Monday, August 8, 2016
On The Menu: Summer Cooking Adventures, Part Three: Zucchini Bread
I confess, I have always wanted my own backyard garden. It's true and yet, my tendency to kill and maim every plant I have ever tried to grow had made me somewhat apprehensive. This sort of venture just did not seem tailored to my skill set. Last year, however, a bit of research suggested that zucchini were easy to grow. "If you're a beginning gardener," the articles said, "zucchini are for you." There was even a strong suggestion that this endeavor COULD NOT FAIL. And, in a sense, they were right. Planting a few zucchini plants in a small patch in my backyard made me feel all the feels I would imagine a seasoned backyard grower experiences. I was living off the land. I felt successful from the first watering and the plants thrived. In fact, they seemed to multiply at an alarming rate. Before I knew it, they were spreading out of their designated area. At a certain point, I felt there was a real chance that they would become sentient and I would wake one morning to find them knocking on my door announcing plans to take over the world. After which, they would suck out my brain, turn me into a pod person, and force me to do their evil zucchini bidding. The final yield was impressive. I truly had no idea what to do with the initial crop of zucchini, let alone the multiple bumper crops. I remember, after what seemed like the fifteenth harvest, quietly weeping and asking, "why won't you die already?" I dreamt of ways to "do away" with the seemingly unkillable plants, some of which involved clandestine visits to the patch under the cover of darkness armed with shears, hefty bags, and desperate rage. When questioned later about the garden's destruction, I planned to blame the carnage on a roving gang of raccoons. Truth be told, there were simply not enough recipes. I sauteed, diced, chopped, and added them to every meal. I gave them away as gifts. I considered standing on my corner with an armful of zucchini and flagging down passing cars begging them to take the excess off my hands. Or, attempting to toss them into their open windows when they slowed at the corner stop sign. Then, I found this recipe. I realize recipes for Zucchini Bread are common, but this one is just amazingly good. The top gets golden brown and has a slight crunch while the inside is moist and flavorful every single time. It is one of the few recipe cards from my mother's collection that has made it into regular rotation. Best of all, the loaves freeze well so you can enjoy the zucchini-ness for months to come. So, I baked away my zucchini invasion. I'm even considering planting zucchini again in the future. But, probably not.