Monday, June 28, 2010
Baking Day Yesterday
A friend brought us some extra vegetables last weekend. So this past week we ate fried okra and fried yellow squash, a huge pot of purple hull peas and delicious sliced tomatoes. I had giant salads for for lunch 2 days and there were enough of the wild plums to make a pint of jelly for the resident poet. I still had 2 yellow squash, 3 cucumbers and a giant green squash of unknown origin. It was not zucchini like in the picture above, nor any other type of green squash I have seen.
So.......I decided to treat it like zucchini and made bread. 5 LOAVES OF BREAD!!!!!!
Yup, that squash gave me enough shredded goodness to make 5 loaves of squash bread. I tried one recipe from a local church cookbook, it was really hard to mix as it called for shortening and you couldn't pour the batter, just plop hunks in the pan. It turned out ok though, 2 loaves in that recipe. Then I looked for some different recipes while those first 2 were baking.
My oven does not work due to a faulty temp gauge they tell me will cost more to repair than to buy a new stove, so I use a toaster oven which works fine and actually saves electricity as it is less to heat up. However I can only bake one loaf at a time. So while I was waiting I perused the many cookbooks on my collection, mostly 1940's and earlier. Apparently zucchini bread was not popular or thought of way back when. Finally I pulled out the Settlement cookbook I picked up for a few bucks last summer at a yard sale. This was a 1976 reprint of the 1965 edition.
Aha! More like the recipe I remember using as a teenager. This one was nearly identical except it uses oil instead of shortening. Much easier to deal with.
I had a bit more than 3 cups of shredded squash left so I increased the recipe half again and it worked our fine. And that batch tasted even better than the first one did, not so dry.
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups grated/shredded raw zucchini with skin
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder & cinnamon in one bowl.
Beat eggs in a large bowl, stir in sugar, oil zucchini and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and then the nuts. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, bake at 350f for 1 hour.
Wonderful with butter spread on it!
In case you're wondering, The Settlement cookbook came about in 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There was a great number of immigrants from Europe and to help the newcomers learn about American life and ways, classes in English and citizenship, sewing and cooking were organized and held in a neighborhood house called 'The Settlement'. Mrs. Simon Kander was in charge of the cooking classes and regretted her students had to spend so much time laboriously copying recipes from the blackboard and thought of printing the lessons and recipes.
Her volunteer ladies' committee approved the plan but the conservative gentlemen of the board refused to authorize the $18 required. They suggested the ladies have the work done on their own and laughingly offered to "share in any profits from your little venture."
The ladies were undaunted and with the help of printer, advertisements were solicited to help defray the cost. A more ambitious book actually became possible, so Mrs. Kander collected recipes from the committee and friends and even noted chefs. Long story short, in 1901 the 178 page book appeared, 1000 copies. As of 1976 when my copy was made, over 1¾ million copies had been sold. No telling how many more since then. I highly recommend it in any version, it is easy to read and follow and has wonderful recipes you don't have to go out and buy special items for.
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