Zucchini Bread… and a winner!!

“I got the call today I didn’t wanna  hear, But I knew that it would come…”

Don Henley, “The Heart of the Matter”

And come, it did.

My cousin called a few days ago to tell me that my aunt had passed away. It wasn’t unexpected –  her mind and  body had been failing in recent months. I was prepared for this, but it still hit me – our hearts it seems, are always slower to accept what our minds know as fact.  I would miss her infectious laugh and her bright blue eyes eyes. I would miss this last connection to my mother. But she had lived a long and very happy life and I know she would not have wanted to continue with what was, at best, a half life.

But this post isn’t about loss or grief. It’s about Zucchini Bread.

So  what  does all this have to do with Zucchini Bread and why I am posting a recipe for it in the middle of January?

I guess I need to back up a little bit for this to make sense.  Ok, a week or so ago I was really in the mood to make a quick bread. A friend had given me a loaf of cranberry orange quickbread over the holidays and I remembered just  how much I enjoyed them.  Growing up, there was always a loaf of something in the fridge – banana bread, apricot lemon, poppyseed, date nut, etc., etc. It would be fair to say that my mother was a tad obesessed with them… I mean anyone who has a recipe in their collection titled “Granny Franny’s Banana -wana bread” must be obsessed right? (and no, I am not making that up.. seriously).  Anyhow, I went through my mom’s recipes,  pulled out her recipe for Date Nut bread (which I will post at some point because I honestly think it’s the best I’ve ever tasted) checked the ingredients, wrote down the ones I was missing.  But, with one thing and another the bread did not get made… and then my cousin called.

Recipe Cards Zucchini Bread... and a winner!!

If you think this is bad, you should see the stack for chicken!

Whenever I am feeling a bit out of sorts or off balance (and yes, a bit teary too) I cook… or bake. So, I decided to make the Date Nut Bread.  But I had put the recipe away…. so, it was back upstairs to the recipe boxes (yes, you read that right, I have 7 shoe size boxes of my mother’s recipes !!) I opened the one with “breads” in it and expected the Date Nut Bread recipe to be right in front.

But it wasn’t.

Instead, my aunt’s recipe for Zucchini Bread was there, front and center.

Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe it was just a friendly reminder from my aunt that those things about her that I loved will always be with me.. in my heart and in my memories,  just like her recipe for Zucchini Bread.

Ok, on to what you really are interested in… the Winner of the CSN Stores Giveway!! The Winner is…

Priscilla of She’s Cookin’!!!!! Congratulations Priscilla!! I’ll email you the details ASAP!!

Here are some other Zucchini Bread Recipes you might like to check out..

Creative Culinary – Zucchini Bread with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Two Peas and Their Pod – Zucchini Bread

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Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes two loaves and it freezes wonderfully. Note that the batter will be very thick like chocolate chip cookie dough. Don’t worry though – the zucchini will release additional moisture to make the bread moist. Also, I did not add nuts to this but it would be delicious with an additional 1 cup of toasted walnuts.

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 4 medium)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I used a mixture of regular and sultana (yellow) raisins

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees (if  using a convection oven, pre heat to 325). Grease 2 9 x 5 loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Place the grated zucchini on 3 layers of paper towels to drain.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, adding the vanilla with the last egg.
  5. Beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Gather up the zucchini in the paper towels and squeeze to release additional moisture. Stir the zucchini and the raisins into the  batter.
  7. Divide batter evenly  between the two pans. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Cool on racks. Run a knife around edges of the pan to loosen and turn out. Wrap in saran wrap and foil.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Nancy! My thoughts are with you and your cousin and I hope you both are doing ok in this tough time. I, too, prefer spending time in the kitchen when I need to de-stress. I think things happen for a reason and I would guess that your aunt would see this as a fitting tribute to her. :) Take care.

    • says

      Thank you – as I said, it wasn’t unexpected but I will miss her. My aunt would probably agree – although to truly honor her I should probably have headed out of the kitchen straight to the beach since she loved nothing better than hanging out by the water – pool or ocean it didn’t matter!!

  2. says

    First of all I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt Nancy, secondly how can anyone remain sadden after taking a glance at that picture of your zucchini bread? It’s just gorgeous! It makes you feel warm and loved, which leaves no room for sadness.

    • says

      Aww… thank you! She was a great lady and I hope I age as gracefully as she did! Breads do make me us feel that way.. maybe that’s why they always refer to “breaking bread” with someone?

  3. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt, Nancy. What a fitting tribute this post and recipe is. My mother-in-law makes a wonderful zucchini bread, but it doesn’t include raisins like this one. I’ll be changing that the next time I make it.

    • says

      Thank you – she was a wonderful person and an amazing aunt – we lived 3,000 miles apart my whole life but she and my mom wrote to each other every week for over 40 years!!
      You probably can’t tell from the photograph but the raisins I used were HUGE!!!

    • says

      Thanks Priscilla – I definitely did think about her when I was making the bread. She wasn’t “into” cooking like my mother was and this definitely was one of her better recipes! Hope you enjoy your little shopping “spree”!!

  4. says

    I’m very sorry about your aunt. You and I are having synchronicity in the following ways:
    1) I just lost my aunt two weeks ago
    2) I decided I wanted to make a different aunt’s noodle kugel for the FBLA meeting, so last night I went through my recipes and found her handwritten recipe for it (in pencil!), and it was very touching to see it, much like your shoebox experience
    3) I just came home from Sprouts market with a container of medjool dates and just ate a few and was thinking of making date nut bread as it’s been a while (since I’ve had a date).

    • says

      Ok, that is just too weird!! I am sorry about your aunt as well – it really is the “sucky” part of life! I am bummed I am going to miss the noodle kugel – it’s one of my favorites and I’ll bet yours will be amazing!!!
      LOL!!! “It’s been a while (since I’ve had a date)” – you never cease to make me laugh!!!!

  5. says

    So sorry to hear about your aunt. :( But happy you were able to bake up some memories. :) We grow zucchini every spring; bookmarking this for later this year when we have more zucchini than we know what to do with!

    [K]

    • says

      Thanks – I will miss her – she had a great life and was a terrific role model – hope I age as well as she did! This recipe is a great use for extra zucchini!!

    • says

      Hey Mr. K!!

      Thanks, she was a wonderful person and I will miss her. This is Mark’s favorite bread – when I made it he said “would you hurry up and take the picture – I’m hungry!”

  6. says

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and that’s so interesting that your aunt’s recipe was front and cent when you went searching. A lovely coincidence. And, a lovely looking bread. The mixed raisins in it sound fantastic.

    • says

      Thank you Lisa – she will be missed but she really did have a wonderful life!!! I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures but the raisins I used were HUGE!!!

    • says

      Thanks Mary Ann – my mom was a really good cook although she didn’t start out that way! My aunt was also a good cook although it wasn’t her first love!

  7. says

    I want to leave some words of comfort but I think you know how to do that better than I do. I think you are so blessed to have had wonderful women be examples in your life. Thanks for sharing your beautiful personality with us and these recipes that are now your own.

    • says

      Thank you Demaris – I truly was lucky to have two very wonderful women in my life who were not only excellent role models but also good cooks!!

  8. says

    I think this was a fitting tribute to your aunt, and I am sure she was looking down on you to make sure you found her recipe!
    Thanks for sharing a family recipe with us, I’m sure it was delicious
    Dennis

  9. says

    I came over to your site via Kim at RGB – any friend of Kim’s is well worth visiting:)
    Sorry to hear about your Aunt. It is so true that we can never be prepared enough to lose someone we love. But as long as they live in our stories, memories, and recipes, they will not be forgotten.
    I will book mark this recipe for the summer ( do not have that many for the zucchini bread:)
    Looking forward to reading more!

    • says

      Hi Lana!!

      Thank you so much for your good wishes and I am so glad that you came by!!! I hope you enjoy the zucchini bread when you make it – it never seems to last long in our house!

    • says

      Hi Tony!!

      Ah.. a not uncommon problem! There could be several reasons. One, not baking the zucchini bread in the correct size loaf pan can result in an underdone loaf. Secondly, baking the zucchini bread at a higher/lower temperature than the recipe calls for .. which leads me to my final reason. Your oven may not be properly calibrated. In order to check, pick up an oven thermometer. Hang it in your oven and then heat your oven – when it is done pre heating, check the thermometer which will give you the actual temperature of the oven. If your oven is off, you can then adjust when you set your oven. For example, if your oven only reaches 325 degrees when you set it to 350 then you know you need to set it to 375 to actually be at 350.
      Of course, if the oven isn’t properly calibrated, the best solution is to have it fixed, but the oven thermometer is cheaper!

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