The Covered Dish
By Debbie Dance Uhrig
For some ‘odd’ reason last week and the 4th of July feel like they were ages ago.
Perhaps it’s because I’m around home a great deal. If someone asked me what I did last week it’s a bit of a blur. As I really look at this from an analytical standpoint I think it’s because I was doing so many different things.
Probably one of the interesting things on Monday, see I do remember that! Was the fact that I went with my husband, Ervin, to dump a load of tree limbs, at the recycle center a few miles North. This recycle center is for tree limbs and brush, etc. I glance behind us and see something ‘white’ sticking up through the tree limbs. I had Ervin investigate, son of a gun, there was a fairly decent picket fence. We loaded the 8 foot long pieces and took them to our friend’s farm, where we will power wash, paint and re-use. Of course I’ll line the back with a plastic mesh to keep small critters at bay. But, what a find. Soooo, if any locals read this column, and it was your old fence, we thank you!
We live in such a throw-away society today, I just hate it when you can’t recycle.
I decided to run the zucchini pineapple bread because I have a feeling, some of my readers have zucchini literally, everywhere. Mine are just starting to set, due to the heavy rains throughout May. If you are freezing for later use, let me give you the best tip ever. DO NOT grate on a box grater, for the deep freeze. Instead use a food processor. Through the food processor the vegetable doesn’t get bruised, like it does when you are pushing against a grater. If the box grater is your only choice then make sure you grate 1/2 of the required amount, plus what is required for the dish.
But now, let’s think tropical. I’ve made this recipe several times and I know I love it. But how about another twist, you know me….For tropical, I might start by reducing the zucchini to only 1 cup. Adding 2 average bananas, mashed, and perhaps a 1/2 cup of coconut. You look at the recipe and see what you think on this approach. I’d like to leave in all the zucchini, but I’m just not sure how it would fly. Usually one can answer the question by simply studding the batter.
Remember to bake the bread at a lower temperature to maintain a light colored bread that doesn’t have a dark bottom and edges.
The thing about sweet breads, of this nature, is how well they freeze and how flexible they are in application. I grew up eating banana breads for breakfast, snacks and dessert. I once thought about hosting an open house where the buffet was nothing but sweet breads and fruits. The bread holds form and can be made far in advanced. Allowing such an array of flavors. If you aren’t into yeast breads, like I am, sweet loaves are a great way to spread some love.
Enjoy your week, get off the computer, tablets and phones and create something. Be positive in your actions and the world is your oyster. Remember what the good book says: ‘What we sow, so shall we reap.’ Go get em’ tiger, make a difference! 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.