Saturdays tend to be all things food. Meal planning for the week. grocery shopping. Baking. It’s rather a lovely thing. I like having a pattern in my life, a certain amount of predictability in a very unpredictable life.
Invariably, when I cook I have Jack digging his hands into the flour and Jameson loudly banging wooden spoons on pots and pans from the freshly emptied cabinet. I think that I want to cook alone and I know that I could accomplish infinitely more if I didn’t have to rush to the refrigerator every five minutes to extract the toddler and pry the bottle of soy sauce from his sticky little fingers yet again. But sometimes I picture myself alone in a quiet house with no little helpers running amuck. Then I would have no reason to bake warm, spicy zucchini bread. My home would have no heartbeat.
My favorite grocery store often has a rack full of ugly produce that is just about to turn and has been marked down considerably. Often I see bags of sad zucchinis and snatch them up. Then I take them home and put them through the handy grater attachment on my mixer. I seperate the grated zucchini into two cup increments, place them in freezer bags and freeze them flat. My family says they hate zucchini. They have no idea how much of this stuff I am feeding them against their will. I throw it into meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, or chili and they are none the wiser. But one thing that I don’t need to be covert about is my zucchini bread. They are unabashed fans. Could this be the nice little kick thanks to the cloves? likely it is the fact that there is nearly as much sugar as there is flour and certainly any nutrients that my shredded zucchini wanted to offer has been negated by that fact.
For your Frugal Friday fun, I present to you my favorite zucchini bread recipe taken from Mary Ostyn’s Family Feasts on $75 a Week. I’ve featured a number of her recipes because she has a happy knack of making delicious food that doesn’t break the bank.
makes two 4 x 6 inch loafs prep time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2.5 Cups all-purpose flour
- .5 cup wheat germ
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- .5 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2.25 cups sugar
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour two 4 x 8-inch loaf pans.
- Combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium bowl with a fork.
- Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and, if using, nuts until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until a tester inserted in the counter comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pans and completely cool before slicing.
Prepare for sugar highs from all small human people.