Sunday, August 30

Bake (Don't Buy) Zucchini Bread For Your Doctor

mom's zucchini bread

Jeff meets a lot of interesting people in his dermatology practice, like Mr. Petroni (not his real name). They hit it off instantly -- they're both native New Englanders with Italian names and a fondness for meatball sangwiches. (It also helped that Jeff fixed his rash.)

After one of Mr. Petroni's visits, Jeff discovered a small package wrapped in crinkly green cellophane on his desk. A handwritten note was attached; its shaky inscription read: To a great doctor. Thank you for making my husband feel better. I hope you and your wife enjoy the zucchini bread. Sincerely, Mrs. Petroni.

Jeff was touched that this elderly Italian woman, whom he had never met, would bake him a loaf of bread. As he toasted a slice for breakfast the following morning, he offered me one. I declined; I wasn't that hungry. Jeff ate the bread, murmuring contentedly, licking his index finger periodically to pick up the crumbs that fell on to the plate. "Sue, you gotta try this," he persisted.

Reluctantly, I took a small bite. It was incredibly moist. Each slice was speckled with green zucchini shreds and studded with toasty walnuts. This bread wasn’t good. It was amazing. Our hands bumped into each other as we reached for seconds.

"See, that's the problem with living in Southern California," I said, "there aren't enough little old Italian ladies making homemade bread like back home."

When Jeff left for work, he had a mission: Get the recipe from Mrs. Petroni. Upon entering the house that night, I bombarded him: “Well, did you get the recipe? Was there coconut in it?"

“Yes, I spoke with Mrs. Petroni,” he said, “but I didn't get the recipe.”

“But, why?” I whined. Mrs. Petroni was flattered that we loved the bread, "But," she said, "I don't know the recipe. I bought it from Katella’s Bakery and just wrapped it up for you."

shredded zucchini for zucchini bread

Note: The following recipe is neither from Mrs. Petroni nor from Katella's. It's my mom's. Bake it for your cardiologist or dermatologist this week. They'll appreciate it more than you know.

Mom's Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 (9 X 5) loaves

My mom's zucchini bread is chock full of zucchini, coconut, pecans, and pineapple. It's like an old-fashioned zucchini bread married a pineapple upside-down cake. Don't be surprised if you find your family fighting over the last slice.

Print recipe only here.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, preferably walnuts or pecans
2 cups shredded zucchini, with the skins
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1. Place oven rack in center of oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 (9 X 5) loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

3. In a medium bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer. Add oil and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir by hand. Fold in nuts, zucchini, pineapple, and coconut.

4. Divide batter evenly between two pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and place on a wire rack.

You might also enjoy these quick breads:

Healthy Cherry, Banana, and Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

Lemony Blueberry Corn Bread with Basil

Mango Bread

Here are more zucchini bread recipes:
Two Kinds of Zucchini Bread at Simply Recipes
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread at Baking Bites
Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread at Kalyn's Kitchen
Special Zucchini Bread at 101 Cookbooks


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

What a story! I do love the ingredients you have used in this especially the pineapple and coconut. A nice tropical touch. Def bookmarked and thanks for sharing Susan!

Sean said...

Awww I wish people would bake us stuff in the pharmacy but we're not as appreciated as MD's :).

Great story and a recipe to top it off. Good stuff!

Cate said...

My dad is a docter and when I was growing up, he was always bringing home treats from patients (both homemade and not.)

One loaf of cinnamon raisin bread stands out in my mind for the unfortunate reason that the baker obviously smoked a lot in her kitchen because it tasted like an ashtray (but obviously it's the thought that counts!)

Emily said...

This sounds wonderful! I have never before seen pineapple in zucchini bread. A good one for summer so will have to get on to it pretty quick smart! :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Too funny! I have a favorite zucchini bread recipe I make all summer, but it uses a cup of whole wheat flour which is so nice with the cinnamon. The extra addition of pineapple and coconut is completely decadent, and I'll have to try it!

Anh said...

Thanks for sharing the story and a fab recipe! I am always looking for good zucchini bread :)

Kara said...

Okay yes - trying to figure out when in my week I can head to a market to pick up a zuke or 45 to make this recipe. It's only like 65 degrees here today - fells like fall and baking weather to me! YUM!

Soma said...

Loved reading the post:-)

Beautiful addition of coconut & pineapple!

Kalyn Denny said...

Your mom's zucchini bread sounds amazing. Love the adddition of coconut! I have to admit, I'm having a lot of fun with my zucchini bread experiments (several of which have definitely not been blog-worthy!)

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I'm really not a zucchini fan, but I have to agree that it tastes good in bread. :)
Your mum's recipe rules again, Susan.

Unknown said...

haha very cute story!:) believe it or not, I have never had zucchini bread (hides her face in shame).

Anonymous said...

Love this, Susan! Am storing up zucchini from the CSA to make this.


Unknown said...

Definitely bake it! Funny that you were duped a bit, but it's a good story.

Simona Carini said...

Considering how much I love zucchini, it is a bit surprising that I have never tried to make zucchini bread. Nice story and very interesting recipe: I like the idea of adding shredding coconut.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

How sweet that she sent a thank you bread. I do the same for my chiropractor. His office get all excited when I come in with a bag or box in my hands.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Studded with coconut this zucchini bread would be the best Susan!!

Cara of Big Girls, Small Kitchen said...

I love Zucchini Bread, and I LOVE how you can adapt the same recipe to make great carrot cake/pumpkin bread/apple cake, ad infinitum.

Ratios here:

Susan from Food Blogga said...

peterg-I love the tropical touch as well!

sean-Aw. I appreciate you! :)

cate-Eewww. Ashtray cake. At least the thought was there, right?

emily-Yeah, you'd better hurry, indeed. Cause you'll probably want to make it more than once! :)

tw-The pineapple and coconut are the most delectable ingredients.

anh-I'm glad you enjoyed it!

kara-Wow! Fall came quickly for you, didn't it?

soma-That makes me happy. :)

kalyn-But it's always fun to experiment!

aparna--Hers are the best!

danielle-What?! Promise me, please, you'll make a loaf while zucchini is in season.

lori-You won't be disappointed. Promise!

chrystal-I'm glad you found it amusing.

simona-Oh, you really should try it. It's wonderful.

lynn-Homemade baked goods just make people happy. :)

val-I swear. It really is the best!

phoebe and cara-It really is remarkably versatile. My mom makes many different variations as well.

barbara said...

Oh, this was a really great story, Susan. I especially love the part where you say your hands bumps while reaching for seconds. :) And of course I'm making some zucchini bread this weekend. Your recipes are always so good!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

What an interesting bread ... and an interesting story! :) Your bread looks absolutely yummy!

RecipeGirl said...

Cute story :) Sounds terrific (without the nuts!!) I didn't care much for zucchini bread as a kid, but like most things, I've developed a likeness for it over the years.

Terri said...

YUM - can't wait to try your mom's recipe! The pineapple and coconut are additions that I've not thought of before! The zucchini is on the counter waiting to become bread....

Kirsten Lindquist said...

This post is the perfect example of why food and writing go together: I haven't been this inspired to make zucchini bread in years! P.S. I also grew up with Italians on the east coast and now live in SoCal. Miss the Italians, not the weather!

Juliana said...

Your zucchini bread looks delicious with pineapple, my husband will love it!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

barbara-Oh, thanks so much! You make me smile.

littleteochew-I'm glad you liked them both!

lori-It has that effect on people.

terri-Yay! I'm so glad to hear it.

kirsten-Oh, you warm my hear with that comment. Thank you so much! PS-Seasons are overrated. ;)

juliana-Hope he does! Thanks!

Johanna GGG said...

I like how you give a recipe for two loaves - one for giving and one for keeping - great story about the old lady - I just was thanked for a present I didn't give and am trying to work out how to reply

Homemade Heaven said...

I love that story! And the bread, perhaps you should send her the recipe!

Selba said...

This must be really yummy and also healthy :)

Hornsfan said...

Cute story - I love that your husband's patient brought a treat for him! Can't wait to try the bread.

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Great story! I also love the addtions of coconut and pineapple- very nice unexpected twist. Will definitely try this one. Thx!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

LOL! So much for the little old Italian ladies baking up a storm. I'm glad you at least have a good recipe of your own.

Unknown said...

What a cute story, Susan! And your moms bread sounds so good, alittle different than my mothers, so I've bookmarked it to try! Love the addition of pinapple!

redmenace said...

Love zuke bread, but my plants did so poorly this year. Who knew I could mess up a zucchini plant???

londonfoodieny said...

hehe! what a great story...a little but sad but funny none the less!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

i made this bread and it was a hit! great post and great pics! thanks!

The Mommy Chef said...

Sounds really yummy. Ever tried it with whole wheat flour?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

johanna-Oh, that's an awkward situation. You're so tactful, though, I'm sure you'll come up with something appropriate. :)

rose-What a good idea. Unfortunately, we don't have contact info for her.

selba-It really is!

hornsfan-It was sweet, wasn't it?

lisa-I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you.

sdoc-Seriously. We couldn't believe it!

lynda-The pineapple really takes it to another level.

redmenace-Yeah, who knew?? I thought they were like basil-- you can't help but do well. Good luck next year, my friend!

londonfoodieny-Glad you liked it!

letmeeatcake-Woo-hoo! I'm so happy to hear it. Thanks for letting me know.

themommychef-I have made it with half wheat and half white, but never all wheat. Only because I prefer the flavor of white.

buday said...

Hahaha! Loved this story. I wouldn't blame the doc for thinking it was baked by Mrs Petroni herself. There IS something about elderly (Italian) women that makes us believe every food they offer us is home-cooked/-baked/-made.

Amy said...

I love this story! And I love zucchini bread! I always thought my mom's was the best, until I read your mom's recipe. Pineapple and coconut? Oh,my.

Lori said...

I just made this. It's the best zucchini bread I've ever eaten. This got printed and put in the baking binder. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

buday-It's true. It's like I can't imagine them buying anything precooked!

amy-Don't tell your mom! :)

lori-I'm so happy to hear that! Making it into the recipe binder? Oh, yeah, baby. ;)

Clarissa said...

Susan - Thank you so much! I've been wanting to try to make zucchini bread! I decided to look here first, because your recipes are always AMAZING, and I know it will be awesome! :) Thanks so much for this wonderful blog!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

clarissa-How kind of you to say! Thank you so much! Let me know how it turns out. A few people have emailed me saying they loved it. I hope you do too. :)