Normally this time of year I would be processing lots of zucchini picked from my garden to put into the freezer to make breads, muffins and cakes during the winter months and for the holidays, but these past two years have been anything but “normal”.
It will be two years ago in November that I started breaking ribs and getting compression fractures in my back from a case of multiple myeloma. Within the first six months, I went from being the very active and able-bodied press secretary to Minnesota’s Secretary of State, grandmother, mother and wife with lots of hobbies and interests to being in a nursing home on heavy pain medication unable to walk or even brush my teeth myself.
During this time of physical, emotional and mental challenge, I have done my best to keep positive and that means keeping busy. Many of my former hobbies such as biking, hiking, baking, cooking and camping are no longer things I can physically do. I have had to learn to accept my limitations and focus on doing what I can.
I can paint, draw, write and crochet. I paint, draw and write to have a creative outlet to escape the dueling emotions of fear and hope. I crochet hats and mitten sets to do something to help others who will need them this winter.
I have had many mentors in my life that have supported and encouraged my art and needlecrafts. One was my husband’s Grandmother Helen. I know, that if she were alive today, she would be encouraging my every step forward in my war against this cancer. I can just picture her coming to visit me and walking through my door with a box of homemade baked treats in hand. I know that those treats would include a loaf of her moist and delicious zucchini bread.
Many of the recipes on this blog are old family recipes that I want to share with family and friends. Family recipes are generational treasures that need to be shared. The memories they evoke truly are the comfort food of life.
Grandmother Helen’s Zucchini Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini (drained)
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
(1 cup chopped nuts or raisins if desired.)
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs until just frothy. Next add oil, sugar & vanilla and combine. Mix in zucchini.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix.
Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture and blend well.
Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Yield: 2 loaves