Big Ugly Blog, September 2023
It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of the growing season, though many gardeners have planted a second crop like beans and peppers that they hope to harvest before the cold really sets in.
Despite the usual garden pests like chipmunks (cute, but greedy), deer (can eat the garden empty in one night), and bugs (almost worse than either chipmunks or deer, and a whole lot less cute), gardeners have managed to have a fairly bountiful year, and look to have some good eating once the cool weather kicks in and frost puts a stop to further harvests (except for winter hardy plants like kale).
Gardeners have been busy preserving their harvest until late at night. Kraut, pickles (including zucchini pickles and relish!) are just about done. Salsa and spaghetti sauce have been canned. Green beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies have been canned or frozen. Onions, peppers, and other things have been dried. Winter squash, sweet potatoes, are still waiting to be harvested, as are some regular potatoes. Some people like to leave sweet potatoes in the ground until the first frost threatens them.
With that said, not everything has been preserved for later use: loaves and loaves, and more loaves of zucchini bread have graced many tables, as have zucchini fritters, grilled zucchini, and even chocolate zucchini cake (one way to get your kid to eat veggies!). To me, nothing smells quite as good as a loaf or two of zucchini bread baking in the oven on a summer day, and nothing tastes quite as good as a slice of freshly baked zucchini bread still warm from the oven. A couple of my gardeners shred their zucchini and then freeze it so that they can use it to make zucchini bread over the winter.
Easy Zucchini Bread
2c self-rising flour
1 ½ c sugar
1 T cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
¼ t allspice
¾ c oil
2 t vanilla
2 c chopped black walnuts
3 c shredded zucchini
- Preheat oven to 375 and spray two loaf pans with baking spray.
- Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil, and vanilla.
- Add zucchini to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients and walnuts and stir just until mixed.
- Divide between the two loaf pans and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until done.
- Cool about 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
*Black walnuts taste so much better than the English in this recipe
**If you don’t care for nuts, try adding 1 c dried cranberries instead.