All the heat of the past week brought us great, big okra, cukes, and zukes. I'm staying on top of the harvesting pretty well:
These are only slightly oversized — the one on the bottom is about a normal-sized zucchini. (Not sure why the one on top looks like Bam-Bam's bat.) Considering how fast these guys grow when it's warm and sunny, this represents total success at keeping the zucchini from getting out of control.
Except that we haven't been able to keep up with the actual eating of zucchini, since this is the current state of the kitchen:
We still have all the appliances and most of the cabinets on the wall behind me, so it's not impossible to cook. It's just incredibly unpleasant, especially in the heat and dust. So instead of coming up with creative zucchini dishes, we've been ordering pizza.
Despite the heat and the mess, I did manage to use up one of those lovely summer squashes yesterday to make zucchini bread. Why not bake when the heat index is 117 degrees? It couldn't actually make the house feel any hotter, right?
My zucchini bread recipe below is a modification of the recipe Kirk usually uses from a little local (to Allentown, PA) cookbook called "Gad Zukes! It's a Zucchini Cookbook", which has been out of print for over two decades. You can get it used on eBay if you want, though. It might be worth the hunt if you grow zucchini and can't seem to give it away.
Anyway, I changed the seasoning from vanilla to rosewater, since we have an awful lot of that left in the fridge. If you don't have any, replace it with vanilla, but cut the amount in half.
Rosewater Zucchini Bread
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini, drained (this is roughly 1 normal-sized zucchini)
2 Tbs. rosewater (or more, if you like)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat the eggs to aerate, then add oil and sugar and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients, then gradually beat into the egg mixture. Finally add zucchini and rosewater to batter, which should be thicker than cake batter, but not a dough. Divide batter into 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool in pans on cooling racks for 10-15 minutes.
This morning I ate mine plain, but it's also really great with cream cheese on it. This is Jonas' favorite zucchini recipe ever, so we'll probably end up making a lot of it this summer. It also freezes really well, so I like to eat one and freeze one, since it's a double recipe.
If you look really closely, you can see some flecks of green in the bread. This is because you don't have to bother peeling the zucchini, since the skin is so thin and soft anyway. Also, if you have a zuke that's really far gone, you can cut it in half and scoop out the seeds before you grate it, and it will still work well in the recipe. I have found that chickens are not at all picky about eating the part you scoop out (they like the seeds), so it's a win-win.