COOKING SECRETS OF THE LAZY V ‘Cuccaz’

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Last day of August, last days of summer; home gardens are bursting with produce.  About a week ago, our friend Lisa called. “Whatcha doin?” I answered, “We’re at work!” She asked, “How long ya’ gonna’ be there?” “At least until 7”, I answered. Well, I’m gonna’ come by.” “OK, we’ll be here.” About an hour later, Lisa pulled up in her RV. She opened the back hatch and pulled out a?  I couldn’t see what she had retrieved from the back of her van. In a minute, she entered our sales office. She was carrying a giant, over grown zucchini, practically the size of an infant! “Cuccaz!” I exclaimed. “What are you talking about? she said.

When friends came bearing gifts of large vegetables at the end of summer, Mom would say, “Cuccaz”. I’ve heard this term all my life. I’d ask, Ma? She would respond, “What?” I asked, “What do you mean when you say ‘Cuccaz’?” clearly dialect for some Italian word referring to squash or zucchini. Mom would continue, “If you don’t mind, don’t bring me these big overgrown hollow vegetables full of seeds. If you want to bring me a gift, bring the little tender vegetables not these, ‘Cuccaz’! She would say.
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