Growing up, Mom always kept a garden. At the end of summer, when the zucchini’s were plump and ripe she made one of our favorite breads. I don’t remember being particularly quick to help, but I do remember leaving my childhood playthings long enough to watch.
Even now I can see her standing over the kitchen sink with the sunlight streaming in, shaking flour from the greased pan. I can hear the clink of her wedding ring, and breathe in the spicy-sweet smell of the bread baking in the oven. At the sound of the timer, steaming hot with a crackled brown top, I can peer just enough above the bread to warm my face. I remember knife letting loose bread from pan, and then it being folded tightly into tin foil and the coldness of the fridge, waiting for another day.
It always felt so long before the loaf was chilled enough to slice through the thick sweet top. I kept butter ready, cold and creamy, to slather my piece – the thicker the better. That first bite, dense and cold, sweet like carrot cake, heavy and creamy, is what the end of summer tastes like to me.
I had forgotten for a very long time, until my neighbor handed me a zucchini from her garden the size of my arm. I set out to do what I had only watched before – to make my own zucchini bread – with the clink of my wedding ring against the pan, and the peering eyes of my children watching and waiting for their own first bite of summer’s end.
And It was worth every calorie it took to remember.
Recipe adapted from Miriam Loo’s Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread found in the 1982 publication of Fresh-From-The-Oven-Breads
What you need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
How to make it:
Recipe makes (24) muffins, OR (1) 9-1/4″ X 5-1/4″ loaf AND (9) muffins.
- Preheat oven to 325F while prepping pans (either using liners for muffins, or greasing and flouring loaf pans).
- In one bowl combine flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, spices and raisins or chocolate chips.
- In a second bowl beat eggs, sugar and oil at medium speed until fluffy. Stir in zucchini.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until moistened.
- Pour into prepped loaf pan and bake: 50 minutes for loafs, 25-27 minutes for muffins, OR until bread tests done.
- Cool, wrap in foil and refrigerate.
PS – It always tastes best on the second day 🙂