Zucchini bread recipe: Mmm, mmm, memory

by CountryFriedMama on March 15, 2010

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Allegedly, spring is coming.  I see little evidence of that lately (brr!), but still, I am having my annual delusion that I might be able to put a plant in some dirt and actually have it grow.  My own experience in this department should have convinced me by now that this is a waste of time and money, but I’ve seen the bounty that can come from a successful home garden, and I’m having trouble letting go of the dream.

Long before Country-Fried Daddy and I had a yard, we had a landlady who was a master gardener.  When the weather got warm, she would harvest an abundant crop of squash — sometimes crookneck, sometimes spaghetti, but most often zucchini.  She cooked a lot, canned some and gave the rest away.

We’d come home from work and there would be an enormous basket of zucchini in front of our door.

One  year, I tried to be creative with it.  I made zucchini pancakes, zucchini with pasta, zucchini pizza, even zucchini cookies (which I would not recommend to a friend).

We lived in that apartment for more than six years.  The annual zucchini-fest never abated, but my enthusiasm for putting it to a variety of uses did.  Eventually, I just started turning it into many, many loaves of zucchini bread, which freezes nicely and is generally welcomed by co-workers, family and friends.

Our first year in the deep, deep, DEEP South, we finally had a yard of our own, and we were eager to replicate the gardening successes of our former vegetable benefactor.

We bought itty-bitty zucchini plants, tomato plants, enriched soil and gardening tools.  CFD spent hours in the one sunny strip of yard we had, turning over the soil, pulling out rocks and weeds and making a narrow vegetable bed.  We put our plants in the ground and eagerly awaited the harvest.  We got about a dozen tomatoes and zero zucchini.  It was a lot of work and money for little return.

So the following year, I planted in pots instead.

The results were exactly the same.

I bought a plant at the grocery store last week — hydrangea, not zucchini — and put it in a big planter outside our front door.  It’s been seven days and the thing appears to be thriving.  I am amazed.  This minor success might be just what I need to spark another year of futile efforts in pursuit of a home garden.

Either that, or I’ll just stick to the farmers’ markets.

You can get the ingredients for this recipe right in your grocery store — no planting required.

Zucchini bread recipe

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

My oven takes forever to preheat, but that’s actually a good thing, because I needed some time to get my sous chef on board.

Mix together:

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups grated zucchini

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

I thought about having Belly help with this next part, but she was engrossed in a stimulating activity, so I forged ahead on my own.

Add:

3 teaspoons vanilla

1 pinch of salt

a handful of raisins and/or walnuts (optional)

Pour into two greased loaf pans and bake for one hour.  Let cool for a half hour before removing from pan.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Weekend Cowgirl March 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Recipe sounds good. I am going to leave out raisins as I am not a fan. Maybe use Crasins?

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Country-Fried Mama March 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Ooh, I bet that would be good!

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March 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Maybe Belly’s looking up “master gardener” in those yellow pages. If she finds one, do you think he travels?? We could surely use a consult since we get the same result as you and CFD every year: lots of sweat, little fruit.

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Mindee@ourfrontdoor March 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I adore zucchini bread. But really? It wouldn’t grow for you? Maybe it’s the climate. Around here you can’t get it to STOP growing until it freezes.

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Country-Fried Mama March 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm

That is what is so frustrating about it, Mindee. Everybody says if you plant zucchini you’ll be drowning in it by the end of the summer. Apparently, I have a special talent for killing this hardy plant. Yay, me.

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