When I was young there was one thing for certain: at harvest time, there would always be an abundance of zucchini – huge plants that everyone used and then tried to give away to friends and neighbors who already had their own large patch of zucchini plants. Working with a huge stash of zucchini herself, my mother Jessie Huff, in the 1960’s came up with her own version of zucchini bread.
We had just gotten a new kitchen gadget called a blender, and mom was experimenting with it every day. She had a great apple sauce cake recipe and thought that maybe she could adapt zucchini in the same way. Out came the blender. Mom peeled a huge zucchini, chopped it up into one-inch cubes, tossed as many as would fit into the blender, added just enough water to get the blender going, and liquefied the zucchini. She then changed her zucchini recipe on hand to take into consideration the added moisture and baked it off in a loaf pan. The outcome was the tastiest and most moist zucchini bread I have ever had. It soon became a tradition to bake this zucchini bread recipe for every holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Fourth of July. It is so moist that it needs nothing to go with it. But many like to accompany it with vanilla ice cream as they would any other cake.
Mom passed away in 1974, and this is one of many traditions she passed on to me. The recipe in the photos are in her original hand. Every fall when I blend the zucchini and freeze enough to make about 30 loaves of zucchini bread throughout the year, I recall fond memories of us baking together in the kitchen. For me, this zucchini recipe represents comfort food!
Here is mom’s zucchini bread recipe. Enjoy!
Jessie’s Zucchini Bread
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled & blended zucchini *
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 2 tablespoons cinnamon, to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup nuts (chopped) – optional
Beat eggs until foamy.
Add oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.
Mix lightly but well.
Add flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder after sifting them together.
Pour in loaf pans sprayed with oil.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
(Note: if using smaller gift-size loaf pans, bake for 40 minutes.)
Set loaf pan on cooling rake for 15 minutes before turning out the zucchini loaf.
Serve warn with whipped cream of ice cream. Store unused bread in refrigerator up to one week.
* Making blended zucchini: Peel zucchini, cut up into 1 inch cubes, fill blender, add just enough water to blend. Blended zucchini may be stored in tight container in freezer for up to one year. Thaw completely before using in recipe.