These last three weeks of isolation has brought some serious time for reflection… and some purging, but I’ll save that for later. I realized something during my solitary walk this morning – it was SO quiet! It was almost as though the earth was rejoicing in the peace that the forced human quarantine had brought about. Yeah, I know Mountain Home AFB, Idaho isn’t a grand metropolis, but there are usually kids riding to the bus stop, their laughter bubbling up between the sound of their parents rushing to work… In 90 minutes of walking about, I saw one car, one gator (the 4-wheeled variety, not the the 4-legged kind!) about 30 birds and 1296 whistle pigs! 🙂 As much sadness and anxiety this virus has caused, looking at the positive, it has brought about more time for reflection, time to laugh with our children and talk to our partners, time to rest and heal when necessary, time to learn to bake for our neighbors, sew masks for our healers, learn to do without… and time for the world to heal (have you seen some of the “from space photos”?).
If you are working from home, or just working on keeping sane, give yourself permission to listen to some music instead of the latest pandemic numbers, take a walk and see the new spring growth going on around you. Be kind to yourself – enjoy a little bit of how the good old days used to be! I’m doing this by baking an old recipe I found in my box for my Grandma Birch’s Zucchini Bread… yes, that is my 6th grade writing! Thank goodness for Mrs. Johnson’s penmanship lessons!
Grandma Birch’s Zucchini Bread
- 4 cups zucchini, shredded onto a paper towel or kitchen towel
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup raw sugar
- 2/3 cup oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups + 2 T flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg
- 1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (or 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained) optional, but SO delicious!
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 8 or 9 inch loaf pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
Mix zucchini, sugars, oil, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl – add pineapple, if using. Sift dry ingredients together and add to zucchini mixture. Stir in nuts if using. Pour into prepared pans; Bake 60-80 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing to wire cooling rack.
Optional cream cheese mixture
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 T flour
- 4 T sugar
Add all ingredients to medium bowl and beat until smooth. To add to banana, pumpkin or zucchini bread, pour about half the batter into prepared pans, spoon cream cheese mixture, then top with remaining batter. Bake as directed above. Alternately, you can dollop by spoonfuls and swirl with batter. Cool completely before cutting and devouring!
Stay well friends –