When I was younger, my grandfather had a large garden he tended to in our backyard. Each summer he would build towers of tomatoes, hills of zucchinis, and poles of beans. Our house was plopped on a bit of land, which encompassed a lawn and a wooden back lot complete with a bridge and a small creek. Our summers were spend fishing for crawdads with bits of luncheon meat tied onto make-shift poles. My father would fasten fishing hooks onto lengths of fishing wire and would tie each string to a stick, found in the nearby wooden area. After catching the crimson red creatures, we would release them; watching as they scooted away with their strong tails.Crossing the red bridge my father rebuilt and painted, led to a stoned path filled with the remains of our home’s old concrete patio. Each step lead us closer to the perfumed garden, an oasis filled with juicy fruit. After opening the hinged gate, I would plop myself underneath the tomato plants and lie between the green arms and the fruit. ( Fruit, Vegetable, what is a tomato anyways?) I can still remember the scent of fresh tomato filling my nostrils, seeping into my lungs and humming about.
The zucchinis were my grandfather’s prized possession. These hefty summer squashes weighed in three times the average weight of ones found in the local grocery store. My mother made zucchini bread frequently with the surplus, even adding chocolate chips for an added surprise.
I decided to bake my zucchini bread following The Betty Crocker Cookbook . Although this is not the exact recipe my mother used to make, it comes pretty close.
- 3 cups shredded zucchini (2 to 3 medium)
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts, if desired
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips, if desired
- Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans or 1 (9×5-inch) loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
- In large bowl, stir zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between 8-inch pans or pour into 9-inch pan.
- Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 minutes.
- Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
Recipe inspired by “Betty Crocker Cookbook”
Don’t you love the lighting on this shot? I thought it was so interesting! Trying out new stuff, still working out how to photograph food with good lighting!