Monday, September 28, 2009

Break Fast and Fall Cooking

It feels odd to write about food at the end of Yom Kippur, but we celebrated the end of Yom Kippur with much cooking, baking, and preparing food for our new chest freezer. We also made pizza for the first time for dinner to end our fast (how did we wait this long?).

First the pizza! During naptime today, Aaron and I realized we had no desire to cook in our usual way because we were tired from our day without food. Dinner usually takes an hour to prepare unless we're doing leftovers, and we just didn't feel up for it. Aaron suggested using
the extra dough from bread I made on Saturday and leftover diced tomatoes as the base. When we picked up our CSA box today, we received a bunch of basil to add to the pizza. We added minced garlic, oregano, and our regularly stocked shredded cheese. There aren't any measurements - we just made the pizza look like we thought a pizza should look like before popping it in the 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. We'll let it bake a bit longer next time, but it was fantastic. Food after Yom Kippur always tastes particularly good, but even Caleb who ate all day requested the pizza in his lunch tomorrow. Too bad there were no leftovers!

After the kids' bedtimes, Aaron and I got busy cooking, baking, and preparing food for our new chest freezer. Tonight I mashed up approximately a triple batch of applesauce for about 14 cups of the delightful comfort food. While that was bubbling and cooling, I also made two more loaves of zucchini bread because I discovered a zucchini in our vegetable drawer that was screaming "Bake me!!" And how did I discover the zucchini but by realizing that I needed to pack Caleb's lunch tonight in order to avoid total chaos tomorrow morning. While I bounced between apples, zucchini, and Caleb's lunch, Aaron processed the corn we have both from the farmers' market and the CSA. He steamed it, packed it in freezer bags, and reorganized the chest freezer when he took it to the basement.

I shared "my" applesauce recipe in an earlier post. Caleb's lunch includes a turkey and cheese wrap, leftover grilled green beans, chopped cucumber, and diced white nectarine. I use my mother-in-law's recipe for zucchini bread. I've made variations on this, depending on whether I want to include nuts or use chocolate chips instead of raisins. Here is the original recipe:

Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour (I use white whole wheat, but other flours should work fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (I also add about 1 tsp. nutmeg)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups walnuts (OPTIONAL)
1 cup raisins (sometimes I sub 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 cups zucchini, grated (this *might* be 2 medium zucchini)
3 eggs
1 cup oil

  1. Blend flour, sugar, cinnamon (and nutmeg), salt, baking powder and baking soda in large mixing bowl.
  2. Chop nuts coarsely. Combine nuts and raisins in small bowl and set aside.
  3. Discard tips of zucchini. Grate whole zucchini in food processor. Measure 2 cups of zucchini and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Blend oil and eggs (I do this in a measuring cup). Add to the flour mixture. Stir until moistened.
  5. Add raisins and nuts. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. If you added nuts, you may want to sprinkle nuts on top.
  6. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until loaf tests done.
I often skip the nuts so that I can send the bread to school with Caleb. When I substitute chocolate chips for raisins, I use 1 cup of chips for the 1 cup of raisins. I also have used this recipe with summer squash or combined zucchini with summer squash. You can use the same recipe for muffins by changing your pan (duh!) and reducing the bake time to 25 minutes.

Coming up next ... CSA box and this week's menu!

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