Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vegetable cake

In yet another attempt to get Max to ingest a vegetable, I came up with a new plan.

Today I would make zucchini bread.

I had a few zucchinis in the fridge and decided that they weren't really going anywhere so I searched online for a recipe.

I found one that sounded really good and printed it off.

It said that the prep time was 15 minutes and baking time 60-70 minutes.

Now I realize that the prep times on the recipe are highly optimistic and probably determined by someone in a very tidy test kitchen who not only has all of the ingredients right in front of them and doesn't need to search through the closet to find the other bottle of vanilla because the first one ran out and someone put it back instead of throwing the empty bottle away, and they most likely had all of their bowls, dishes, spoons and utensils sitting right in front of them all clean and shiny so they didn't have to hand wash them due to the fact that even though someone did their job and put the dishes in the dishwasher last night, they didn't bother to turn it on and the test kitchen people probably didn't have a toddler in the room with them..........
So I figured that to be more realistic, I would allow closer to 30-40 minutes to mix up the batter.

I look at the clock. It is 9:30 a.m. I figure that by 11:30, I would be enjoying a nice warm slice of zucchini bread.

The recipe said it made 2 loaves, and I decided that I should double it because I have this theory on cooking.

"It should take longer to eat it than it takes to make it."

This is the reason why I double recipes. Six dozen cookies will last much longer than three dozen cookies.

Am I right?

I watched an episode of Martha Stewart once where she spent like 3 hours making 6 cookies.
She carefully mixed up and rolled out the dough.
She took a leaf which she had carefully hand picked from her yard and then thoroughly cleaned
and laid it gently on top of the dough which had been rolled out to a thickness of exactly 1/4 of an inch. She then took a sharp knife and very precisely cut out the dough using the leaf as a pattern. Next, she took the back of the knife and very artistically drew in the veins of the leaf in the top of the dough.
She placed two cookies on each cookie sheet (they were large) and baked them.
After she took them out of the oven, while they were still warm, she gently lifted them off of her silpat lined cookie sheet and draped them over a large tube so that when the cookie cooled, it would be curved.
Just like a real leaf.
Then she took a pastry bag and with perfectly tinted icing, outlined the veins in the leaf cookies.

In comparison, at our house, we make drop cookies, and we don't give the cookies the luxury of cooling off before we eat them.
Besides, chocolate chips smear all over your face much easier if they're still warm.

When I got out the mixer, Max became rather interested.

He LOVES the mixer.

"Whatcha doing mom?"
"I'm making a special treat for you."
"Oh, are you also making me cookies?"
"No, I'm making some special bread."

I discovered that I needed to wash the bowl to my mixer, the measuring cups and spoons and the grater. I hand washed everything then I got out the ingredients and peeled and grated the zucchini as it said to in the recipe.
Max watched me measure a few ingredients, and then he became rather inquisitive.

"Mom, why you putting the eggs in it?'
"Mom, why did you also drop the egg on the floor?"
"Mom, why did it make a mess?"
"Mom, are you also cleaning up the mess?"
"Mom, why you are throwing away that egg from the floor? Is it also gross?"
"Mom, what's that white stuff?"
"Why you also putting that brown stuff in it?"
"Mom, why you also have to mix it?"..............

"Mom, what's that stuff?"

I was dumping in the zucchini.

"Max" I said "This stuff is SO delicious! It's called zucchini, and it tastes like candy!"

I have to admit that this was not the first time that I fibbed to one of my kids about the taste of zucchini.
I once told CJ that Zucchini tasted like chocolate.

He believed me.

He ate some.

He has never forgiven me.

Seriously CJ, it happened TEN YEARS AGO!


I finish mixing everything together and realize that there's way too much batter to fit into my four small loaf pans.
I re read the recipe to discover that it will fill two large loaf pans not two small ones.


I fill the four small loaf pans.

And two round cake pans.

And a pie tin.

I manage to get them all stuffed into the oven and I set the timer.

Then I look at the clock. It's 11:30. So much for the 30 minute prep time. I get a pen and write on the recipe "15 minutes? Don't count on it. Allow two hours!"

50 minutes later, I take the bread out of the oven. (since the pans were smaller I felt the cooking time should be shorter. Plus, it was smelling really good and I couldn't wait to get a taste!)

It was great! The texture was really light, it was more like cake than bread. I ate a slice, then Max came over and asked for some.


He ate 4 big slices!

I finally got him to eat a vegetable!

OK, I realize that it was hidden within a cake like substance, but still, he ate a vegetable.
And a GREEN one at that!

When the kids got home from school, they were met with the lovely aroma of the zucchini bread. The boys snarfed down as much as they could, as fast as they could, but Brielle wouldn't touch any because "I won't eat cake with a vegetable in it!"

I might re name the recipe "Vegetable cake."


Kristina P. said...

Sometimes, I dream about punching Martha Stewart in the face. But only because I sort of want to be her. And Oprah. I totally wish they would do a show together. Oprah, Martha, and zucchini. What a show that would be. Oh, and that guy who decorates her house, and that Dr. Oz guy, to tell us why zucchini is good for us.

Busty LaRue said...

I hate to tell you, but your time theory is flawed. 6 dozen cookies are devoured in less than or the same amount of time as 3 dozen cookies at our house.

Where did you find the recipe? I would love a great zucchini bread recipe. And, if your Max liked it I bet my Marsh would too. He, too, hates vegetables...especially green ones.

LisAway said...

"It should take longer to eat it than it takes to make it."

Love that.

And peeling a zucchini before baking it into something is one of the strangest directions I've heard in a while. "First remove as many nutrients as you can, then grate." Just kiddn'. Probably your kids would have seen those lovely green flecks and ran in the opposite direction, so peel, peel away!

Jo said...

Yay! Veggies for Max. Now he can have more energy to pester the crap out of you. Have you considered not feeding him? It could slow him down. Or make him cranky, it is a toss up.

MamaHenClucks said...

I have to agree that baking six dozen cookies would only mean that I would eat twice as much, faster. It doesn't make a difference around here!

Pumpkin bread and banana muffins - two ways to get my chickies to eat healthy (right??) Will you post your fabulous recipe for us?

Aunty Em said...

I just love you.

I have a trick in my house - I rename everything to have the word 'magic' in it. You know Shepard's Pie? My kids won't touch it when that's what it's called, but if it's called "Magic Pie" then all of a sudden it sounds mysterious & delicious & it magically gets all eaten up.

That could also be due to the fact that we also hide coinage in their portions - unfortunately my kids like money..... so, basically we bribe them.

Jillene said...

LOVE Zucchini anything!!

Laura said...

I hear zucchini bread goes with EVERY meal these days!!!

Mum-me said...

One of my children also says they will "Only eat cake that actually has cake in it - no fruit, no vegetables, no tricks."

utmomof5 said...

I LOVE zucchini bread and yes it totally counts as a veggie serving :) have you tried deceptivly delicious? While most of the recipes are not so good -- the peanut butter and jelly muffins are sooooooo good!! If you want I can get you the recipe :) It has califlower in it!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Maybe I should try that with brussels sprouts?

Spilled egg - sprinkle salt on it, wait a few minutes, sweep...

InkMom said...

No, no, it's carrots that taste like candy! Carrots!

(Well, anything tastes like candy if you cook it in enough brown sugar and butter. Yet another means of making vegetables seem less vegetable-y for the masses.)

Bonnie the Boss said...

I had a child that wouldn't ever eat veggies I used to shread them up and put them in pancakes and waffles and other stuff. Both zucchini and carrots! He now never even thinks twice about any veggies.

Sister Molly Jones said...

Dear Jill,
I hope that you find it within yourself to be honest with your children. Would you lie to your Heavenly Father? If not then why would you lie to a child? If you would start your children young on zucchini then it would be an issue. I guess each of us has a 'hard' child, but if you have enough faith and pray hard enough you should be able to overcome.
Sister Molly

Jessica G. said...

Zucchini tastes like chocolate???
Why didn't you say so!?

Maraiya said...

I have to admit that I gave up zucchini bread (for about 1/2 an hour) when I realized that delicious "banana bread like" loaf was made from zucchini. It just goes to show that a little egg, flour and whole lotta sugar can make anything palatable. Next on the menu, liver cupcakes.

Alison Wonderland said...

Love zucchini bread! I make a lot of squash bread too because I always get more squash than zucchini. Oh and zucchini cake (same stuff, different pan, frost) and zucchini cupcakes (unless I don't have time for frosting in which case they're zucchini muffins).
And now I'm hungry.

mommeeof9 said...

One year my mom had a bumper crop of zucchini's She grated it and threw it in spaghetti sauce, soup, anything she could think of to hide it in. If we asked what the green stuff was, she would say something like oregano is green.

I hate squash, the smell, taste and texture. I only serve what I like.

Damama T said...

First off - Most of your cookies actually make it into the oven? Wow. I'm impressed. LOL!

Second - FIB ON GIRL! They KNOW what chocolate tastes like and will spot the difference right off the bat, but at least they've put the stuff in their picky little mouths in order to KNOW whether or not they like it. After that it's up to them to decide whether or not to eat more.

Besides, if they haven't already, they are smart and will figure out that for you, the use of chocolate as a taste reference simply means that something really tastes good and is worth trying. I think that's a wholy acceptable teaching technique. YOU GO GIRL! ;o)

Todays W.V.: MORDIS - A Max-ism, as in, "Can I also hab mordis Zucchini stuff?"