I love to collect recipes. I think it’s an addiction with me. When I was nine years old, I got my first cookbook – Betty Crocker’s – from Santa. Ever since, I have an insatiable appetite for collecting cookbooks, and tearing out recipes from newspapers and magazines. I am proud to say that I have quite the culinary reference library of new and vintage cookbooks and file folders stuffed with tear sheets.
The very best find in these overstuffed folders are the handwritten recipes given to me by my family and friends. So earlier this week, when I was at my local garden center buying some last minute veggie plants, they gave me a beautiful giant zucchini as a parting gift (must have had too much zucchini inventory for that really hot day). My first thought – a great zucchini bread. I could have googled a hundred zucchini bread recipes, in all variations, but I didn’t. I went into that ol’ reference library of mine, and pulled out one of the bulging file folders. I found just what I was looking for. On a small yellowed 3×5 index card I had written down that wonderfully delicious zucchini bread recipe that my friend Erin (of over 30 years!) had dictated it to me, complete with a little stylized flower doodle. I think the first time I ever tasted zucchini bread, it was Erin’s. I loved it. Down-to-earth – yet very stylish – just like Erin. Thank-you Erin.
Erin’s Zucchini Bread
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini – peeled and grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together all of the above and add:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
* Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, coconut flakes (This time I omitted these and kept it pure.)
Grease 2 loaf pans and evenly distribute the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a 325 degree F oven. Yields 2 loaves.
After they cool, I take them out of the pans: 1 for serving right away, and 1 to be wrapped for the freezer (perfect bread to defrost and warm up for breakfast). I found that the 2 loaves also make for a simple and beautiful dessert to serve guests or take to a party. I sprinkle the loaves liberally with vanilla-infused confectioner’s sugar (just pop a small stick of vanilla into a shaker of confectioner’s sugar). With a sharp knife, that I dip into a glass of hot water for clean slicing, I cut off the ends and then the rest into 1 inch thick slices. I take a very elongated (22 inches long) white serving platter, and I place the two loaves together, so it looks like one very long loaf, and gently fan them out.
I hope this recipe will be “a keeper” for you too!