Ah, August! The time of year when all those people who planted their zucchini seeds in the ground and then carefully nurtutured them last May are now frantically scrambling their arms around from beneath the pile of zucchini they're buried under, searching for a gun to shoot themselves with.
"Why did I PLANT all these?" one friend moaned to me, clutching a huge Old Navy shopping bag bursting with the small summer squashes to her chest. "Was it some kind of sickness? Some mental disorder?"
"A love of zucchini muffins?" I suggested.
She eyed me coldly. "Well, obviously. But they're COMING INTO THE HOUSE."
"I wish I could help you out and take a few thousand off your hands, but I just bought some," I admitted.
"You BOUGHT zucchini? In AUGUST? In INDIANA? Are you STUPID?"
I thought that was very rude. I am not stupid, and if I'd known she was growing them, I would have been over at her house with a basket and an acquisitive gleam in my eye, getting some free zukies. Because that's me: ALWAYS THINKING OF OTHERS.
Anyway, here's a recipe I found online and tinkered with a little. It will produce two deliciously moist loaves of zucchini bread, whether your zucchini were purchased, grown in your own garden, or given to you by a frenzied friend with dirt under her fingernails.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unpeeled shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins (if desired)
Preheat oven to 325o F. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla. Stir in the shredded zucchini, walnuts and raisins. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Pour batter into two oiled loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from loaf pans -- you may need to run a knife gently around the edge of the pans so that the loaves will release. Turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely.
These loaves freeze very well if carefully wrapped and placed in freezer bags. Or just sit down and have a big ol' slice right now.
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