Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Lesson in Bread

Two months ago, I went to the Livonia Recycling Center and filled my car with five tubs of compost, hauled it home, went back and did it again. I dragged the tubs over the fence and pulled them to the tiny patch behind my kitchen window that we call our family garden. With dirty hands and knees, I spread the compost. I planted the seeds. I weeded. I watered. I pruned. I waited. Finally, after this last week's worth of wonderfully rainy weather, my children harvested the plump, ripe zucchinis from their tender vines.
I scrubbed, trimmed, and grated the earthy green vegetables. I mixed and poured and baked. I cleaned the kitchen and made some coffee. And finally, at long last, I enjoyed delicious zucchini bread. My children enjoyed delicious zucchini bread. My husband enjoyed bread, and some of my friends enjoyed it, too! Bread for everyone!
Do you remember the story of the little red hen? She harvested the wheat, she thrashed the wheat, she ground the flour, she baked the bread, and she didn't share the bread... (well, some versions say she shared with her chicks.) I'm not sure that I agree with the moral of that tale.
I think that working hard at something, and SHARING the outcome of that labor, is one of the greatest gifts you can give... and one of the greatest feelings you can give yourself. Giving without expectation, simply to see the smiles on the mouths of your friends, fill their bellies with warmth and their hearts with joy.
...Because breaking bread that was a labor of love is even more rewarding than simply breaking bread!
Zucchini Bread Recipe:
Grate one medium washed and trimmed zucchini into a large bowl. To the bowl add two mashed bananas, three eggs, 1/3 cup oil, one teaspoon cinnamon, one teaspoon vanilla, and one teaspoon stevia (or 1/2 cup sugar or honey). Blend well. Add one cup unsweetened shredded coconut. Mix well. Add three cups flour (I choose one cup brown rice flour, one cup oat flour, and one cup whole wheat white flour) mixed with one teaspoon baking soda and two teaspoons baking powder. Begin mixing and add 2/3-1 cup milk (soy, cow, or almond). Pour batter into four small or two large, greased baking pans. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until loaf springs back when touched. Enjoy warm with butter. Enjoy any way with friends!

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