(mis)adventures in baking

i’m a terrible baker and i always have been. it’s not that i can’t do it, i just don’t do it that well. i suppose this might change if i actually tried to improve but, i don’t. it’s not that i’m lazy, i just don’t enjoy the act of baking… it’s complicated and i feel bogged down by the details and i also can’t help but feel a bit pressured by all the guidelines to get it right and all that. i’m just not a precise person and baking does not appreciate my ‘flow’.

oddly, i want to be a good baker. really, i do. i like the idea of being a good baker and think it suits me, or some version of me i haven’t quite blossomed into yet (?). i even want to wear a cute apron and have the house smell yummy like my latest creation. i want to be cute like that- just like how i want to knit and play acoustic guitar- but, it’s a fantasy self. i don’t pursue any of it with any conviction. it’s more of a crush i have on the idea. more romance that then any kinda concrete goal. maybe i am lazy, after all…

anyhow, the point is, the moo has decided that he only wants finger food, most of the time anyhow, and he is not quite mature enough to appreciate handfuls of cooked veggie deliciousness nor can he appreciate or even manage raw veggies. here in lies the problem… this calls for some creative solutions and veggie baking seems like my best bet. luckily, i can get over me to get veggies into him. i mean, if there is one thing parenting teaches you (over and over and over) it’s that you gotta put yourself aside and do what you gotta do to meet your children’s needs. so, some research was done, some planning occurred, a much less spontaneous grocery shop was completed, and me and baking made friends this morning. the kitchen hasn’t forgiven me yet but, overall, recipe number 1 worked out. the moo loved today’s final product and i did too so, i thought i should share the recipe. enjoy!

Zucchini-Carrot Spice Bread by Jennifer Wickes

1 1/2 cups zucchini — shredded
1/2 cup carrot — shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached flour — sifted
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
1 cup walnuts — chopped (optional)
1 cup raisins — optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (for a glass loaf pan, reduce the heat to 325°). Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans.

Clean the zucchini, cut off the ends, and shred using a grater. Peel the carrots, trim off the ends and shred with a grater. Mix the zucchini and the carrot with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place in a colander with a heavy pot on top. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. This will help rid the vegetables of excess water.

Sift together the flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the applesauce a little at a time and beat well. Then, add the sugar. While still beating, add the pumpkin.

Mix in the vanilla and the lemon peel. When thoroughly mixed, add the carrot and zucchini.

Add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Be careful not to over mix. Slowly mix in the nut and raisins.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Store in a refrigerator wrapped in waxed paper, then in foil.

Yield: 2 loaves (20 servings)

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One Comment to “(mis)adventures in baking”

  1. Have you seen the cookbook Deceptively Delicious? Easy to follow and super tasty……mwah!!!

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