I will begin this post with an appropriate anecdote from this month’s Reader’s Digest, which is THE magazine to turn to for anecdotes–or articles short enough so that one’s legs don’t fall asleep reading them while sitting on the john.
I visited my daughter bearing gifts: summer squash from my garden.
“What should I do with them?” she asked.
“Whatever you would do with zucchini,” I said.
“All right, we’ll give them to our neighbor.”
–Harold Silver, Neenah, WI
Those of us who grow zucchini or other prolific vegetables are all too familiar with this seasonal situation. Unfortunately, Bill and I don’t know our neighbors. Yes, we have lived in the same house for six years, but the people on our street either keep to themselves or are so blatantly nasty that we have come up with creative derogatory nicknames for them. The only neighbor that we do know–that is, we exchange pleasantries with him over the fence on occasion–has his own vegetable garden, which gives him the right to be exempt from our offerings. So, our solution for getting rid of excess produce is to either: a) force it upon friends and family or b) arrange the veggies in a basket on a little folding table near the sidewalk with catchy advertising, such as: “Free Organically Grown Monster Zucchini.”
We quickly discovered that people would more readily accept vegetables–especially weird or grotesquely sized ones–if accompanied by a recipe sheet. The summer that spaghetti squash ran rampant all over our fence, we gave them away along with the eloquently titled sheet: “What the #@&! do I do with Spaghetti Squash?” Our zucchini was presented with a paper entitled, “Zucchini is Fun!” Both recipe pages were illustrated with clip art portraying chipper and wholesome people from the 1950s. I felt that this would invoke nostalgia for a simpler time, when apron-clad cooking with home grown vegetables was the norm.
Included on the “Zucchini is Fun” page is the recipe below for zucchini bread. After testing a few different recipes the first year that we had our garden, we chose to add this one to our permanent collection. It makes two moist and flavorful loaves, and is delicious plain, or topped with butter, margarine, peanut butter, or jam. A big tasty chunk for breakfast, along with a caffeine-laden cup of coffee, is a great way to start the day! Alternately, the recipe could make 24 muffins, or mix and match to make one loaf and 12 muffins.
Forgive me, but I do not remember where this recipe originated:
FANTASTIC ZUCCHINI BREAD
- 3 eggs
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. oil or unsweetened applesauce
- 2 c. raw zucchini, grated
- 3 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all the “wet” ingredients and the brown sugar in a large bowl, and combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Slowly add the dry to the wet, stirring well after each addition.
- Add chopped walnuts, if desired.
- Pour into two greased loaf pans.
- Bake loaves for approximately one hour. I begin checking for done-ness with a toothpick at about 45 minutes, and will sometimes cover the loaves with foil to keep them from browning too much while the center finishes cooking. Muffins take about 20 minutes.
Click FANTASTIC ZUCCHINI BREAD for a printable PDF of this recipe.