Debbie Dance Uhrig
What a beautiful Labor Day weekend it was in the Ozarks. The weather was a delight and Southern Gospel wrapped up at Silver Dollar City. My assistant, Bonnie, and I completed twelve nights of box dinners on the back porch, at the culinary school. The guests were content and the music was outstanding. Whether you live close to the Branson area or far away, dinner on the back porch of the culinary school is not to be missed.
Once again as soon as I decided upon my recipe for the week I was ready to go make it myself! If your zucchini crop is still prospering this is certainly a bread recipe you will want to try. The bread is extremely moist, not only is it tasty, but the structure of the bread is good for presentation. Everyone has special memories of restaurants they’ve enjoyed over the years. One of mine was in Dillion, Colorado, at Keystone Lodge. It wasn’t the restaurant exactly but more the presentation. They had a small salad bar and at the end was a huge block of cheese accompanied by 3-4 different types of sweet breads. Talk about yummy-
This is a great time of year to rustle up a few breads for the freezer. I like to use them to accompany breakfasts, especially when company’s in town. They’re also just as delicious for dessert or in the middle of the afternoon with coffee. Like many recipes once you get a good foundation you can frequently ‘twist’ it to a new flavor. In fact you could easily turn this recipe into a carrot cake bread!
If you’re serving the bread with afternoon tea or coffee a small bowl of fruit would be a nice accompaniment along with a bit of whipped butter or cream cheese. Throw in a few of your favorite bagels and you might as well have an event.
Speaking of events, this is probably one of my top tips for readers and guests. Entertain at least once a month in your home. Think up a reason to party. We are having a red party in early October to celebrate the refinishing of my red retro furniture. And the new (red) paint job on our son, Phillip’s, pickup truck! Once we hung a new picture in our home, since it was a Moose in the woods photo we had a wild game supper. Breakfasts are probably one of the most inexpensive meals to host or entertain. The only downside to these early events is the ‘dust bunnies’ seem to out-do themselves. (They show more!) Thus the reason why it’s also nice to entertain at night! Entertaining also encourages us to keep our homes and landscaping in shape.
You will notice in the recipe I discuss the need to cover the bottom of light colored breads. Seriously, this is something to be aware of in your baking. When I do light breads, i.e.: poppy seed, I will lower the temperature to 300 degrees and add parchment to the bottom of the loaf pan. This gives you a bread that’s not dried out, but moist all the way to the bottom. I know many of us have been at events where you couldn’t eat the bottom inch of the bread because it was overbaked. Remember if there’s just a meniscal amount of wet dough on the toothpick, when you test a baked good, go on and take it out of the oven. Like a good steak it will continue cooking as it sets.
Enjoy this recipe, it’s become one of my favorites any time of the year. Call me when it comes out of the oven and I’ll be right over!! Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Zucchini Pineapple Bread
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups unpeeled zucchini squash, shredded
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 cup toasted pecan or English Walnuts, chopped
1 (4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the eggs add the sugar, oil and vanilla until foamy. In a separate bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients as listed above. Combine the two mixtures together. Now stir in the shredded zucchini, pineapple, raisins, pudding and toasted nutmeats. Oil and flour (2) 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This is a very dense bread, so the baking time may go over what is stated. Sometimes it’s good to place parchment paper on the bottom of the bread pan when you know the bread is going to be baking for a long duration. This just keeps the bottom from getting too dark brown. When it comes to sweet bread this is certainly a unique recipe.