Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mike Carson's Zucchini Sweet Bread

I 'm excited to highlight Mike's recipe this week since he told me he only used one cup of cooking oil with twelve cups of flour!

(Makes 10 medium loaves)

In a very large bowl cream together:

4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs

Blend in:

6 cups zucchini, grated (remove seeds and peel, if necessary)
You may also throw in leftover canned peaches with juice, pureed (if heavily sweetened cut back on sugar); ripe bananas, mashed; yams, pumpkin, or squash (cooked and mashed); or canned whole cranberry sauce.
2-4 cups milk or other liquid (less if using runny fruit)
1 T vanilla

In another bowl combine:

9 cups whole wheat flour
3cups white flour
2 T baking powder
2 T baking soda
1 level T ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 generously rounded T salt

Thoroughly combine dry ingredients with liquid fruit mixture.  Mixture should "creep" slowly off large spoon.

Stir in:

2 cups soft raisins and /or Craisins, chopped if desired
(Soften for one minute in microwave with one cup water.
Add raisin water to mixture if needed.)
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups chocolate chips (adjust to taste)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, rack in middle.  Spread shortening with fingers half way up sides of pans. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper or baking parchment, cut to fit.
Spoon batter into pans and level to 2/3 full.  Bake 40 minutes or until top of bread springs back from touch.  Remove pans from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pans using a knife to loosen around edges.  Remove paper from bottoms of bread, and cool on rack two hours before freezing.  Freeze bread in wrappers.  To serve after frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature in sealed container, or microwave on frozen loaf two minutes on high.

The spice measurements given in the recipe are "mild to moderate."  So please adjust to taste.  The raisin, nut and chocolate chip amounts are only suggested, but I like the bread chuck full of texture and flavor.  Also, chocolate chips come in  many varieties and sizes: semi-sweet, milk, and swirled flavors with chocolate.  I like white chocolate and butterscotch swirled flavors a lot.  I even combine different flavors so I can use up partially used bags.  It's really an "everything but the kitchen sink" sort of recipe.  Over the last 20 years I've probably made 100 10-loaf batches.  For company we sometimes serve a warmed slice topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream lightly drizzled with chocolate/or butterscotch syrup. 


Saturday, August 25, 2012


My heart has been sad these past few weeks. My girls have also been sad so I've been giving lots of hugs.  I'm in the middle of reading Laura Bush's Memoir, "Spoken From the Heart".  I've always admired her. I just finished reading about her experiences concerning September 11, 2001.  She was asked to appear on all the major morning television shows. She writes,"What could I think of to offer words of comfort, both to parents for their children and for the nation at large." To the youngest children, she wrote, "When sad or frightening things happen, all of us have an opportunity to become better people by thinking about others. . . . Be kind to each other, take care of each other, and show your love for each other."

That is what Laura Bush saw, in the footage showing the faces of rescue workers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in the eyes of the burned and injured Pentagon soldiers at Walter Reed and Washington Hospital Center, in the people who brought food to grieving neighbors and those who simply sat and grieved with them.  She could feel us joined together as a nation.
I feel that way as a community since we have lost a wonderful teacher.  Mr. Z would want us to reach out and be kind and to show our love for each other.  I am so grateful that my girls had the opportunity to feel his love.  We will never forget him.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What my family liked about Mr. Z

He was a great teacher.
My kids came home from school excited because of him.
He gave us hope.
He gave good hugs!
Mr. Z really liked Halloween.

Jason Zimmerman will be missed but we will always cherish his friendship.
We are so grateful for the knowledge that we will see Mr. Z again some day.
He truly was a gifted teacher.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flowers around Provo Utah

                 I like to take pictures of my neighbors flowers so I have new ideas for next year.

This Provo neighbor said she found an orange Impatient Flower that can grow in the sun.

BYU Flowers

I love anything purple or blue!

Provo Temple

Zenia's and Petunias do well in the Utah dry climate.

Our home.

I must not forget these purple flowers next year.  I got them at Cook's Nursery.

One good thing about the hot month of August is that flowers usually thrive if they have water, flower food, and plenty of sunshine.