Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tricks and Treats

Among my purchases at last week's farmers' market was an enormous organic zucchini. And when I say enormous, I mean a Goliath-sized club about 18" long and 4" in diameter.

Zucchini as a lethal weapon... you always knew that, right?

When zucchini gets to be that size, I honestly don't think there's much you can do with it except to shred it and use the shredded zucchini in a number of different recipes. So I pulled out a cutting mat, my big chef's knife (a foot-long blade, a tool fit for a Warrior Baklava Queen), and my large food processor. And in no time flat, I had that big ol' zucchini torn to shreds.

("To shreds, you say?" asks the Gentleman. Indeed.)

Of course, I wasn't going to use all of it at once, so I pulled out a big cookie sheet and dumped one-cup clumps of drained zucchini onto the pan and popped it into the freezer. (That's one of the Chef Mother's handy tricks... freeze produce in the portions you want to use later, and then it's easier to thaw exactly what you want. Isn't she brilliant, folks? Let's give her a hand!)

Once those piles froze, I put them into plastic freezer bags and finished with the rest (save for 3 c that had been set aside). I ended up with 9 bags (yes, 9 cups) of shredded zucchini in the freezer, patiently waiting for future recipes.

With the remaining 3 cups of zucchini, well, what's a girl to do but make zucchini bread? The timing was perfect as I needed something new for coffee breaks today and tomorrow, and I can never resist a moist, spicy, nutty, wholesome loaf.

I used the basic Betty Crocker recipe but made half of the sugar unrefined (Sucanat... would have used it for all the sugar, but I'm running low), used whole wheat pastry flour, and added just a couple drops of Fiori di Sicilia, a yummy orange-vanilla flavoring, in place of the vanilla.

A couple of hours later... after the loaf had baked and cooled... I couldn't resist a fat slice for my dessert. And oh my, was it ever good!

I love the tasty treats of summer!


At 7/28/2005 3:41 PM, Anonymous Tina said...

Mmmmmmm...zucchini bread! One of the members at a fitness center where I used to work used to bring in his excess zucchini (and tomatoes, and banana peppers, but I digress), big ones like the one you bought. I made LOTS of zucchini bread that summer!-lol

At 7/29/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

A few years ago I had a bumper crop of zucchini myself and made a fair amount of zucchini bread then. Yum! Not sure I'll go quite as far overboard with it this year, but it's still only July (even if it is nearly over)!


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