Saturday, May 15, 2010
Attack of the Mutant Zucchinis
I've never grown zucchinis so I'm not sure what a normal, regulation-size zucchini is supposed to look like. But somehow I fear the ones I've got going in my garden may be E.T./Steven Spielberg hybrids. The second one we've harvested weighs around two and a half pounds, measures 11 inches--and it looks as if it wasn't completely done growing.
Plus there are three or four more coming along just from this one plant. On another corner of this bed there's another plant that is just beginning to flower, though according to my labels it's a different variety so maybe it won't grow as large. What continues to be curious is that everything is this horse manure compost-enriched bed seems to be thriving, almost unnaturally, whereas in the other bed enriched with sheep manure the plants looks shrimpier if not downright unhappy.
At any rate, there's a lot of zucchini down the road and so I'm grateful to blog reader Dinah Ragsdale of Lindale, Texas for sending me a terrific recipe for Honey Zucchini Bread. It's moist but holds together, and is sweet without being cloying. Best of all it's really easy to make, according to Stew.
I tried it on our gardener Felix, a critic always a bit leery of gringo confections (except for Classic Coke and sugar-dusted "donitas"), and he loved it.
Honey Zucchini Bread
3 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp. each salt and baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups finely grated unpeeled zucchini
3 eggs slightly beaten
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Heat oven to 325. Grease 2 loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2) In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl mix eggs, oil, honey, vanilla and zucchini. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix only enough to moisten. Do not beat. Batter will look green but don't fear. Add 1 cup chopped nuts if desired. Pour into loaf pans and bake 1 hour. Cool on rack 10 minutes then remove from pan and complete cooling on rack. This bread freezes well.
My twin sons, now 38, loved this recipe and would make it for us. They knew their way around the kitchen...we thought. Only one time did the zucchini bread (sweet enough to call cake) not turn out good. It was a mystery until the next night when, making a Greek salad, I discovered that the cucumber had disappeared.
Note: If you use smaller loaf pans, such as the foil single use kind, you would need to reduce the cooking time. Probably need to test with a toothpick so you don't over cook. It would probably make 3 or 4 of the smaller sized loaves.
Now I must search the Internet for any recipes for fritters, soups--just about anything involving zucchinis--just before the 11-12 varieties of tomatoes start their own riot in the garden.