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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Full Effect

For years, Deborah has been telling me about her Nana.  To say that Nana was a pistol would, I think, be a vast understatement.  A real firecracker, that Nana.  Or at least that how she's always sounded to me.

In any case, years ago Deborah gave me Nana's eggplant parmesan recipe.  It was delicious.  In fact, Nana's is the only eggplant parmesan I have made since.  It's that good.  There's just no reason to look any further.

So imagine how pleased I was, when complaining about our overabundance of CSA zucchini, that Deborah mentioned that Nana also made the best zucchini bread ever.

Recognizing that Deborah may have been a little on the, shall we say, partial side, I decided to give Nana's recipe a try myself.  It's not as though I didn't have enough zucchini to try 200 of the best zucchini bread ever recipes.  I was game for the try.

Was Nana's the best zucchini bread I have ever eaten?  I have no idea because, after all, what is best?  But I will tell you this: It was pretty damn good.  Deborah's praise was not misplaced.

But then, on reflection (and a lot of very slim slices because I was just testing for professional purposes), I figured out why Deborah said Nana's recipe was the best ever.  What made Nana's so delicious, was what it tasted like the morning after.   Deborah directed me (in large type on the email), that to achieve the "full Nana effect", the bread should be toasted and slathered with cream cheese.  The moisture from the zucchini combined with the crunch from the wheat germ and the nuts made the bread the perfect bed for the cream cheese.  And everyone knows that the perfect bed makes everything that much better.

And that, my friends, is why Nana's is, in fact, the best zucchini bread ever.

Recipe:  Nana's Zucchini Bread


3 eggs
1 cup salad oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 teaspoons maple syrup
3 1/2 cups coarsely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup finely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour 9x5 inch loaf pans.

Beat eggs until frothy.  Add oil, sugars, and maple syrup.  Continue beating until the mixture is thick and foamy.  Stir in the zucchini.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and walnuts until thoroughly blended.  Fold gently into the wet ingredients.  Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into the loaf pans and bake for 1 hour, or until the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pans and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the breads cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.

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