Just when I was despairing absolutely nothing had occurred in my life that was even remotely worthy of writing about, the mailman delivered a hand-addressed envelope to my home Saturday.

Even without looking at the return address, I knew it was not from any of my friends because it was addressed to "Margaret," as opposed to "Maggy" and my friends only call me by my full and given name if they're unhappy with me, plus it was spelled correctly — most of my friends leave out the second "a." (Which I shouldn't complain about because it worked for Ann-Margret and she was — and still is at 70-something — drop-dead gorgeous!)

Another dead giveaway was the fact it had come "snail mail." The only things in my mailbox most of the time are bills: my friends choose to email, text or message me on my cell phone.

The letter was from Mary Therrien of the town of Florida, Mass., and included a recipe I can't wait to try.

"Everyone has zucchinis that 'hide' [in the garden] until they're too big. Here's a perfect way to use them," Mrs. Therrien wrote. "They are pies and apple pies, but this is an extra-good one and so inexpensive. You really have to try it to believe it."

Zucchini "Apple" Pie

Directions:

Use big zucchinis, but still tender enough that you can pierce the skin easily with your thumbnail. Peel, cut into quarters length-wise, remove the seeds and slice cross-wise.


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Toss together:

4 cups sliced zucchini, cooked until tender crisp

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of salt

Mix in a bowl:

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Dash of nutmeg

3 tablespoons flour

Add the zucchini and mix well. It will be runny, but that's OK. Dump the filling into a 9-inch crust and dot with butter. Add the top crust and bake at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Mrs. Therrien added, "I have enlarged my recipe to make a good 12-inch pie, using:

6 cups sliced zucchini

2 tablespoons or more lemon juice

Dash of salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

She concludes, "It really is amazing to get apple pie from zucchini!"