Succulent Zucchini Bread

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I believe that fear is the root of much of the evil in the world.

Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that do evil, but because of those who don’t do anything about it.”

There have certainly been truly evil individuals, such as Hitler of the Second World War, that war of light and darkness. But could such people have achieved or held onto their power if not for the human tendency towards moral cowardice and staying seated?

During the Red Scare of the 1950s, few people dared to speak out against the lies of Senator McCarthy and the other communist “witch hunters” for fear of being cross-examined by the HUAC themselves. Filmmakers came out with movies about red spies to prove that they had no communist sympathies. Hundreds of lives and reputations were ruined. And most people witnessed the injustice in silence.

In Salem, Massachusetts, a group of Puritans allowed fear of witches to drive them to hang twenty innocent individuals based on the words of a group of attention-seeking adolescent girls.

During the Second World War, Americans allowed fear of “Jap spies” to excuse the internment of and suspension of habeas corpus from thousands of their fellow Americans.

During the First World War, fear of spies allowed Congress to pass, and the Supreme Court to condone, the Espionage and Sedition Acts, depriving Americans of their basic civil liberties for the sake of a war that was supposedly being waged to “make the world safe for democracy.” Freedom is slavery, Orwell once wrote…

In high schools today, bullying and drug abuse are common because young individuals do not have the courage to say “no” to the crowd.

But…Lillian Hellman once firmly wrote to the House Un-American Committee, “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion.”

And Jeanette Rankin took a lonely stand in Congress against entry into the Second World War because she believed violence was wrong, even though her choice was extremely unpopular and led to her her pursuit by an angry mob afterward.

And Edmund Ross, though he literally “looked into [his] open grave,” and though his supporters hated President Andrew Johnson (as did he), voted “not guilty” at the president’s impeachment trial because that what what he really believed.

And Corrie Ten Boom and her family, among thousands of others, in full knowledge of the consequences which could and did befall them, defied the Nazis and hid Jews in her home to save them from Hitler’s death camps.

Yes, there is hope.

Courage is daring to be the 1% who stands up for what is right when the 99% are sitting down and tolerating injustice because they are afraid. Many people do not possess courage. But many others do.

If I were called upon to have moral courage, would I have it? I do not know. I hope I would. I hope that when the time comes, I will find that I am able to do what is right, even if I suffer for doing so. But I am only a teen, and my life experiences have been limited. I do not know yet the extent of my strength of heart. I pray that God would give me the resolve to always be guided by my conscience.

But onto today’s recipe.

I. Love. Zucchini. Bread.

This zucchini bread is so aperitive, one wouldn’t believe it’s healthy.

It almost makes me want to cry.

You know, for a long time, I had an irrational fear of thick batters.

I almost didn’t make this bread. GASP.

That would have been an evil. A craven, deplorable crime. To not taste this bread and share it with you…

Yes, fear is the root of all evil. So don’t fear making this zucchini bread! It’s easy and the smell alone will fill you with craving. A bite might make you swoon.

What else can I say except that you must try it? Moist, full of warm spices, nutritious, zucchini-y.

It’s the perfect zucchini bread.

Bookmark it for the summer when your zucchini plants inundate your gardens. Or better yet, hurry to the store and purchase a zucchini now.

I was going to wait until summer to share this recipe with you, but I just couldn’t. It’s April. That’s almost summer, right? Kind of? Sort of?

Okay, maybe not quite…

Succulent Zucchini Bread

Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil or applesauce

2 1/4 cups white sugar, Stevia, Truvia, etc.

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini (I ran it through my food processor)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan or two 8×4″ loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking  soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix.

Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until bread springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool. Or, if you’re impatient like me, don’t cool and cut into it immediately 🙂 Zucchini bliss!

 

If I may end this (long!) post with one last thought, it’s these words from Mark Twain’s essay “United States of Lyncherdom”:

It must be that the increase comes of the inborn human instinct to imitate–that and man’s commenest weakness, his aversion to being unpleasantly conspicuous, pointed at, shunned, as being on the unpopular side. Its other name is Moral Cowardice, and is the commanding feature of the make-up of 9,999 men in the 10,000. I am not offering this as a discovery; privately the dullest of us knows it to be true. History will not allow us to forget or ignore this supreme trait of our character. It persistently and sardonically reminds us that from the beginning of the world no revolt against a public infamy or oppression has ever been begun but by the one daring man in the 10,000, the rest timidly waiting, and slowly and reluctantly joining, under the influence of that man and his fellows from the other ten thousands. The abolitionists remember. Privately the public feeling was with them early, but each man was afraid to speak out until he got some hint that his neighbor was privately as he privately felt himself. Then the boom followed. It always does. It will occur in New York, some day; and even in Pennsylvania.

It has been supposed–and said–that the people a lynching enjoy the spectacle and are glad of a chance to see it. It cannot be true; all experience is against it. The people in the South are made like the people in the North–the vast majority of whom are right-hearted and compassionate, and would be cruelly pained by such a spectacle–and would attend it, and let on to be pleased with it, if the public approval seemed to require it. We are made like that, and we cannot help it. The other animals are not so, but we cannot help that, either. They lack the Moral Sense; we have no way of trading ours off, for a nickel or some other thing above its value. The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it–when unpopular.

It is thought, as I have said, that a lynching crowd enjoys a lynching. It certainly is not true; it is impossible of belief. It is freely asserted–you have seen it in print many times of late–that the lynching impulse has been misinterpreted; that it is act the outcome of a spirit of revenge, but of a “mere atrocious hunger to look upon human suffering.” If that were so, the crowds that saw the Windsor Hotel burn down would have enjoyed the horrors that fell under their eyes. Did they? No one will think that of them, no one will make that charge. Many risked their lives to save the men and women who were in peril. Why did they do that? Because none would disapprove. There was no restraint; they could follow their natural impulse. Why does a crowd of the same kind of people in Texas, Colorado, Indiana, stand by, smitten to the heart and miserable, and by ostentatious outward signs pretend to enjoy a lynching? Why does it lift no hand or voice in protest? Only because it would be unpopular to do it, I think; each man is afraid of his neighbor’s disapproval–a thing which, to the general run of the race, is more dreaded than wounds and death. When there is to be a lynching the people hitch up and come miles to see it, bringing their wives and children. Really to see it? No–they come only because they are afraid to stay at home, lest it be noticed and offensively commented upon. We may believe this, for we all know how we feel about such spectacles–also, how we would act under the like pressure. We are not any better nor any braver than anybody else, and we must not try to creep out of it.”

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The Only Banana Walnut Bread You Will Ever Need

“‘There was once a small, strange man,’ she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. ‘But there was a wordshaker, too.'”

The Book Thief

I love words.

I love to learn them, take them apart, study them, fondle them.

I’m an abysmal speaker; I rattle on too rapidly to be comprehensible and trip over my clumsy tongue in a flamboyant display of nervousness. The words in my head crying for release protest indignantly at the manner in which they are unceremoniously, inelegantly, and clumsily dumped out through my tongue. I am neither mellifluous nor silver-tongued. The eloquence of my writing is merely satisfactory.

Yet I love words. I love them in their glorious beauty and ugliness. Their pulchritude and power. The best-placed words are simple yet profound, delicate as the petals of cherry blossoms yet impacting and deep as the hammer’s blow.

We have seen throughout the past that words and rhetoric have altered the course of history, for better or for worse. They have pushed wars and made peace, inspired hatred and promoted equality for all mankind.

Words have a history of their own. Languages have come from languages, words borrowed from words.

Words are beautiful.

This banana bread, which I am sharing with you today, is also beautiful.

My mother requested that I make banana bread with walnuts. My mother is always right.

I have some words to characterize this banana bread: enticing, delectable, ineffable, aperitive, saporous, palatable, sublime.

The banana and walnut flavors balance each other perfectly.

Banana Walnut Bread

Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients:

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cake or AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg white

1 cup Stevia in the raw or sugar

2 tbsp applesauce or oil

1 1/2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (about 2 large or 3 smaller) bananas, mashed

1/4 cup or 30g walnuts, toasted if desired

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray an 8×4 loaf pan (mine was glass).

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, combine the egg white, sweetener, and oil. Add milk, vanilla, and bananas.

Add dry to wet and stir until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the loaf springs back when lightly pressed.

 

“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

-Mark Twain

Meyer lemon strawberry muffins

“I wonder what a lemon was,” she added inconsequently. “I’ve seen oranges. They’re a kind of round yellow fruit with a thick skin.”

“I remember lemons,” said Winston.  “They were quite common in the Fifties. They were so sour that it set your teeth on edge even to smell them.”

1984

 

These meyer lemon strawberry muffins are perfect for welcoming the spring! The weather around here has been beautiful. I had a meyer lemon in the fridge I needed to use up, and these muffins were the result.

Meyer lemons have been growing in popularity lately. They’re a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a lemon. They have a skin that is a darker golden shade than that of ordinary lemons and a unique fragrance.  Paired with strawberries in these toothsome muffins, they are amazing!

This recipe originally came from Baking Bites. I halved it and increased the lemon juice, zest, and sweetener. I ended up with eight muffins.

 

Ingredients (yields 8):

½ cup plus 2T white whole wheat flour

½ cup cake flour

3/4 cup Stevia in the raw or white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Zest and juice of one Meyer Lemon

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

¼ cup and 2T milk or buttermilk

1/3 cup applesauce or vegetable oil (canola or corn oil)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a standard muffin tin with nonstick liners (if you don’t have nonstick, you can spray your liners with cooking spray).

Mix together the egg white, milk, oil, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla in a smaller bowl.

In a larger bowl, mix flour, sweetener of choice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in berries until they are coated with the dry mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ of the way. Bake for around 20-21 minutes on the center rack. Cool before serving.

 

Find the original recipe here:  http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/meyer-lemon-strawberry-muffins/