A temperate spell charms the mountain, warm as the color of the leaves ablaze across the hillsides before us. We head outdoors in shirtsleeves, allowing the down jackets and wool hats a week of rest before what we imagine will be the beginning of the end of balmy days.
A welcome interlude. The frozen air has already visited us, spreading its frosty silver lace across each blade of grass and the remains of the garden, now barren for the season, awaiting its heavy white blanket tucking it in for the long season of rest.
I envision others elsewhere right now. Overwhelmed with abundance. Drenched deep within the feast of the harvest.
Consider zucchini. Ah, perhaps you take it for granted, this humble fruit of your labor and soil. But please do not! Remember it to be the beautiful blessing it is, even if it takes over and seems to besiege your garden and kitchen table. For you, those lucky enough (yes, I really do mean lucky) to have zucchini from your garden, I share this recipe. Alas, not from the harvest of my garden. This recipe is from my mother, who also manages to grow this humble vegetable in plenty, and still finds creative ways to use it all. I hope you try and enjoy.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
1 c. whole wheat flour
1-1/4 c. all purpose flour
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted better
Recipe called for ½ c. vegetable oil. Instead I used ¼ c. marmalade and ¼. C. applesauce
1 tsp vanilla (I added 2T triple sec, a liqueur)
½ c. buttermilk
2 c. grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2-1/2 medium or one really big like I used)
1 c. semisweet chips
¾ c. chopped walnuts
Butter and flour a 13x9x2 pan. Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes.