The one downside to removing the wall unit is that the amount of shelf space available to house my cookbooks was reduced dramatically, but this turns out to be less of a hindrance and more of a blessing. Sorting through the cookbooks, I find myself wondering why I still own one that I have never used, from a restaurant I ate soup in once, 17 years ago, only because it happened to be across the street from my office.
Since the only thing I really remember about the soup is that I thought it was overpriced, even by New York City standards, I am wondering why I bought the book in the first place.
It turns out I have a lot of cookbooks like this, which I put into piles in another room, and, eventually, discarded.
Even though it will be some time before I figure out the remaining details of hanging pictures and placing knick-knacks, the family room is now a cozy place, pleasant to sit in on a weekend morning, drinking coffee and waiting for baked goods to emerge from the oven.
I made this bread right around that time, trying to find a way to make zucchini bread that was a cut above the usual. I found the recipe on the Sur La Table website, but it can also be found in one of their cookbooks, Eating Local; it is probably the best zucchini bread I’ve ever tasted, light and moist, with the carrots adding nice color and sweetness and candied ginger bits adding zest and a bit of texture. Better yet, it makes two loaves, so you can eat one now and freeze some for later. Or, give it to your neighbors, who will probably appreciate it more than some more of your extra zucchini.
Not that I have this problem – I made this bread with the only zucchini I managed to grow this summer. In two years, I’ve managed to produce two zucchinis.
The Child loved this bread, as did her friends, much to my surprise, and the first loaf disappeared on a late-summer trip to the water park with her friends. The second loaf never made it in to the freezer; it was waiting for us when we got home, sunburned and hungry.
- Nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the pan
- 3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup minced candied ginger
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Coat two 8½ by 4½ by 2¾-inch loaf pans with oil or nonstick cooking spray.
- Sift together the sifted flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt and candied ginger.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the canola oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the carrots and zucchini.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.
- Bake until the breads are well risen and firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert and finish cooling right side up on the rack.