Saturday, March 28, 2015

Second-Stab Saturday: Zucchini Bread- Now with cucumbers!

We at A Book of Cookrye can't tell zucchinis from cucumbers unless they're labeled. They all look like green tubes until cut open.
With that in mind, I found some iffy looking zucchinis in the discount produce bin and figured I'd make another batch of zucchini bread because once peeled and pulverized, you'd never guess they looked like this.
Yes, a lot of those spots have fur. These were a quarter each.

Cucumber-Lemon Bread
½ c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 or 3 good-sized cucumbers
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
Dash of salt
Generous amount of lemon extract.

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a loaf or 9x13 pan.
Grate the cucumbers, shove them through a grinder, or put them in a food processor (don't thoroughly liquefy them). It should be about one cup of pulp.
Mix butter and sugar. Stir in the salt and baking soda. Beat in the eggs and lemon extract, then add the cucumbers with any juice that came out of them and mix well. Lastly, mix in the flour.
Pour into the pan and bake. A loaf pan will take about 40-50 minutes, a 9x13 pan will be done in 20 or so.

Getting your produce in a questionable state makes all the instructions in old recipes to pare and boil everything more sensible. I used to think it was just the style of the time and excessive tedium. At any rate, the zucchinis smelled suspiciously like cucumbers once peeled and cut open.
Once pulverized, there was no visible difference.

We at A Book of Cookrye briefly considered what to do now that our zucchinis turned out to be cukes. On the one hand, we actually like cucumbers. On the other, did you see how they looked when we bought them?
Also, who in the school paper thought showing the women's basketball team looking utterly terrified would sell school sports?

Since I'd already gotten the things for zucchini bread downstairs anyway, I forged daftly forward. The cucumber-lemon ice cream wasn't too bad (aside from the insufficiently liquefied cucumbers that turned into ice grit), so I had hope that this might, in its own weird way, work.
You know how some recipes have a step that doesn't look gross but still looks wrong?

Unlike when I made the zucchini bread, no one could reassure me they'd had this and liked it. But since I've had barbecue sauce brownies in the name of culinary experimentation (though admittedly most ended up in the trash), why does salad bread still frighten me? I tried to tell myself that I may be making an exciting discovery instead of running toward regret. At least it smelled good.
That's a surprisingly nice shade of yellow.

To my own surprise, I'm calling this a success. The cucumbers added a really satisfying kick which complemented the lemon really well. It's just different enough to have novelty, but not so much that people stare at the slice in their hands in confusion and fear. People described this with terms like "refreshing" and "surprising" (in a positive way). It's just weird enough to be a intriguing, but not so weird that it's bad. However, if your cucumbers are fit for it, you might want to leave the peels on so there's a visual cue that there's vegetables in this.
So, hooray for my inability to buy produce! I'd never have discovered cucumber-lemon bread without it!

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