What happened to my cucumber plant?

As some of you may recall, I got a late start in planting my veggies this year. I planted a cherry tomato and a cucumber plant in large pots since I don’t have a dedicated vegetable garden yet. The photo to the left is a picture of my “so called” cucumber plant about a week or so ago. You can somewhat see a couple of blossoms hiding behind the large leaves. Well not too long after I took this photo I noticed two babies about an inch long on the plant. They grew pretty quickly and I harvested the first two this past weekend except they weren’t cucumbers after all. Boy do I feel stupid! I sent a picture of my first harvest to my mother and she confirmed what I suspected and my grandmother kept saying. They are a yellow summer squash. Not that I have a problem with squash. I just wanted cucumbers that’s all. So here is a picture of one right before I picked it. Another case of the plant was mislabeled, I got duped for the second time this season. Well I made the best of it and used it in my Chicken Minestrone recipe in place of zucchini, since I couldn’t find any decent ones at the grocery store. Next year I think I will grow zucchini in my dedicated vegetable plot that I plan on making this fall. Here is a copy of the recipe:
Chicken Minestrone
6 servings
Prep time: 35 minutes
From Eating for Life by Bill Phillips

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 slices of Canadian bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 bay leaf
1 15oz. can of cannellini beans, drained/rinsed
1 15oz. can of red kidney bean, drained/rinsed
6 cups of chicken broth (I used reduced sodium fat-free)
2 cups of water
1 ½ lbs. of chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
¾ cup Ditalini pasta
1 box (10 oz) frozen green beans
1 bag (5 oz) baby spinach
3 Tbsp fresh basil, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parmesan, grated

Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add Canadian bacon and sauté for 4 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic, zucchini and bay leaf, sauté for another 5 minutes. Add cannellini beans, red kidney beans, chicken broth and water to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then add chicken and cook for 10 more minutes. Reduce heat to medium high; add pasta and green beans. Cook until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes. Remove bay leaf from soup with tongs or a spoon. Stir in spinach and cook until slightly wilted about 1 minute. Ladle a portion into each bowl and top with fresh basil and parmesan.

It’s a really good soup for the summer, because you prepare it on the stovetop so you don’t have to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven. That’s always a good thing during this time of the year. Now my cherry tomatoes are producing their first fruits too. They are still green but they are getting bigger as we speak. It’s nice to have fresh picked vegetables in our meals. Next year I will have even more options with my dedicated veggie bed. I am considering trying the square foot garden approach. It looks like I should be able to grow everything I want in a minimal about of space. Wish me luck!

20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by OhioMom on July 23, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Thank you, now I know exactly where this recipe is … !!

    Don’t forget a “dedicated” herb garden 🙂


  2. Posted by garden girl on July 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Sure is frustrating getting mislabeled plants! I see you’ve made the best of it though.

    Good luck getting your veggie garden started. I hope to have my first one in several years next season.


  3. Posted by tina on July 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    This is funny! Maybe you should quickly stick some cucumber seeds in the ground. I bet you would get some this summer yet! In the meantime you just gotta enjoy the squash.


  4. Posted by Rose on July 23, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe! I am growing summer squash (on purpose, though), too. Just to warn you–you’d better find more recipes, because they are prolific producers! I like to fix them sauteed with a little onion and seasonings.


  5. Posted by Kathleen on July 23, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Yum. I wouldn’t mind if that had happened to me but I love yellow squash! I know it’s frustrating tho. Your recipe sounds delicious.


  6. Posted by Rosehaven Cottage on July 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I HATE when things are mislabeled. A few years ago, I thought I bought cucumbers and got zucchini. Also a few years ago, I thought I bought a Sterling Rose and got something that’s bright pink and unidentified! So I can completely relate to your surprise squash.



  7. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Your welcome Mom. I figure this way if you lose again you just need to check my blog labels under recipes. 🙂 I am considering the herb garden too, lol.

    Thanks Gardengirl. I am looking forward to growing my own veggies and possibly some herbs. Sometimes when life gives you lemons you just got make lemonade. 🙂

    That’s okay Tina. There is always next season for the cucumbers and I like squash. It could be worse, I could hate squash. 🙂

    Rose I’m sure my Mom can give me some more recipes since she is such a great cook. I hope you enjoy the recipe. It is one of my family’s favorites and it’s really healthy too.

    It’s a great recipe, Kathleen. The hardest part is chopping the veggies but I have one of those choppers that make it a breeze. I love yellow squash too, so it’s okay.

    I guess it happens Cindy. I just didn’t think it would happen twice in one season. The good thing is I like squash. It could be worse.


  8. Posted by Anna on July 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Mislabeled plants happens a lot and mostly due to little kids having a blast removing the tags. I’ve worked for several nurseries and have even seen kids pull them out and throw them on the ground while mom looks on. Some grown-ups do it too but not as often.


  9. Posted by Naturegirl on July 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Cucumbers or sqauash it all sounds delicous to me! We have not planted veggies in our garden..just not in the plans..however I’m always looking for a spot here and there to tuck in herbs and a few tomatoe plants!


  10. Posted by beckie on July 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    We have talked about surprises in the garden-but this really is. Although I love summer squash, if you’ve got your mouth all set for cucumbers….:)


  11. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 23, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    That’s a shame Anna. People like to get what they are paying for when shopping for plants. Fortunately I like squash. 🙂

    I’m with you Naturegirl. I love squash and cucumbers. I’ve tucked in cherry tomatoes and scarlett runner bean with my flowers in the past. Fortunately you can grow alot of veggies in pots as well.

    That was the only hard part Beckie. I was really looking forward to cucumbers in my salads and cucumbers sandwiches. 😦


  12. Posted by Cindy on July 23, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    How frustrating! Your recipe sounds yummy though- thanks for sharing it.

    I learned the hard way to be very careful of labels. In fact I recently bought a daylily that was suppose to be pink but it bloomed yellow! GRRRR!


  13. Posted by Susie on July 23, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I know it’s aggrevating to get squash when you expect cucumbers but what a funny story. I bet you enjoy the squash almost as much.


  14. Posted by Meadowview Thymes on July 24, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Yum!! I LOVE getting recipes from blogs! If you grown zucchini, I hope to see a recipe for my favorite–zucchini bread!
    Thanks for the great post!


  15. Posted by Perennial Gardener on July 24, 2008 at 2:26 am

    I hope you enjoy the recipe Cindy. We love it! You would think I would know better by now when it comes to labels on plants. 🙂 I try to buy things that actually have a bloom on them so I can make sure they are the color their labeled. Not always an option though.

    It was alittle aggravating Susie, but thankfully I like squash too! It is funny now, but I was laughing this past weekend. 🙂

    You’re welcome Linda. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do. It is one my youngest sons favorite things I make. I’ve never made zucchini bread but I bet my mom has the recipe. 🙂


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