half of it left over. And even though the gingerbread was so big, it's all gone.