There is really only one proper way to celebrate this most blessed of holidays, so Beck and I tried our hands at zucchini bread. And when I say "Beck and I," what I really mean is Beck. The I half was serving 500+ heaping spoonfuls of spanish rice to hungry folks at CHIPS in Brooklyn - an excellent organization you should check out if you have a chance. Beck has been feeling a bit under the weather so she stayed home. Spanish rice + boogers isn't appetizing, no matter how hungry you are.
Zucchini Bread Day aside, I've been wanting to try this quick bread for approximately two years and 11 months, ever since I first breathed in the aroma of my boss's daily slice of home baked zucchini bread toasting in her (illegal-per-building-codes) office toaster.
Two years and 11 months later, my boss no longer eats zucchini bread on a daily basis. Then again, maybe she does...I hardly ever make it into the office early enough to catch her in her illegal toasting anymore, so I suppose I'm out of touch with her breakfast habits. But whether or not she still enjoys it, the national holiday was the extra motivation I needed to move this recipe from my "to try" recipe pile to the "been there done that" pile.
Beck did a great job with this bread (and the photos!), even though the bread didn't rise as much as we would have liked. This is a family recipe for pumpkin bread, with zucchini substituted for the pumpkin.
adapted from Betty Crocker circa mid 1960's, we think
Makes two loaves, or 24ish muffins, or lots o' mini muffins (probably 48+)
2/3 c shortening
2 2/3 c granulated sugar
3 c shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
2/3 c water
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2/3 c coarsely chopped nuts (we used walnuts)
2/3 c raisins (we subbed currants this time)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans or spray muffin pans (or line with paper liners).
2. In large bowl, mix shortening and sugar. Add eggs, water, and zucchini.
3. Blend in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in raisins and nuts.
4. Pour into pans. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly on rack (about 15-20 minutes).
5. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.
6. To store, wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate no longer than 10 days. Also freezes well. Defrost loaves in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
Happy Zucchini Bread Day!