So it’s been an eventful week or so. We got a lot of grocery shopping done and I stocked up on items I was out of , but not brown sugar. Paul was digging through the cupboards the other day and found no less than four one pound bags of brown sugar. It’s something that I buy even if I’m not sure that I really need it, along with powdered sugar, various broths, and a variety of canned tomato products for the different pastas we make. Looks like I need to make a whole bunch of caramel corn to use some of it up. I’m sure that Paul would agree. 😀
I think that everyone has a recipe in a box somewhere titled, “Mom’s Zucchini Bread”. If you google (when did “google” become a verb?!) the words Zucchini Bread, it’s likely that 1/2 of the recipes you find have “Mom” in the title or in the description of it.
My own mother made this old standby every fall throughout my childhood and young adult years and it’s a fond memory of warmth, family, innocence and love.
It’s a perfect food to make that celebrates the joy of the harvest and the changing of the season from summer to the bounty that fall brings to us. It’s appropriate for a Fall Equinox party, or to bring as a host/ess gift on Thanksgiving.
This year, when I made Paul’s epic carrot cake (recipe to come at some point), I made zucchini bread because in my search through my automatic vegetable rotters, I found that the zucchini was on the verge of becoming inedible. I cut out the mushy parts, washed it thoroughly, then grated it up. Then when we invited friends over to help eat the way-too-big-for-two-people-to-eat carrot cake, I sent them both home with a loaf of the zuch bread.
One of those friends has confessed an undying love for the stuff and has not so subtly hinted that if I were to ever happen to have a spare loaf of it lying around, he would be more than happy to help me out and take it off my hands. And if I happened to have some homemade honey butter to go with it, he wouldn’t complain.
After that I went to get my hair re-permed. With the amount of medications I have to take, my hair doesn’t like to take a curl anymore so I had to go back and get it redone with a stronger solution. I’d paid $95 for the perm and tipped the stylist, who happens to be the son of my caregiver Mary, about $20 and I really didn’t have any more money to put into it but I felt horrible that I was tying up three or four hours of his time re-doing a job he’d already done and for no money. So I made more zucchini bread and gave him a loaf.
Then I wanted to give a loaf to Mary so she could take it home and share it with her granddaughter. Whenever I bake, I send some of it home with Mary and she tells me that not only her granddaughter loves my cooking but so do her two sons who live with her. So much so that not long after that first loaf of zucch bread was demolished that little six year old asked her uncle to call her gramma while she was at work and place an order for another loaf! Mary and I laughed long and hard about that. 😀
I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful caregiver who has become such a good friend! Today she brought me a 6 ounce bottle of real vanilla extract because I was out and was using spiced rum in it’s place. She also brought me a can of water chestnuts because I’d talked a day ago about how I’d forgotten to get them while stocking up and how I couldn’t make the Chinese pork dumplings until I had them because without that crunch from the water chestnuts, dumplings just don’t taste right. Yes, a dumpling recipe is forthcoming! 😀
Anyway, last night the little one was asking her gramma what vanilla was and why she was giving a bottle of it to me. When gramma explained that I used it to make a lot of those yummy treats that she brought home, the zucchini bread, and that I was out so she was helping me by picking some up, the precious little rugrat asked, “Oh! So is she going to make me more zucchini bread?”
(Holy crap I talk a lot!)
So, with the knowledge that I have another recipe of zucchini bread to make in the next day or two, I thought I’d share the warm cinnamonny goodness with you folks!
Without further ado:
Mom’s Zucchini Bread
Adapted from just about every Zucchini Bread recipe out there including my own mother’s.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I use Korintje or Saigon Vietnamese cinnamon)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened plain applesauce
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup grated yellow “crookneck” squash
- 2 hand fulls of regular or golden raisins that have been soaked for 2 days in dark spiced rum
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans, or spray pans with olive oil from your oil sprayer (flouring is really not necessary). Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini, raisins and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. If you can keep your family out of it.
5. Slice a piece while it’s still warm, or put it in the toaster then slather it with honey butter (recipe below) then step outside with your morning coffee and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
- 1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, room temperature/softened (No substitutions! I mean, you can use margarine or something equally nasty but why mess with perfection?)
- 1/4 cup local honey (Get your honey at a local farmers market or roadside fruit stand. Local honey helps you to manage your allergies to local flora that would otherwise make your eyes swell shut and your nose run.)
- Put the butter in your mixer bowl and with your whisk attachment, whip the butter until it’s fluffy. Slowly drizzle the honey in while your mixer runs on medium speed. Be careful and make sure that the honey is hitting the butter, not the whisk or it will just get flung against the walls of the bowl and not get mixed into the butter. Trust me on this one.
- Put the finished honey butter in a small air tight container and stick it in the fridge. Smear on anything that you want to have a delightful sweet buttery goodness.