My Only Zucchini Bread Recipe And My First Taste of Charleston
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This is THE recipe for a perfect-every-time zucchini bread. I hope you will try this and enjoy!
My Only Zucchini Bread Recipe was also My ‘First’ Taste of Charleston. Back in the late 1970s, my parents embarked on what would become the first of many trips over many decades to the city of Charleston in South Carolina. Little did they or any of us know then, that Charleston would become their retirement destination, as well as MY permanent home further down the road.
Most summers, my folks would load my brother David and I in the car and we would make the two-day drive to my Grandparents home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From there, my parents would leave David and I off with our Grandparents for a few days alone, while they would steal away to Charleston to vacation without the burden of us two arguing about how bored we were or whose foot purposely crossed the imaginary separation line in the middle of the backseat of the car. What began as a one time rendezvous became an annual escape as the years rolled on, each time adding a day or a night to their reprieve.
A hunk (versus a slice!) of warm zucchini bread topped with sweet cream butter. Give me coffee and a corner and you won’t hear from me for an hour…
Our parents certainly learned their lesson after asking us along to Charleston once. Only once. And then, the following summer, things got back to the way they’d always been, and they left Gram’s one morning, not to return until refreshed from children and work life, and schooled in new ways about the American South. To say our parents were in love with Charleston would have been a complete understatement.
Mom is always great about presents. She and Dad always bring us kids back a little something from wherever they visit. Yes, even today. And to this day, I still have most of the items of fancy that were purchased for me on one of their trips. One item not purchased for me, although something I now hold near and dear (once I learned it was out of print), is a cookbook my Mother recalled buying at one of the Plantations, Catering To Charleston by Gloria Mann Maynard, Meredith Maynard Chase, and Holly Maynard Jenkins.
Baking was never my strongpoint, but I’ve learned a thing or two.
That book likely kicked around our tiny kitchen on Madisonville Road for many years before I ever picked it up. I do not remember the first time I followed a recipe or the first time I was interested in cooking something. I imagine though, that it began with a baked product. Likely, it was something which didn’t turn out well. But this little cookbook had a recipe inside for a six ingredient Sally Lunn bread which came out PERFECTLY. In retrospect, I must have explored the books pages upon my Sally Lunn success.
Growing up on a working and producing farm, and surrounded by neighbor farms, June, July and August meant my Mom and Dad were BUSY. It began in early spring with the tilling and planting of our fields. Everybody helped. My Dad would walk behind the tiller for hours at a time prepping the soil. He would bring forkfuls of previous years mulch from the pile ‘way up back’ and till it into his freshly turned rows. Then there were jute markers to mark off and make the rows straight and equally spaced.
David and I were the seed droppers. It was really, because we were small, the only job we had. That was, until we began harvesting that is. Our parents planted everything. In addition to what was already established when Mom and Dad purchased the house at Madisonville Road in 1968 (rhubarb, both a blueberry patch and grape arbor, peach trees, apple trees, quince, red raspberries, black caps, currents, cherries, asparagus, and watercress in the brook), they planted several varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, lettuces, peppers, eggplant, string beans, and zinnias, zinnias, zinnias. Acres of all of them.
My appreciation for what once was our home garden growing up, dramatically changed the day I had to start paying for the fruit and vegetables I was used to just picking…
The prior owners, Emma and Ray Cox, had a farm stand on the property and it was very well known. My parents could not dedicate themselves full time to farming as had the Cox’s, however they knew they could still make available the produce and fruits and flowers the Cox’s were known for on a much smaller scale and pull in money on the side for their growing family. Our little version of the stand consisted of a couple of benches, a small sign, two cute kids in lawn chairs sitting aside the colorful selections, and an ‘honor box.’
We sold what we could not eat or can or freeze ourselves. Mom made certain the freezer was full. She also ensured the cold cellar shelves were full and doubling. All this before she would assemble a quart basket of tomatoes to set on the bench. Yellow squashes and zucchini are always abundant, so we featured them on, alongside and even under the benches daily.
For our family, Mom would shred and freeze zucchini. She would also make zucchini bread and butter pickles which I love. Zucchini is also useful shredded and added to homemade tomato sauce. Oh, and then there was zucchini bread to bake and freeze. I am uncertain if she ever followed the recipe in Catering To Charleston, however somewhere in the mix when I began helping her, I did follow it, and despite trying a few others here and there, the family consensus is that THIS is THE recipe for a perfect-every-time zucchini bread. I hope you will try this and enjoy!
My Only Zucchini Bread Recipe, And My ‘First’ Taste of Charleston
- 2 9 x 5 x 3 inch baking pans
- electric hand mixer
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups brown sugar packed, light or dark
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups zucchini coarsely grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla I am using Heilala
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup walnuts or blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Beat eggs until creamy and thick. Gradually beat in sugar. Stir in oil, then zucchini and vanilla.
- Stir together flour, walnuts (or blanched almonds), cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture, mixing ONLY until all ingredients are moistened.
- Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch baking pans for cake. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Delicious with cream cheese frosting, but I best enjoy warm with butter.
This is a terrific recipe. I followed it exactly, except for adding the topping from your Banana Bread with Sour Cream and Streusel Topping. I made it into muffins and they are so, so good! Thanks for pointing me to this one.
Angie! I think I’m wishing you lived here in Charleston, as I need you helping me in my kitchen! Kudos for straddling two recipes to get that perfect muffin outcome 😉 We are pouring down rain here today which means I think you just gave me my Sunday bake – did you adjust the oven time for muffins and if yes, how long did you have them in for? I think I’ll do them this way. x – Jenny