December 24, 2008

Happy Festivus!


I’ll be in Nuevo Mexico with the parental unit for a few days, so don’t expect any fun posts or any significant work. I got everything wrapped up today and dropped off at the powdercoater, and I’m ready for some R&R.

As a final holiday note (from Tom Jennings, whose “tough” bike is pictured):

Maida Heatter’s Zucchini Loaf Recipe:

3 cups sifted flour
Scant teaspoon salt (I go with a normal tsp)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (If you’re using freshly grated, this is a good amount, if not, I’d go with a heaping half tsp)
Scant 1 pound zucchini (to make 2 packed cups, shredded)
2 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup salad oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (I’m not shy here either)
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) walnuts, broken into medium pieces (optional)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Butter and flour a 10x3x5 inch loaf pan or any other bread loaf pan with a 10 cup capacity (measured to the top of the pan) Two smaller pans will do fine
-Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and set aside.
-Wash zucchini well, give it a good scrub down, cut off both ends. Grate them zukes. Use a box grater, attachment on a food processor or, if you’re in a pinch, julienne them. Do not puree. Do not drain. -Press firmly into a 2 cup measuring cup (or you can do it twice in a one cup measuring cup…). Set aside.
-In a large bowl, beat the eggs just to mix. Mix in sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat/stir to mix (As far as I can gather, like most other quick breads, you shouldn’t over mix this. Go till just combined). Batter will be thick. Add the zucchini along with any juice that has collected and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. The zucchini will thin the batter. Add the nuts if you so desire.
-Turn into prepared pan/pans, smooth the top/tops and bake. In one large pan it will take one hour and forty five-fifty minutes. In two smaller pans, it will take less time. Either way, bake until a cake tester (does anyone actually own a cake tester? Whatever happened to a toothpick? Or your roommate’s chopsticks?) gently inserted into the middle comes out clean and dry. This loaf will rise high and crack on the top.
-Cool in pan for roughly 15 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack and right the cake so it can finish cooling, right side up.