Some folks shy away from zucchini because it brings back memories from childhood of an over-cooked vegetable they were forced to eat. As with all cooking, we have our own way of preparing our favorite foods, if I am going to grow beautiful zucchini I will probably end up doing two things with them. First they will arrive at the table sauteed in olive oil and garlic, along with a good sized handful of fresh basil. Cooked until crisp-tender, and pulled off the heat when they are not quite done. The heat of the pan while you serve them will continue to cook them to perfection. The second way I love to pay homage to the lovely zucchini in my kitchen is fresh, moist zucchini bread. Straight from the oven, and slathered with a big spoonful of homemade honey butter.
The smell of baking bread reminds me of my childhood, and makes me hope that the efforts put into cooking for my family will create memories they will carry with them when they grow up and establish their own families someday. I think it may be working, My six year old Logan, who typically can be a wee bit finicky at the dinner table came up to me yesterday when I was making this and said "Mama, I sure do like your cooking, it's the best in the world. I always want to eat the food you make" you could have knocked me over with a feather, I thought he far preferred the golden arches to anything I put together, but what I have to remember, it is the love and care that go into preparing meals for my family that my children see, not just the food on their plate. So grab your baking pans and get ready to serve up some yummy memories. This bread freezes well too, so make four loaves if you like, I promise, they won't last long!
|My version of zucchini bread is about as close as I have been able to come in recreating the bread my grandmother Edith made while I was growing up on our little farm in Central Washington.|
For the Bread:
3 cups Gluten-Free Baking Mix or white rice flour
(I like to use a 50/50 mix in many recipes, click here for my recipe for homemade baking mix)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
For the Honey Butter:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325*, grease and flour two 8" x 4" loaf pans and set aside. Blend the first 6 (all dry ingredients) in one bowl, in a second mixing bowl gently beat the eggs and add remaining 4 ingredients to the eggs. Fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture and blend until moistened, without over-stirring. Pour evenly into two prepared baking pans and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes depending on your oven. I like to set the alarm for about 10 minutes before just in case so I can gauge how much longer it will take before the bread begins to turn golden and springs back to the touch in the center.
Once your bread is done, let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks or parchment paper. In a small bowl mix the honey and butter well, and apply generously to each slice of fresh zucchini bread for the treat you won't soon forget.