Growing up, my dad always tended a vegetable garden in our backyard, side yard and anywhere else he felt suitable for plantings and so we had an endless supply of zucchini every year. Which also meant we had scads of Zucchini Bread to munch on for afternoon snacks or a quick breakfast before heading out into the wide world that was our neighborhood (because back then, kids roamed freely throughout the neighborhood and had to be home by the time the street lights came on, or at least that's how it was in my neighborhood).
Back then recipes were for eating sake, not for "let's see how much less calories or carbs we can fit into a single loaf." It was purely, this is what we've got, let's see what we can make out of it. And so it went without much of a blink of an eye, "2 cups of Crisco, and add to that a mound of sugar and don't forget the heavy cream." We were none the bit worried about what that would do to our middle. At least it wasn't a concern in our family.
I borrowed my mom's Betty Crocker's Cookbook from way back then so that I could replicate some of the flavors that I remember from my youth. And while the recipes back then called for a bit more butter and sugar, I figured I can still bake this way if I do so only in moderation.
So yesterday I got a hanker'n for Zucchini Bread. Yes, I know, I digressed quite a bit back there so I'm sure you were wondering why I started out talking about my dad's garden. Well, in any event, the Zucchini Bread that I made came straight out of 1981. Funny, the book is titled Betty Crocker's Cookbook, New and Revised Edition. Certainly an odd title for a home cook in 2009. But it took me down memory lane and yes indeed, the Zucchini Bread came out just as I remember. If you don't mind indulging, you should try this some time. Oh, and by the way, my friend Cristin, "Cristin meet world, world meet Cristin" made a Zucchini Bread last night too, but hers was a recipe from Whole Foods. I'm going to ask her for the recipe and hopefully have it to share with you soon. In the meantime, here's the circa 1981 version:
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (I found that 1 medium sized zucchini was equal to about a cup)
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 9x5x3 inches. Mix shortening and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, zucchini, vanilla extract and water. Blend in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans. Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes; cool slightly. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans. Cool completely before slicing. To store, wrap and refrigerate no longer than 10 days.
Betty Crocker's Cookbook, New and Revised Edition, Including Microwave Recipes, Golden Press/New York.