My nearly 10-year old daughter actually laughed out loud when I told her about this upcoming "holiday" and then asked me if I had made it up! NO -- I DID NOT make it up. It’s actually called National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day! Apparently it was created for those who find themselves up to their eyeballs in zucchini -- and it was especially intended for those zucchini that are too large for anything but zucchini bread or use as weapons against those caught trying to steal tomatoes from your garden!
I'm going to tell you how the holiday really works, and then I am going to tell you how we are going to honor the holiday. You are SUPPOSED to sneak as much overgrown, barely-edible zucchini as possible onto your neighbor's porch under cover of night as you can get away with. And, let me tell you that, staggeringly (because we DO NOT have an abundance!), we've ended up with MORE THAN ONE hugely overgrown zucchini -- our heirloom plant produces bright yellow and pale green zucchini and is especially problematic, as the pale green ones tend to stay hidden amongst the huge zucchini leaves until they are giant! That said, as we have three children who LOVE the idea of this holiday, and cover of darkness comes late in the summer, I decided some modifications were necessary. This was to be a daytime caper. Think door-bell ditching, running children, tires squealing...
Once I started thinking along the lines of modifications, I had to make a few more. Why sneak overgrown, just-fit-for-zucchini bread zucchini onto my neighbors' porches when I could sneak freshly baked Spiced Zucchini Bread loaves?
With that modification, the fun really began -- how many freshly baked loaves of zucchini bread could I produce and which of our neighbors -- and friends -- should be the recipients? Let me tell you -- our children would have had me baking all day...
I broke out a tried-and-true but not yet Gluten Free recipe and got to work. The awesome thing about this recipe is that it sneaks a vegetable into a super yummy DAIRY FREE treat! AND, what a great way to teach our children about the importance of doing something nice "just because."
Check back later for an update...the "delivery" should be pretty entertaining!
WAIT -- you found yourself the RECIPIENT of a giant overgrown, barely-fit-for-human-consumption zucchini!?! I can help! Here's my recipe for Spiced Zucchini Bread (don't be afraid of the spices -- they are well-balanced, and my children love this bread!):
SPICED ZUCCHINI BREAD
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
¼ cup vegetable oil (or, if you are trying to avoid soy, melted butter works -- cooled)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and sugar loaf pan. (This creates a yummy outer edge on the loaf.) Mix dry ingredients – except the sugar -- together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Grate the zucchini. I love my Cuisinart for this purpose. Once the zucchini is grated, add the sugar, egg and oil. Mix well. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, mixing well. Turn batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes. Loaf will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.