Baking Breads & Pickling

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Yesterday I spent the day baking and pickling!  While I would love to tell you everything was from my very own gardens; we did not have a very successful harvest this year.  We have decided to remove the majority of the soil from our raised beds and start over; it may sound pretty drastic; but I spend too much time & money on the beds for them not to provide me a little something to help feed my family and friends.

I was able to use up my own cucumbers to make a dozen jars of Kosher dill pickles – we mostly use them for sandwich’s & burgers.  I would like to thank a couple of my husbands employees for their Zucchini and Green beans; which I made 36 various size loafs of zucchini bread and was able to make a couple of jars of dilly beans for the very first time.  I buy Banana’s every week at my house so I always have those on hand; they do not always get eaten in time so I will put the brown banana’s in the fridge, If i cannot get to them fairly soon I throw them in the freezer until I am able to make Banana Bread.  Because my son does not like nuts there are always 2 loaves made.  I think he does that so he gets his own loaf; just saying!

Several years ago a friend of mine; who is a trained chef; gave me her mom’s zucchini bread recipe.  The last few years I have tried to cut out some of the oil to make it slightly less fattening; apples sauce works out quite nicely.  I have also never made just one batch, when I make zucchini bread I make 4 batches at a time and usually times this by 2.  It freezes VERY well!  This year i made a total of 7 batches with what I had on hand; well actually not on hand, I took inventory Friday night of what I had planned on making and made a listing of what I needed to pick up.  I think I should invest some time and effort into raising chickens for all the eggs we go through – Ya I don’t see that happening anytime soon; I have a crazy dog who would put a kabash (sp?) on that, plus I am not shoveling ANY chicken shit…

While I was out getting my supplies on Saturday morning I ran into the cutest little old lady, we were standing there looking at the canning items left; note to self get your stuff together when they first arrive in the stores.  We started up a conversation about them not having what either of us needed.  Why I thought she was cute was her comment “I think there are a lot of new people thinking they can pickle” I immediately told her I have been doing this for years, I was even chuckling to myself thinking why did I need to defend myself for being in that aisle. I have pickled cucumbers, salsa, tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce over the years. I do enjoy the pickles the most. I gave away all my spaghetti sauce, we didn’t like the taste, my in-laws loved it. The garden salsa was very good, however there is nothing like fresh garden salsa. I had never had nor heard of dilly beans; probably because I am not a fan on green beans so I have never grown them, so I didn’t ever need to find out what to do with them. I am not too sure they turned out, only because they do not look like the ones I have tried. we’ll see in a couple of weeks.

Zucchini Bread – recipe bake 350′ – timing depends on what size pan you use
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C apple sauce
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix all the above together well
add the below
1 pkg vanilla pudding
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 C flour
2 C shredded zucchini

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