Fresh From the Oven
As I write, a large loaf of zucchini bread finishes up its baking. We did give four squashes to a neighbor today, and I figured I had to make more bread. We do need to use up this squash, but this bread also happens to be tasty. Here is the recipe:
Prep time is about 15-20 minutes and baking time is 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
- 3 cups fresh shredded zucchini1
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 large eggs
Slowly add to this mixture:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
I use a large loaf pan (9″) and bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 375 degrees. You can also use two small loaf pans (8″) and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Let cool and slice her up.
A Few of the Many
I had wanted to plant only three plants. I figured that might even be too many, but I wanted to be safe. So I planted three, and they grew well. Then I gave my children one of the beds to grow some things. They picked zucchini as one of the things they wanted to plant. So now we had four plants. Then, a couple of days ago, as I was inspecting the pumpkin plants, I was amazed yet again at how huge one of them had become. When I turned back the leaves I saw not a small pumpkin forming, but more zucchini. Somehow at least one zucchini seed got mixed in with the pumpkin seeds. They are kind of hard to tell apart, especially if you think they are all pumpkin seeds. Apparently I am not very adept at telling the plants apart either.
So we picked some of those green squashes two days ago. I picked about ten of them. I immediately grated a couple of them to make some zucchini bread. I sliced three more to grill for dinner. Yesterday I picked more. We have a dozen now sitting on the counter, waiting to be turned into something. I will have to grill more tonight, freeze some, make more bread. And more is out there, waiting to ripen. It could be a heavy responsibility, all this food.
Any vegetable gardner knows the joke about zucchini, that it is so prolific that it is difficult to give away. It is way easy to grow, although last summer we had almost none, thanks to our friends the cucumber beetles. I have a summer gratin that is about the tastiest thing around, so I need to whip up a couple of those. Maybe I can bake two and freeze one. It won’t be quite as good after being frozen, but I need to take care of this green invasion so I don’t waste any. Winter is long and some summer food pulled from the freezer always is a comfort on cold days.
So I will keep picking it, along with the cherry tomatoes that are just starting to ripen. Peppers are getting bigger and the full size tomatoes will be ripe before long as well. I have picked basil and garic and whipped up basil. Our broccoli (what is up with all these double letter Italian words that are a challenge to remember how to spell?) might be too assaulted by the rabbits to produce any food for us. If they ate some of the zucchini plants, we might strike a deal, but I want all the broccoli I can get.