Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple (Shhh...Don't tell my husband I hid zucchini in it) Cinnamon Bread

One of my adorable daughters-in-law sent me a sweet message today:

"I’m so glad you are posting on your blog again! I can’t wait to try out the apple cider recipe. Yum!

As I was reading through your last couple of posts, a thought occurred to me concerning the focus of your blog. I have a suggestion for you, which of course, you are free take or leave. I’ll read and be happy either way!

I’ve noticed sometimes you apologize for getting “off topic” in your posts--when you’re talking about family, or spiritual things, or anything not directly apple related. Those are the things that I LOVE to hear you talk about, though! I know you have a testimony of families, and building people up, and the strength that the gospel provides. While the Table Talk book is the only project that I know you’ve been working on, I’m not sure that focusing on apples alone is building a platform that truly represents your unique view of life, especially concerning the gospel and our families.

What if, instead of focusing just on apples, you expand your blog’s focus to the topics of “growing” and “harvesting?” That way, you can certainly draw inspiration from Nature’s bounty, but you won’t have to feel so guilty about talking about the other things we grow and harvest. You’ve planted a lot of seeds in your life (especially in mine!) that I think people need to hear/read about. Your words about the gospel and Heavenly Father are so reverent and full of awe--I can’t help it if I want to read more about that!

She's wise as well as adorable! I will run out of apples...eventually. I will never run out of family. And I will never run out of wonder and awe for the abundance with which God has blessed us. Besides, Micaela is already expressing how her enthusiasm is waning for anything "apple."

The wind came up last night. The moaning and howling kept me awake long past midnight. This afternoon, however, I discovered the wind brought me a gift. I stepped outside to glean the last couple of zucchini and whatever tomatoes and peppers I could rescue. To my surprise, the ground was covered with walnuts. I apologized to the wind!

Of course, I knew we had walnuts. The tree blesses us with glorious shade all summer long. Last year we had a late, heavy freeze and the tree didn't produce more than a handful of nuts. The year before we had quite a few, but it was far too labor intensive to remove the husks off of the shells. Today, I found most of the nuts on the ground clean and dry, already separated from their slimy husks. In about 15 minutes I gathered almost 10 pounds of walnuts (that's in the shell, of course)! I'm pretty sure some of this bounty will make its way into an apple recipe!

I can see this blog changing with the seasons, just like me. Most of my children are grown and on their own. My husband and I have been reaping a bounteous harvest for awhile now as we watch them become responsible adults who know who they are and with firm testimonies of Jesus Christ. (I'll save the joys of being a grandparent for another post.) The son and daughter still left at home are not quite ready to leave our nurturing and protection. I'm glad. I'm not ready to be an empty nester just yet.

I read over this and think, gosh, but I'm old! haha! I don't feel old! I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I do know that first and foremost, I am and always will be, a mother. That is inherent in that I am a daughter of God.There are just so many fascinating things to do and learn! It's hard to choose! I do know that the subject I choose to write about is not as important as knowing that somehow, somewhere, the words I write make a difference. If those words gladden just one heart, then they will have fulfilled their purpose.

Okay, at least I chose a recipe to share -- I declare that any recipe that uses apples AND zucchini is useful! My kids are always warning guests about how I hide vegetables in everything anyway. Here is a sweet bread recipe I have been playing around with for a couple of months.

Zucchini Apple Cinnamon Bread (boring name, I know! But I promise this bread will make you feel loved!)

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (I left this out.) need to know that I doubled this recipe, and made 4 loaves, so don't get confused when you look at the pictures! This recipe as written will make two nice sized loaves. So, prepare two loaf pans by greasing them and coating them with flour. (or use a cooking spray...I was out.) Grate your zucchini and apple and set aside. (If you want, you can peel them first, but why go to all the extra work?) Preheat the oven to 325 deg.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until creamy and light yellow. Add the oil and the applesauce and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together in another bowl and add to the egg mixture. Mix well. Squeeze the extra moisture from the grated zucchini and apple and fold the pulp into the batter. Stir in the vanilla and nuts. Divide the batter between the loaf pans. Bake at 325 deg for about one hour.

I dare you to leave this bread alone until it cools off. On second thought -- Don't wait. Hot out of the oven, this bread rocks! (If you're really brave, add a little butter or caramel sauce...if your heart can stand it, that is!)

Happy harvest!


  1. It look wickedly yummy . yum yum...
    Anna del C.
    Author of "The Silent Warrior Trilogy"

  2. great post mom. What I think is great is that you found something to get you blogging. I think changing topics is fine! keep the posts coming, I promise I will get mine moving too! :)

  3. I am pretty adorable, huh! ^_^ If Kati gets on the blog train then *I* really have start posting, too!