That favorite family or personal go-to recipe that that we don’t really need a recipe to make but consulting it is like clutching a security blanket. For me, it’s my Grandmom’s Meatballs, a Butternut Squash Soup recipe that I clipped out of the Philadelphia Inquirer 25 years ago and a Zucchini Nut Bread recipe from one of Sister’s first cookbooks, the Country Fair Cookbook. I asked for custody of the treasure several times, but she has refused.
Several swashbuckler-like attempts to commandeer the book have also failed.
Anyway, originally published in 1975, all recipes in this book are Blue Ribbon Winners from State or Country fairs around the United States. I grew up in Philadelphia and we didn’t have Country Fairs –unless you count the bake sales at Saint Francis Xavier – so there are no local entries.
At least that I remember.
And, as you just read, I don't have the book to consult.
I have tweaked this recipe over the years introducing some brown sugar, whole wheat flour, shredded carrots and sometimes eliminating the walnuts, like I did this time. I think my modifications have made the bread better, but do make it both ways and you be the judge! Either way, it is a very moist bread and if you wrap it tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight, the flavors will mellow and each slice will be like a little piece of baked bliss.
So pick up some zucchini, collect your spices, grab your grater and bread pan and prepare to have your home smell like the best, most calming bakery you ever meandered into. This bread is great slathered with cream cheese or butter and paired with a freshly brewed cup of tea.
The following recipe is as published; my changes are in parentheses.
Zucchini Nut BreadFrom: Country Fair Cookbook
Ingredients3 cups sifted flour (I use 2 cups of all-purpose white flour and 1 cup of wheat flour)
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar (I use 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar and ½ cup of brown sugar)
1 cup of cooking oil (I use canola oil)
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
2 cups of unpeeled, grated zucchini squash (I also use ½ cup of grated carrots)
½ cup chopped walnuts
DirectionsPreheat oven at 350 degrees. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs well. Gradually add the sugar and oil, mixing well. Add the vanilla and dry ingredients; blend well. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour the mixture into two prepared bread pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.