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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

zucchini bread

I managed to grow some Zucchini plants, two to be exact. I don't think I like zucchini, to be honest I don't know why I have actually never tried it. Besides the occasional zucchini bread that seems to show up on my door step every Christmas. There is something about it that is slightly off putting. But why on Earth did I decided to grow it? I had to have something grow in the clay soil in my garden.

The first time I attempted to taste zucchini bread was many summers ago. The fact that I am 28 gives you a good clue that I was rather young when I had it. It was disgustingly bitter. It left this taste in your mouth, that by simply recalling that loaf brings it back. I decided on that day that zucchini was yucky and didn't even come near the gourd until a few winters ago.

I was at a friends home, one not known for her culinary skills, and was invited there primarily to cook a grand dinner for her and her friends. It was a Christmas party were she had made all of us slackers dress up, and pretend we were actually civil. The nerve! No combat boots, riding boots, Chucks allowed. We had to have some color on us, couldn't dress in all black nor wear any flannel. She had even suggested that some of us brush our hair! That was enough to have more than just a few of us hesitate on attending. I digress, she went as far as baking some cookies and breads and had them spread out on a small table. I tasted a few things, here and there, but there was this one slice of bread that drew me back. It was delicious, surprisingly so since she was the one to bake it. When she told me what it was, that taste from the first time I had ever tried zucchini bread came flooding back, and I gaged. I forced myself to take another piece, and decided that it all depended on the cook.

It still took me years to do it myself. How could I? I had been traumatized. I am still not sure what I was thinking as I was selecting my seeds for this years crop. I'm sorry, I do know. I have a very clayed area in the garden, rather large, and I needed something to grow there. I also was thinking about winter storage. But the one thing I did not think of was what I was going to do with them once they came in.

These are the first two of the season. I simply glanced at them as they laid out on the counter, I could feel them mocking me. {Paranoid much?} I had decided on making stir-fries and freezing them, but the other vegetables for that had yet to come in. What other choice did I have but turn them into bread? At that thought I dropped to the floor and convulsed. {that would be me being dramatic again, but you can get the point that I did not want to do this. } I broke out one of my many recipe books, looking for a recipe that didn't seem to be to repulsive.

I have a tendency of only follow a recipe the first time. After that, it is a free for all, and I fix whatever problems I deemed to have occurred. Luckily for me, my father was visiting {the man that taught me everything I know on the subject of cooking} and before I made the recipe I had found, he had few suggestions on improving it. I wrote the suggestions down next to the original recipe. {My cookbooks tend to look like college texts at the end of term} I have decided to share it with you.

Zucchini nut muffins;

1 medium zucchini
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 sp molasses
½ cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp each of baking soda and powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

Peel off any bad spots, but leave the rest of the skin on the zucchini, shred and measure out 2 cups. Spread out on paper towel to drain. Or in my case coffee filters. I buy the 3 billion pack for $1.00US, and as I don't use paper towels, I use the coffee filters, as you can see in the picture above.

Beat together the eggs. (I use goose eggs in all my baking. One goose egg is equivalent to 2 chicken's eggs. the picture above is to demonstrate the size difference. The brown egg is a large, from one of my layers. If you are using goose eggs in anything, make sure you beat them well before adding anything else to them. They are a lot thicker than chicken eggs.} Beat into the eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar and molasses until light. In separate bowl mix together the flour cinnamon, nutmeg {Where is my cinnamon and nutmeg? Why can I not find them? I just bought some, and I know they were in my cabinet. I fall to my knees screaming at the ceiling "THE CHILDREN!" Someone had made off with my spices, so I had to make the first batch without them. Remember to double check that you have all the ingredients before baking anything. I added more cloves then called for, it didn't turn out too bad, but the cinnamon and nutmeg help a lot} cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Blend the zucchini into the egg mix switching with the flour. Do not over mix it. Fold in the nuts, and then spoon into the muffin pans

Bake them at 375f for 20 minutes {check them after 15}

They turned out well. I was surprised that I didn't have to choke them down. One zucchini recipe down. Maybe now I can enjoy the gourd.

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1 comment:

alrescate said...

I have to admit, the fact you planted zucchini when you didn't really care much for it, cracks me up!

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