When faced with an overabundance of summer produce, gardeners choose to do many things. The most obvious choice is, of course, custard.

Other options include an unrelenting parade of salads. Pies. Muffins. Gift baskets to friends. Or, for the truly desperate, shoving all your extra tomatoes, zucchini, or what-have-you into the first unlocked car you can find and booking it out of there , desperately hoping the police do not dust for your green thumbprints.

But back to that custard. The good earthy folks in Del Ray, Alexandria had a simple solution for their zucchini abundance: Take it to the Dairy Godmother.

Owner Liz Davis runs this neighborhood institution, and host of the President and his daughters, making three flavors of custard every day: vanilla, chocolate, and a flavor of the day. Additionally, a creative selection of ice pops are available in a rainbow of summer fruit flavors. Custards, which feature more egg yolks and less air than their ice cream cousins, can be dressed up with sundae toppings and special cones. I find their mellow rich flavor are robust enough to eat out of a cup without the frilly toppings.  Of course, my most recent taste was of the day’s special: zucchini bread custard. Made with the abundance of zucchini grown in a neighborhood garden-share, the silky rich custard was broken up with small bites of soft, sweet zucchini bread pieces.

Baby Spice and I popped into the Dairy Godmother around noon after running a few errands in the neighborhood (including picking up bison medallions and a bottle of Trickling Springs whole milk at Let’s Meat on the Avenue). Popular with local families throughout the season (the shop has to ban strollers after 3pm to keep up with fire safety standards), it was just beginning it’s day when we arrived. We grabbed a bench seat and took in the scene while I enjoyed my custard. Before long, a lively group of three children and their mother came in to sample the day’s treats. Turns out it was their delicious zucchini I was  enjoying in my custard was courtesy of their garden plot. The family delivered ten pounds (!!) of the summer squash to the Dairy Godmother for her wares and had Dairy Godmother coupons to put to good use as a result. Naturally, they all chose to taste the results of their work. I’d say it was a hit all around.

Dairy Godmother
2310 Mount Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301

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