Friday, August 14, 2009

For You on Your Birthday

Happy birthday, Mom. I spoke to you on the phone last night, and you told me that I didn't have to call you again today. Instead, I decided to bake you something. At first, I thought, "a cake!", but I wasn't sure that I'd actually be able to drop a cake in the mail and have it arrive intact some seventeen hundred miles later. Perhaps I should have the same faith in the mail system as Aunt Mary. She'll quadruple wrap a loaf of nutroll, use ice packs inside of a styrofoam cooler and two day FedEx it without a second thought (we were in awe when that package arrived). No, I'm not as brave as she.

So in honor of your birthday, I decided to bake you something and share it with you virtually. Not a cake. Something to mark the time of year when you were born (don't worry, I won't tell how long ago). I know! Zucchini bread.

I remember the zucchini bread that you used to make. Maybe you still do. August is the perfect time to make use of those green gems that are so plentiful during this season. My farmer gave me zucchini last weekend. I love it when he reads my mind.

This isn't your recipe. This isn't even my recipe. I nabbed it from someone else's website and changed a couple of things (I can never just leave it alone). I hope you like it. I hope you can smell the spices seeping out of the warm oven and taste the sweetness of the flame raisins nestled inside.

Mmm, that loaf is really moist and delicious. Some of the bread ended up being muffins. Those are really good, too; especially with a little butter.

I hope your day is spectacular; you deserve nothing less. Thanks for everything. Cheers, Mom, from my kitchen to yours.

Birthday Zucchini Bread
makes 2 loaves
(vegan friendly)
adapted from the zucchini bread recipe posted on Hell Yeah It's Vegan!

6 T. ground flax meal
1/2 C. + 1 T. warm water
1/2 C. canola oil
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. grated zucchini
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 C. raisins
3/4 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flax meal and warm water until it's well combined and gooey. To this, add the oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in the zucchini.

In a larger mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans, or alternately, spoon half of the batter into greased muffin cups.

Bake the loaves for 45-50 minutes and the muffins for 23-27 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.

I can't remember ever having made zucchini bread on my own. What a winner. All that's missing are the candles. Happy birthday!

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