Recipe: Family Recipes are Generational Treasures…Grandmother Helen’s Zucchini Bread

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

3 eggs
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


One thought on “Recipe: Family Recipes are Generational Treasures…Grandmother Helen’s Zucchini Bread

  1. Reblogged this on The Swedish Farmer's Daughter and commented:

    Sometimes it is hard to read old posts on my blog. This zucchini bread recipe is one of those posts, when I wrote in August of 2014, I had just finished several rounds of intense chemotherapy for my multiple myeloma and was preparing to begin the stem cell transplant process.

    I have been greatly blessed in that my myeloma has been very reactive to chemotherapy. However at that time, I was still using a walker and confined to sleeping in a hospital bed in my living room, which I have been already confined in for almost two years, due to a incredible amount of bad pain from all of the compression fractures in my spine and all of the atrophied muscles from being in casts and braces for almost two years. I still had myeloma in my bone marrow biopsies and I needed to decide if I wanted to do the transplant and take one more round of even stronger chemo before the transplant process. I had been on very steroids for months to help kill off the cancer, but a a consequence I had sunk into a rather miserable depression.

    When I read this old blog post this morning, it amazed me how positive it was knowing how sick and precarious my health and options were at that moment I penned it. In fact, during my interview at the University to see if I was eligible for transplant, I actually asked the doctor. in charge of accepting me into their program if this procedure was extending my life or my dying. I was drowning in pain and did not want to pointless extend the inevitable. I will never forget him looking me in the eyes and saying, “Patricia, you took the radiation for you thyroid cancer over 25 years ago and you are still here talking to me today.” To be honest, that was the only part of that long meeting that passed through the clouds of depression and entered my chemo mangled brain. When I heard those words, I went from “I can’t do this anymore” to “Ok, I will do this for my husband, but I will do this.” I not only decided to do the transplant, but took the stronger round of chemo too. I figured I was in the same position a some of my favorite Civil War General’s who believed that you should never enter a battle with one hand tied behind your back. War, especially a war with Cancer, is all or nothing.

    This morning as I remembered what my life was like two years ago, the Bible verse, “Where does my strength come from it comes from the Lord” drifted through my head.

    Yes, the Lord was my strength through all of that suffering and my husband was my support. This morning I, free of walker, pain and cancer, will give the God my praise and thanksgiving and my husband zucchini bread.


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