Trials and tales of a not-so-advanced gardener--both in the dirt and beyond.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, oh it's magic!

It's the first "fruit" of my labor. The first zucchini has come off of the plant and is ready to be eaten.

I call this magic, because just a few months ago I was putting the seeds in a peat pot. He was planted in early June, so I think we would have had some earlier had I put him in the ground earlier. Moving prevented that.

This guy is about 10 inches long--on Monday he was only 4 or 5. I think the water from the storms really helped. There are about 4 more currently growing getting ready to be devoured.

With the first zucchini comes my first zucchini recipe:
***While you have an abundance of zucchini now, they are hard to come by or expensive in the winter. Grate zucchini, measure the right amount and store in freezer bags. Then you'll have the necessary ingredients for this tasty treat year round.

Zucchini Bread
(I loved making this with Mom when I was a kid)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (the expensive stuff is well worth it!)
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (some people think the walnuts are optional, I think these people are crazy)


Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
**Can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks or frozen for months.

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