Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hide The Zucchini

I promised to bring you more fall, and I'm a woman of my word. Something about fall makes you bake. Most people find baking a glorious heart warming experience. I do not. Baking requires trust in the recipe, strict adherence to the rules of baking and has a "no taste as you go" policy in effect. It's not the trust thing I have a problem with, but the fact that you can't "wing it" in baking and turn out the product in the picture... Oh, and my oven hates me.

You are wondering what this has to do with zucchini? Well, this is the time of year when the abundance of summer squash crops can meet up with any ones passionate quest for creative baking material, and inspire the making of zucchini bread. I have seen this phenomena before, I was raised this way, it's a great trick to hide vegetables in yummy baked goods, and all the mom's are doing it.

I grew up on an urban farm. An urban farm is an acre or two in the heart of town where family size crops and barnyard animals abide. On our farm, my industrious mother always planted so much squash, we had to eat it at every meal and every day through the summer. Even our neighbors, saturated in squash, started turning it down.

Toward the end of September it was impossible to keep up, the zucchini grew as big as baseball bats and our protests about eating it grew louder. Mom got creative and ingeniously started sneaking squash into baked goods. Zucchini cakes, breads, muffins started appearing on the kitchen table. Neighbors answered their doors again, welcoming this well concealed version of the vegetable. The whole family loved moms zucchini creations, and though she may have not have fooled anyone, everyone ate more.

Take advantage of seasonal abundance of zucchini, and the natural inclination to bake. This is a recipe you can trust, I found it in Cook's magazine years ago. Follow it and it works! Give some to to your neighbors, fool your kid's and send some to me. I hate to bake, but I love to eat!

Zucchini Bread Ingredients:
1 pound zucchini, shredded
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

Pre heat convection oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5 loaf pan generously with cooking spray.
Shredd and squeeze zuchini to remove water.
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder,cinnamon, allspice and salt in large bowl.
Whis sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice and butter inbowl until combined.
gently fold yogurt mixture and zucchini into flour mixture until combined.
Transfer batter to greased pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and skewer comes out with a few crumbs.
Turn out onto wire rack for cooling.


Anonymous said...

Renee - I remember that urban farm. But I remember you as Monobug Renee rather than Chef Renee. Love your blog!

-Kim Hoffman Shafer

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

I remember having a friend named Kim Hoffman,many years this a coincidence? That would be just too cool! Renee

Anonymous said...

One in the same! My mom wants you to do a recipe on your mom's pomegranate chili we had at the farm once. I don't remember the chili, but I remember many good times even after you left La Mirada for Yorba Linda. Send me an e-mail. khshafer at hotmail.


Renee Weir- Fontes said...

NO WAY! How did you happen to find my obscure blog Kim? Wow! how long has it been? 30 years? I'll ask you more on your email but I have to you remember your easy bake oven? and listening to the "Jackson Five"? It had to be more then 30, Michael had his original nose. Pomegranate Chili? sounds like my mom, I will ask her and I bet she will have a good story!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to receiving the e-mail. Guess you're getting ready for the Great So Cal ShakeOut right now. ;-) You were my first best friend. I'm watching my younger son with his first best friend (he's 5) and it's bringing back so many memories. Talk to you soon!