Zuchini Bread Recipe: Remembering our Great Grandmothers
If you are a regular to my blog you know I don’t do many long preambles before my recipes. I have the lifestyle section for my essays and musing. However, when the recipe is about a person I like to tell you the story.
Today is the story of me and my Great Grandma White. I made this recipe weeks ago but only now knew how to use the story.
It’s PRIDE month and even though I don’t talk about it very much, as a queer-non-binary person myself, I find it hard to pass the month without saying something. This year I am going to reflect on one of my ancestors because she is in me and my blood and will always be part of me and my story, but she was influenced by homophobia to the point that our family line was cut. In families we often don’t want to talk about the bad parts, we sweep things under the rug and see only the silver lining. However, I’m here to tell you if you want true healing in your family, it is far better to accept and talk about the bad stuff. That’s how you let it go, that’s how it stops eating you from the inside generation after generation.
It’s okay, she’s still my great grandmother even if she (and her other son and even more his wife) wanted nothing to do with my gay grandfather, my mother or either of us kids. I believe it is important to acknowledge and remember how our family is, to remember them correctly even after they are long dead. Not everyone in our family was healed; not everyone in our family was ready to heal, but now that we are healing, holding the true good and bad stories is what matters as we move forward, clearing karmas and traumas.
My Great Grandmother was also a good person, she helped around her tiny Idaho mountain town and was the postmaster. She’s partly responsible for getting my wonderful loving grandma into beauty school by smudging the post stamp that was 1 day late for the admission materials. That was the start of the chain reaction that got my grandma out of the mountains and into city life. The life of my grandma that has effect me so deeply in so many moments and events was tied to the story of my great grandmother even if they weren’t blood. Meanwhile, my great grandma baked cakes for the sick and mourning, went to all the local public events and even helped with sandwich lines during forest fires. She was a normal woman for her time in the 50’s/60s but yes, homaphobia kept here from seeing my grandfather very often.
My grandfather’s brother, and his family also completely stopped talking to us and to this day that part of the family along with all the cousins I could have known are lost to me.
What remains from that part of my family are the stories, a beautiful old pyrex bowl and the recipe for this zucchini bread.
This year to reclaim my history with my great grandmother I sat down to remember everything I know about her, I sang songs and danced for her and wrote her a letter letting her know who I am, how I feel and what I planned to do going forward. This post is part of that, part of the healing and calling attention to the truth of my family’s past. I am not directly hurt by my great grandmother (or my great uncle) but the pain lives in me. The disappointment of my grandfather when he visited her in her final months and she was too riddled with dementia to remember very much. All the love that was never shared and all the grandchildren she never knew. We are healing, but we will also remember. I love her, even though I never knew her and I hope the others in my family can as well.
The zucchini bread recipe is the best thing she left us all with. I remember growing up, long before I knew all the different stories about her, eating this bread summer after summer with the huge sun ripened, garden zucchinis our Illinois dirt produced. Now after years of not making it, and after learning the story of who my great grandma truly was, I’ve decided to reclaim the summer zucchini bread as my own little personal PRIDE month tradition.
Spread love, eat cake!
Today I make this bread for me, for her and for my gay grandpa.
May we all have PRIDE in who we are, who we love and how we want to live.
Also if you personally don’t celebrate PRIDE then I know you can celebrate garden season and all the fresh zucchini’s it brings. This is a summer recipe you surely shouldn’t skip.
Enjoy this recipe often, it’s truly a great one.
Nik’s Great Grandma’s Zucchini Bread Recipe
300 g (1 ½ cups) sugar (grandma used 2 cups but I’ve lowered this)
180 g (1 cup) vegetable oil
300g (2 cups) grated zucchini
3 t vanilla
3 flax eggs (3 T ground flaxseed mixed with 6 T water)
375 g (3 cups) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
(½ cup) nuts (optional)
- In a small bowl mix the 3 T ground flaxseed with 6 T of water and combine well. Allow the flax seed to activate for 5-10 minutes until it is sticky and gooey in texture (sort of like raw egg whites). If you only have the whole flaxseed remember it’s easy to grind in any normal blender.
- Meanwhile line two small loaf pans with parchment paper
(I use 20 cm / 8 inch loafs)
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- Mix all the wet ingredients in a medium size bowl.
- Add the dry to the wet and combine until just mixed.
- Pour equally into the 2 loaf pans and bake at 163℃ (325℉) for 1 hour or until golden brown.
Best served warm, keeps well 1 week in the fridge and wrapped airtight 3 months in the freezer
I’ve found I like this bread with frosting, but growing up we never had it with anything but a smear of butter.
Cashew Frosting (optional)
100 g (⅔cup) cashews (soaked overnight)
55 ml (¼ cup) milk
3-4 T agave
55 g (¼ cup) coconut oil
1T lemon juice
- Soak the cashews overnight.
- Drain the cashews and combine in a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend until very smooth, allow to cool in the fridge until set. (I usually make the frosting before I make the bread.)