By MEGAN PARKER
CV&T Staff Writer
Growing up my family had a different definition of summer vacation. We didn’t travel, never went to the beach or spent the weekend in Tennessee. My first time traveling out of state was on my Senior Trip and last summer was my first time seeing the ocean.
Now a lot of people would think that our summers were just horrible and boring. Not going on vacation? Me on the other hand, I’m glad we spent our summers at home and with our family.
Young or old, usually everyone in the family spent most of the summer either in the garden or in the kitchen. You were either picking, stringing, snapping or shucking outside, or pickling, peeling and canning on the inside.
My favorite was always stringing the green beans and I still enjoy it to this day. Just not with as much enthusiasm as I use to have.
But out of all of that, my favorite part of summer was walking into my Granny Mary’s house and smelling cinnamon. You see, the smell of cinnamon meant that she was baking bread, and not just any bread, Zucchini bread.
Mmm! That smell meant that either she had already baked the bread and was sitting it out to cool, or it was in the oven just waiting on us grandkids to get a warm slice.
Sometimes Granny would let us help her in the kitchen. Maybe grate the zucchini or break up the walnuts that she put in her bread. Most times we made too big of a mess and she would shoo us out to the front porch.
That was fine with me. From the porch you could look in and see those two beautiful brown loves of perfection cooling on the counter top.
That first bite of warm zucchini bread was pure love, and to wash it down with a cold glass of milk was just perfection!
Now that my Granny Mary has passed on, I make sure to bake a few loaves of Zucchini bread every summer. I’ve changed the recipe a bit over the years, but every once in a while, I’ll make it using her recipe and it brings back all those childhood memories of summer that can’t be brought back. Those memories are better than any vacation I could have ever taken.
Usually, if my husband leaves any left, I share the bread with family and friends. You see, to me, I’m not only sharing a part of my childhood with you, I’m sharing a slice of love, just like Granny Mary.
Meg’s Zucchini Bread
3 tsp vanilla
1 c. applesauce
3 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 c. dried cranberries or raisins
2 c. grated zucchini
In a large bowl beat together eggs, vanilla, applesauce, sugar and cinnamon until combined. In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients together; flour, salt, soda, baking powder. Stir in zucchini, nuts and cranberries into the wet mixture and gradually stir in your dry ingredients until combined. Bake at 350º for 1 hour in greased loaf pan, or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool. Makes two loaves.