Sunday, June 8, 2014

CUCUMBER BREAD By Ronda Hinrichsen

You know how necessity is the mother of invention? Well, here's one of my crazier inventions that worked!

Each year, my son plans, plants, cares for, and harvests our garden--I know, I'm soooo lucky! Anyway, in that garden, he plants zucchini with the express demand that I make zucchini bread with every zucchini he gets. My children love my zucchini bread (it was my mother's recipe) and eat it almost as fast as their Halloween candy. 

But I digress . . . His zucchini is usually very prolific, and as requested, I spend much of my summer making and freezing zucchini bread. But this year, if you can believe it, the zucchini DID NOTgrow, and my kids were not happy. Not the quiet kind of unhappy. The moaning and groaning kind.

My son did, however, grow way more cucumbers than any one family can possibly eat, especially one whose members don't like relish, so I thought--now picture the light bulb here--zucchini are long and green, and  cucumbers are long and green. Hmmm. I wonder if I could replace the zucchini with--you guessed it--cucumbers!

And you know what? It worked! My kids ate the cucumber bread as voraciously as they ate the zucchini bread. At first, seeing their nervous-turned-to-delighted faces, I felt like a genius. And even now, I still feel pretty clever; but the truth is, I wonder if it truly is the cucumbers that did the trick. Do you think--perish the thought--it could be the chocolate chips I put in it? You know, kind of like "smothered in ketchup" is the only way to eat venison?

I actually don't think so. But then, I'm partial to zucchini/cucumber bread, too.

3 c. cooked & mashed zucchini--this is what the recipe says, but I just grate it (or cucumbers) fresh--about 5 c. fresh, grated "squash"

3 beaten eggs
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 c. flour
(1) 6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips (It calls for semi-sweet. I use milk chocolate.)

1)- Mix together "squash," eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.

2)- Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flour. Mix well & add chocolate chips.

3)- Pour batter into greased bread pans (2 or 3 regular sized pans).

4)- Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. I check for "doneness" with a butter knife at about 30 minutes and determine the remaining time by that.

5)- Remove bread from oven and let cool for approximately 15 minutes before removing from pans.

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