Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our Secret Garden

(Do you mind if I change the subject? I could write about something stupid McCain said or my upcoming meeting with the tax man, but frankly it makes me frustrated and sad. Let's talk about something happy, okay?)

My superhuman ability to kill plant just by looking at them is well known. Seriously, any time I get near something green it instantly begins to turn brown. This is why giving me a plant as a gift is really a bad idea. Also it is one of the reasons I do not garden. No matter how hard I have tried in the past, everything I planted died.

Given this info, it may surprise you to know that I married Farmer Ted. Dude, the German LOVES to garden. I think one of the things about the house that he loves the most is his vegetable patch. Last year was for experimenting, but this year . . . well, he was in good form.

There are potatoes and zucchinis, tomatoes and lettuce, peas and onions, garlic and fresh herbs. However, the German always plants enough to feed the entire German army. There is no real reason that the three of us (one being a baby!) needs 5 zucchini plants and 20 kilos of potatoes. Do you know how many zucchinis 5 plants produces? A ridiculous amount, that's how many! Below is the harvest from just ONE DAY. It has been going like this for weeks!

What does one do with all that zucchini? Grill it, broil it, mix it with maggie mix, give to the neighbors and of course make zucchini bread. I went to one of my all time favorite sites and downloaded a recipe. I had never baked a "quick bread" before, so I got everything together and held my breath.

Idiot that I am, I forgot an after shot! But trust me, it turned out beautifully and was really easy!! It was so moist and yummy. I have made about six of them over the past few weeks and taken them and served them everywhere. Most Germans do not call it bread. With all of the sugar in it, it is definitely more of a cake. Anyway the recipe is below. Give it a whirl!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
** Note for people in Germany: I have one of those long German bread pans. I filled up one of those but did not use all of the batter. I baked it with the over/under plates for exactly 1 hour 30 minutes.


Maria said...

Funny. I call my dad Farmer Tim. (He's really a farmer.)

I love You can find a recipe for each and every thing there! Oh, and quick breads are a favorite of mine! Blueberry. Banana. Cranberry. Banana-cranberry. It all tastes good!

:) Hope the meetings go well and McCain dies a slow pitiful (political) death.

Rabble Rouser said...

Mmm that recipe sounds delish. I've been talking with a friend of mine about how we are in our 30s and still have truly sad culinary skills. But I'm going to definitely try this one.

And I envy the German his green thumb. My veggies always die.

PS I sure do hope the tax visit went well!

Jul said...

Wow, that's a lot of zucchini per day! I think it's time to open a stall at the local farmers market...

Carrie said...

You can fry zucchini too- that's the southern coming out in me. I have also steamed zucchini with just a little light butter (and I mean light)...then take some sea salt and grind it on top...that's the Californian I married coming out in me. (except for the butter)