All of this talk of vegetable gardens in general and zucchini in particular have put in mind of my high school theater days. The first role awarded to me was Amish Woman number, oh, pick a number: five? seventeen? in the off-off-off Broadway musical Plain and Fancy.
A sophisticated New York couple travel to Pennsylvania. Dan has inherited a farm in the wee Amish town of Bird-in-Hand. He and his girlfriend Ruth take a drive to see it before he puts it on the market. When they arrive, all manner of comedy arises, songs are sung, barns are raised, and there is a wedding.
The second tune, Plenty of Pennsylvania is an ensemble piece that requires all of the Amish characters. (That’s my cue!)
The two female leads sing the praises of Pennsylvania through the seasons, but declare the best time is the fall harvest.
The bridge (is that the correct musical term?) is sung by The Miller Girl.
She steps up on the crate stage left (your right, her left) (or is it the other way around?)
She sings, with confidence:
“Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, dandelion greens, and escarole,
“Fennel, and grapes, and honeydew melon, and iceberg lettuce for the salad bowl,
(A little more cautious, as she takes poetic licence) “Juniper, kale, lovely lentils, mushrooms, nutmeg, okra, peas,
“Quinces, rutabaga, squash, tomatoes, [u]nions sweet like strawberries, (That gets a groan and a few “tut-tuts” from the chorus)
“Vinegar, also watermelon, x-plant planted all in rows, (OK, we’ve just about had enough of your shenanigans, young Miss Miller!)
“And… zpinach? (Gently, but firmly, “No…”)
“Zucchini! (Halleluiah! And much huzzah-ing and high fives and fist bumps. No, wait. Amish don’t fist bump.)
All: “In Pennsylvania anything grows!”
I loved that tune. The lyrics of that alphabetized veggie inventory will go with me to my grave. Always meant to embroidery the list on a tea towel, but my eyesight isn’t good enough. Instead, I assembled photos on a Pinterest board. Click and enjoy!
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