Today's Banana Bread; Zucchini Carrot

September 28, 2020

Photographic Evidence


Those years are a mix of fleeting sensory impressions: the smell of grass, a stick, dandelions, your parents happy one day upset the next, the taste of a weeks-old cheerio from the backseat of a car, the indistinctly striped green cylinders that came from the neighbors. Sometimes you didn’t think your mom even appreciated these gifts, which made no sense as they were effortlessly transmuted into something called “zucchini bread”. You remember leaving foil-wrapped loaves on the neighbors doorstep to thank them for sharing the bounty of their harvest. National holidays have been started over worse relationships.

The CSA share this week came with three small yellow squashes. Not quite enough to make a dish of their own, but maybe combined with some of these skinny little carrots? There’s nothing more tedious than grating skinny little carrots as they bend and snap before you’re even halfway down and you lose count of how often your fingertips scraped against the metal edges meant only for food.

The food processor beckons.

To Prepare

It takes some time just to find the processor’s grater attachment. The fat parts of the yellow squashes are just too big but it’s pretty quick to slice them in half, and remarkable how quickly they’re grated. You leave the food processor running as you rinse the carrots, soothed by its gentle whirring. It takes less time to grate the carrots than it did to rinse them — I’ll show you a time saving device!

Finish the rest of the Teff flour, add some spelt flour, and finish the last of the cheap white flour you bought months ago. It feels good to close chapters and make room for new ingredients.

Add salt, baking soda, and just a splash of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots.

You haven’t really planned this out, so better sift through the pantry. A nearly empty bag of pine nuts calls out; it’s a good day for finishing! You’re a closer, a winner.
This bread is going to be great.

Recall your glut of whole coriander seeds and grind some coarsely with mortar and pestle. Don’t worry about the dissonance between your ancient spice grinder and your electric food grater, still full of shredded vegetables.

Add just a little cinnamon, then some fennel and fenugreek seeds. Mix the dry ingredients.

What about some ginger? Your food processor is still ready to go. This could save you so much time! Peel the skin off with a spoon and shred a couple inches of fresh ginger almost instantaneously.

A better cook might have added the eggs first and made a batter into which the vegetables could be mixed, but you’ve dumped everything together before the thought registered.

Mix well. Why not add a spoonful of yogurt and a little olive oil?

Now it’s a touch wet, and anyhow you’ve been looking forward to opening your new flour.

Your old flour was some generic label flour with just a vague statement that it might be general purpose. It’s one thing to buy the cheapest flour when that’s all your budget allows, but at this point in your life the flour simply declares “I might not make anything all that good, so I’d better not use up anything of superior quality.” Your new flour is a legendary king: it knows that its purpose is to prove its birthright by drawing forth Excalibur from a lake, to unite England and baked goods by the strength of its protein bonds, to perish proudly and tragically after many heroic victories and savage betrayals.
Add a little more flour, and a little more salt.

You read recently about letting batter rest so that the proteins can fully rehydrate and bond. This was for chickpea flour, but Teff probably benefits from the same thing, or at least won’t be harmed by it, right? Besides, you have dishes to wash.

Tell your dough it’s had a long day already. Consider the journey from seed to stalk, through sun and rain, harvest and mill, packaging and sale - it deserves this rest, it’s earned it.

Sshhhh….Sh sh sh. Quietly Preheat oven to 350 F.

The salt draws moisture out from the vegetables while it rests. Harness the power of royalty past and future: add a little more flour and stir to incorporate.

Your loaf pans had some kind of non-stick coating that’s partially worn off and seems unworthy of trust. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in. Smooth the top and add a thin coat of olive oil and a shake of coarse salt.

Bake for 1 hour.
A knife comes out wet so bake for 10 more minutes.


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Hi mom!