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Relish and Bread and ZUCCHINI oh my!

Our zucchini is growing like whoa! Rob’s parents brought over a 4 pound zucchini and I thought it was the largest one I’ve ever seen until I went to pick today and brought one home that is the size of a baseball bat, but shaped a little more like a Fred Flinstone bat. My plan was to make Zucchini Brownies but since our veggies were delivered with a tray of brownies, I opted for something different. I made 4 loaves of my fav Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread because it is so easy to make, eggless, and freezes so well. I like to have some on hand so when we go to visit people we can bring something. I am always prepared for last minute gatherings!

After making the bread there was still an enormous amount of it left. So I put on my thinking cap and browsed through my seasonal bible, The Joy of Pickling, and found a husband pleaser of a recipe… Zucchini Relish. I am not really a fan of the stuff but since men seem to love the stuff I got to chopping. The recipe sounded pretty easy, but was very time consuming.

Now the recipe didn’t call for hot peppers but since I have a huge plant of about 100 habaneros on my porch, I added some heat to the relish. Another recipe in the book recommended wearing gloves when cutting peppers but I thought.. nah I’ve cut so many peppers before and never had any problem with chili oils burning me. Well let me tell you that today my hands were not invincible to the oils and burned for about 12 hours after the fact.

Just when I thought I was done chopping, I had another vegetable to chop into a mince. But as soon as I put it on a simmer and took a taste, I became an immediate relish fan. The cinnamon and the ginger came together brilliantly with peppers and the zucchini. The combination of sweet, spice, and heat was amazing. I would highly recommend this recipe if you love relish or if you have a surplus of zucchini in your garden.

By the way, after 4 loaves of bread and 4 jars of relish the zucchini wasn’t gone. We grilled it on the ole barby for supper. Now onto the other 3 in my fridge. Thus is the beginning of the zucchini!

Zucchini Relish
Recipe From: The Joy of Pickling
Yield; 3.5 pints

4 cups (1.75 pounds) coarsely ground or chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 pound) coarsely ground or chopped onion
1 1/2 cups (2-3 large) coarsely ground or chopped sweet red peppers
1 1/2 TBS pickling salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups cider vinegar
1 tsp whole celery seeds
1 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
7 thin slices fresh ginger
7 one inch sticks cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, mix the zucchini, onions, peppers, and salt. Cover the vegetables with cold water. Let them stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

2. Drain the vegetables. Rinse them and drain them again.

3. In a non reactive pot, bring to a boil the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, and mustard seeds, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes.

4. While the vegetables simmer, divide the ginger and cinnamon among the pint or half- pitn mason jars, allotting one piece of each for each half-pint. Pack the hot relish, allowing 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

5. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark, place.

Eggless Zucchini Bread
Recipe From: Recipezzar
Yields: 2 loaves or 4 mini loaves

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour, sifted
2 cups zucchini (shredded or tossed lightly through blender..chopped VERY small)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease ONLY the bottoms of two loaf pans.

2. Measure yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add sugar and blend until creamy and slightly thick approx 2-3 minute.

3. Add oil and blend through.

4. Add zucchini and vanilla and stir until mixed through.

5. Sift flour in a medium bowl and add cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder& soda, and salt to it.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time. Fold ingredients into each other just until nicely combined.

6. Stir in chocolate chips.

7. Pour'batter' into loaf pans, and put into oven. Bake for 1 hour (60 minutes) and check to see if it is done (knife poked through center should come clean when done). If it is not done, continue to bake for additional time.  It could take between an hour and an hour and a half to bake completely.

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