13 August 2013

zucchinis and nesting

We don't often cook with zucchini in our home. J. doesn't like it, and I've never been particularly fond of most variations of it. I tend to prefer winter squashes and we both like cucumber, but zucchini is hard to like. I went through a ratatouille phase about five years ago, and both of us got thoroughly tired of zucchini and eggplant stew (since I did the simple peasant version, rather than the elaborately sliced and layered one). I think it's the texture and the bland taste that put me off.

But last week, some friends gave us a few zucchinis. They planted some in their community garden plot this year and, given that this is zucchini, they have it coming out of their ears and are running out of freezer room. I elected to make zucchini bread and discovered that two loaves of the bread used up less than one zucchini. I used the recipe I found here. It's very moist but a little bland, so if I make it again, I'm using brown sugar for at least part of the sweetener, a little more salt, and definitely more cinnamon.

Yesterday I did another batch using a different recipe. This one was for chocolate zucchini bread. I made a double batch and stuck it in the freezer. The chunk of it that stuck in one of the pans tasted pretty good, so I think it turned out okay. More flavourful than the other recipe, but that's what happens when you add chocolate. Then I grated up the rest of the zucchini and froze it in a couple of portions so I have enough on hand to try making zucchini fritters and at least one more batch of bread.

I've been on a baking kick, despite the heat. There are a couple batches of muffins in the freezer next to the zucchini bread. I think it's a nesting thing. We don't have lots of freezer space, so I can't freeze as many things for winter as I would like (such as fruit), and we certainly don't have room for frozen casseroles or anything like that. I can't go with the suggestion to have meals frozen and ready to re-heat for after the baby's born. With the available space, I might be able to squash in one casserole dish. My mum used to do this thing where she'd cook dinners for a month and store them in our chest freezer. She can store a lot of fruit and vegetables in there, too. But I don't get to do that. Maybe someday, when we own a place or live in a larger house, we can look into getting a deep-freeze. I fantasize about an upright one, since I have fun memories of almost toppling into the freezer as a kid. And as an adult. I haven't grown any taller since I was about thirteen, and having to bend over and balance on the edge of the freezer to try and reach stuff near the bottom is awkward when you're short and your arms are not long.

I don't think we'll be living on cereal for weeks once the baby's here, but we did get some canned soup, and I'm hoping to make a trip to the Korean grocery store today to pick up some extra noodles and few other things. My mum will be staying with us for a bit, and the friend who gave us the zucchini has offered to bring food over. J.'s taking a couple weeks of parental leave as well, so living on cereal will probably happen in September, rather than during this month.

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