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by meg

If I could describe this summer with one word, it would be "parched." This is my third summer living in western Oregon, and while my family and friends back east seem to think it rains constantly, I've learned that Oregon summers are remarkably dry. Everything is brown and...crispy.

While no one's front lawn seems to be faring very well in this weather (and anyone with a green lawn is getting dirty looks from neighbors and passers-by), the zucchini crop seems to be doing just fine.

John's dad Ethan Becker occasionally tells the story of when he was still living in Cincinnati and going through rough financial times. He had a large garden and, since it is a requirement for anyone with a garden, an overgrown zucchini patch. He determined that, to save money, he would rely upon his zucchini patch, supplemented by cheap protein, to survive. He was pretty smug about it, thinking that zucchini was superior in healthfulness. He soon discovered, however, that zucchini is mostly water. It's not bad for you by any means, but if you're after a sustaining source of vitamins and minerals, you might look elsewhere.

John and I are pretty broad-minded when it comes to what we eat. Most of the time we go to the market and buy what looks good and is reasonably affordable. Zucchini is certainly in the mix this time of year. And just like I can't make it through apple season without making a batch of apple butter, I have to make at least one loaf of zucchini bread. It's one of my yearly cooking requirements, and I like to think that, because I make it only once a year, it tastes exceptional.

This year, I went off-recipe a bit. I started with Joy's recipe for zucchini bread. I subbed extra virgin olive oil for the vegetable oil, added chocolate chunks, used honey instead of sugar, and swapped half of the all-purpose flour for kamut (but you could use spelt or whole wheat--I used kamut because I had it in the pantry). If you're looking for a way to use up a bushel of zucchini, this isn't really going to cut it, but it's a nice thing to make regardless.

Other ways to use zucchini: Zucchini Fans, Ratatouille With Sausage and Corn, Shaved Squash Salad

Zucchini Bread
Serves 8

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together:
           1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup kamut, spelt, or whole wheat flour)
           1 teaspoon baking soda
           1 teaspoon baking powder
           1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Blend well in a large bowl:
           1/2 cup honey
           2 large eggs, beaten
           1/2 cup olive oil
           1 teaspoon vanilla
           1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir in the dry ingredients. Blend in with a few swift strokes:
            2 cups grated zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
            1 cup chocolate chunks, chips, or chopped dark chocolate
Scrape the batter into the greased pan. Bake until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!

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Welcome to our freshly-remodeled website! Here you will find our blog, where we frequently share recipes (new and classic), kitchen tips, cooking and storage techniques, as well as news and the occasional ode to our favorite tools and ingredients. You will find these organized into categories at the top of the page (above the filmstrip of our latest posts). In our All About JOY pages, you can learn more about the history of the Joy of Cooking and the Rombauer and Becker families. Please don't forget to share your feedback in the comments. Enjoy!

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