My dad’s garden is filled with squash the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s right arm, so this week I made my mother’s famous zucchini bread.
(Note: that is a regular, apple-sized tomato. NOT a mini.)
I made lots and lots of zucchini bread.
My mom baked it every summer when the zucchini took over our backyard. We whiny children required that she omit the nuts and raisins, and puree the squash into oblivion so that we “could not see any green in the bread,” my mom says.
I wonder if it makes good french toast. I wonder why my mom didn’t puree us.
After I baked the zucchini bread, I delivered some to my sister, still in the hospital with her baby. “No nuts,” said she. The baby is getting better.
I took some to my brother, who fell and broke both of his ankles this week and is in another hospital across town. “This is SO good,” said he. He has a very good doctor.
I shared with my other, sister, too, while extracting a promise that she not fall/bleed/cry/need for the foreseeable future. She agreed.
For my mother, comfort-giver extraordinaire, racing from hospital to hospital, I made a special bread. Extra nuts. Which is how I imagine she feels.
I made sure that you could not see any green.
It was hard.
She must really love us.
Her recipe, in her words (and a treat from me down below):
Mom’s Zucchini Bread
2 C sugar
1 C oil – or substitute 1 C applesauce – or 1/2 cup of each tastes the best.
2 t vanilla
2 C blended zucchini
To blend zucchini in order to disguise any “green things” in the bread:
Pour 1/2 C of oil/applesause into the blender/food processor. As blender is running on low, slowly cut the zucchini into the blender. If blender becomes sluggish, add rest of oil/applesauce. I just kept checking the cup measurements on the side of the blender until I had 3 cups of liquid (or 2 1/2 cups if I had only added 1/2 of the oil/applesauce). Blend in the eggs and the sugar.
(Note from Jaimee: if you are using overgrown Schwarzenegger zucchini, first take out the seeds. Chop your squash into one-inch dice. And you’re going to need a food processor, not a blender, and a lot of patience.)
In a separate bowl, sift:
3 C flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
4 t. cinnamon
Slowly pour the egg/zucchini batter into the sifted ingredients, and mix.
1/2 C chopped nuts (which I rarely did because you kidlets would pick them out 🙂 )
1/2 C raisins (I did this once and everyone flipped out with “ugh”)
(From Jaimee: For my mom and moi, I added 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries. It was excellent. I was a bratty kid.)
2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans
Well-greased and floured
350 degrees – 60-70 minutes (maybe less for minis, when toothpick comes out clean)
Notes from Jaimee: This is the best zucchini bread you will ever have. Big props to my mother for inventing this. She hated to cook. We nut-phobic, raisin-hating, green-fearing picky children have no idea why. Also: don’t peel the zucchini. The point is to disguise as much nutrition as humanly possible, so then you can slather it with this:
Cinnamon-vanilla honey butter: heaven, come to life.
Mix: 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature, 1/3 cup honey, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and a pinch of salt.