Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zucchini Bread

Last year at Christmas time, lots of my students got me presents.  Kenzie got some gifts too.  Some of the presents stick out in my mind... for example, I got a mug with the handle broken off, and a bag that used to hold cookies but was just crumbs after a ride on the bus in a backpack.  And Kenz?  Oh, she got a Coach bag.  A real one.  We joke about it, but for some reason, Kenzie gets more presents than me, and they're all a bit flashier (the Coach bag wasn't even a fluke.  She also got a huge blue hydrangea at the end of the year!).  Just today, one of her students brought her Mike's Pastries from the North End because she suggested that he visit there.  Adorably, she jokingly told him to buy her some cannolis, and he couldn't remember what she asked for so he bought croissants.  Close enough, kid.

But come on.  Where are my Mike's Pastries?  I don't even like sweets, but still.  This is one of the hardest years I've had as a teacher.  The number of kids in my class, plus the number of special ed kids, plus the number of regular ed kids who aren't so regular... it's really overwhelming.  Let's just say that even the principal has sensed my panic, and there are some times during the day when I have 4 aides.  It's not even enough, but it helps.  And you know what else would help?  A Coach bag.

Okay, that's not true either.  I don't even want a Coach bag.  A little token of someone's appreciation would be nice, though.  When I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (or, as Mark puts it, running around with my head chopped off), a croissant in a box tied with string would go a long way towards staving off the insanity that seems inevitable at this point in the year.

So, imagine my happiness when one of my students brought me in a homemade zucchini bread!  Now, let's be honest: with lots of homemade baked goods, you have to be cautious.  I remember a teacher once telling me when I was student teaching, "never eat a single thing the kids bring from home.  Ever."  I am not as crazy as that... if I think I won't get violently ill from a treat, I'm going for it.  And luckily this is a nice clean little family, so I dug right in.  My student was thrilled because she had done most of the baking herself, she told me.

And then I was thrilled too, because this is a zucchini bread like no other.   I'm not sure what made it so exquisite.  Is it the cinnamon?  The chocolate chips just sprinkled on top?  The zucchini itself, making it moist and dense and flecked with green (Mark asked me if I brought home marijuana bread... is that a thing?).  I don't know what it is about it, but I scarfed down the entire loaf in a few days, for breakfast... and snack.... and lunch....  And again, I don't even like baked goods that much, so this was big.  I decided I had to ask for the recipe and try it out on my own, which I did, and it was just as wonderful.  Just maybe a little bit less because it wasn't handed to me by a grateful fifth grader.  Who needs Coach bags and hydrangeas when you get a zucchini bread like this one?!


zucchini bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1/3 cups chocolate chips, optional (but not really)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Sift together flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, and baking powder.

3) Beat eggs.  Add sugar, vanilla, and oil, and mix well.  Add zucchini to egg mixture.  Add dry ingredients, mixing well.  Stir in nuts if desired.  Pour into 2 ungreased loaf pans.  Top with chocolate chips.

4) Bake for 1 hour.

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