The Crazy Zucchini
The thing about zucchini is the craziness of its’ nature. If you sow only one zucchini plant, it dies of loneliness. If you plant two zucchini plants, you die of zucchini overload. It is most difficult to find a happy medium with the ubiquitous veggie. And if you have so foolishly and exuberantly planted several zucchini (sheepishly raising my hand here…) the zucchini threaten to take over your household. Leading to that old Garrison Keillor joke: Lock your cars during the the months of August and September. You may come out of the supermarket or bank and find the back seat full of zucchini.
Here is a great zucchini bread recipe for you to try:
1 C olive oil
2 C granulated cane sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cream together until light in color. Add:
2 C coarsely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 C finely chopped fruit or mild veggie (or another cup of grated zucchini)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 C flour
Pour into two oiled loaf pans and bake for 55 minutes at 350 deg. Delicious sliced, with butter, drizzled with honey or eaten plain. Packs well into lunch bags and is moist enough to be a yummy midafternoon snack.
It is a sneakily satisfying way to use the produce that is closing its’ life span. Mild veggies like pumpkin or yam, the somewhat battered banana,peach,nectarine or the pear judged ‘too brown’ to eat. I peel, seed/core the fruit, chop fine and blend into the oil and sugar mixture. The kitchen is my domain and as Queen of the Realm, I have always been somewhat cavalier about substitutions. After all, if the family won’t eat it, the chickens sure will. But in this recipe, unless the fussy eaters actually witness you adding that battered banana, they have no idea that they are getting two servings of produce in one bread.
This past week, I baked 30 loaves of zucchini bread. (Yeah, I know…) The loaves, wrapped in wax paper and then in butcher paper, store well in the freezer until the holidays begin and are wonderful gifts. For extra fun, have the kids decorate the unwaxed side of the butcher paper before using. And for sure, I am going to amend my zuke planting next spring!
Are you blessed with a generous garden? How do you use your bounty?
Oh, and keep your car locked!
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