Zucchini bread

If nothing else, COVID-19 brought us back closer to the real meaning of Christmas — simple and filled with family and love, says Margaret Button, who made handmade gifts and homemade zucchini bread for friends.

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We all had a Christmas unlike any other in our lives — scaled down, separated from family and friends and with much smaller meals and celebrations.

What was amazing was how the food gifting and consumption increased! Despite the fact I only made one batch of cookies and brought most of them with me when I spent the long Christmas weekend with my son and daughter-in-law, my house is awash in food gifts. And I assure you, each and every one of them has been or will be consumed — hopefully over the course of the next few months since I’ve frozen most of it. The bad news is that cookies don’t really freeze and can be eaten right out of the freezer. The other bad news is that I’ve gained five pounds since Thanksgiving!

It was the kind of Christmas where, due to the pandemic, people had the time to create gifts for their love ones, whether they were gifts of food or something they had knitted, crocheted or sewn. I received — and gave — fruit breads, cookies, caramel corn and Christmas crack — the candy, not a holiday illegal drug!

I made a friend a knitted shawl to watch TV in and another a chain of ribbon for her Christmas tree, similar to the ones we used to make out of paper when we were kids. I gifted handmade mittens and scarves; a coworker gave me the ultimate Christmas gift for 2020, five homemade face masks and a mini face mask ornament for my Christmas tree complete with a “2020” charm. Sums up the year pretty well ...

If nothing else, COVID-19 brought us back closer to the real meaning of Christmas — simple and filled with family and love.

I made a batch of zucchini bread and baked it in mini bread pans to give a few of my friends. I’m not sure where I got the recipe, but the card is almost illegible due to all of the food stains on it! I’m not a big fan of raisins in anything, so I always use dark chocolate chips instead. This recipe will make 6 to 8 mini loaves, just begin checking the breads for doneness around the 35-minute mark.

ZUCCHINI BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup walnuts

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 cups shredded zucchini

3 teaspoons vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients and add to the first mixture, Bake in two loaf pans or oblong cake pan.

Bake at 325 F for one hour or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaves comes out clean.

Margaret Button can be reached at mbutton@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6298.

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