Zucchini Bread

My mom has the best recipe for zucchini bread.  Apparently it's from an old neighbor that served it at a party one day, and everyone asked for the recipe.  Way back before there was internet.  Weird.  It's written on a much loved index card, covered in stains.  The best recipes are the ones covered in butter stains.  Can we just agree on that right now?  For instance- my mom's chocolate chip m&m cookies are from an old cookbook that now just opens flat to that page, and those pages have seen better days.  I'm not even sure she has made anything else out of that cookbook, but I bet the rest of the pages are pristine.  She's long since memorized the recipe, so maybe the book will be saved further abuse from butter and vanilla extract. 
When watching her make it one day, I asked what made it taste so freakin good.  She told me it was the 2 whole tablespoons of vanilla extract used.  I think the sugar and cinnamon helps too, but she's right, that vanilla extract does some amazing things.
So we had that horrible storm June 29th.  Like, everyone lost power.  I somehow did not, I was very lucky, I'm still not entirely sure how I didn't.  But a coworker and her family did.  With two young boys, they migrated to her sister's house until they had power again (almost a full week later).  In that time, her garden went a little unchecked, and her zucchini and yellow squash went a bit out of control.  Which meant we (her coworkers) reaped the benefits.  I took home a massive zucchini, knowing I planned to use it solely to make zucchini bread.  I even had some zucchini at home, but I always buy it to, you know, eat as a vegetable.  I rarely make zucchini bread because there are other sweet treats to make that don't involve excellent healthy vegetables.  Needless to say, I was excited!
And out of that massize zucchini, I got 4.5 cups shredded.  Ridiculous.  Well, ridiculously awesome.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of zucchini for the 2 loaves, so I just figured I'd double the recipe!  Umm, good thing I started in a large bowl, because 4 cups of sugar and 6 cups of flour adds up quickly, haha.  Also I only had 2 loaf pans, so it meant a lot of hanging out to bake the first two, let them cool enough to get them out of the pans, clean the pans, then bake two more loaves.  Thinking ahead, that's what I'm good at.
But everything turned out just fine, and now I am eating my way through one loaf, and there are 3 sitting in my freezer, ready to make me happy!
The second batch of two loaves- ready to go finally :-)  With such a large bowl, it was hard to guess what would equally divide into 4 loaves, so these two were slightly smaller than the first two I baked.  I think it'll be ok.

You ready for the amazing recipe?  I know you are, here it is!

Zucchini Bread
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine oil, eggs, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Blend well.  Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Do not beat.  Add in walnuts (optional).  Spoon into two well-greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325 for 90 minutes or til done.


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