There is nothing better than plucking home-grown vegetables out of the garden and using them to prepare one of your favorite treats.
It's just never quite the same to purchase zucchini for a bread in the produce aisle at the local Giant Eagle than it is to grow the veggie yourself.
But, to be perfectly honest, this year's zucchini crop didn't come from my husband's little garden patch in our own back yard. Rather, it came from my dad's wonderful garden in Pennsylvania. Mom and dad live in the country near Johnstown, Pa., and since dad retired several years ago, his garden has grown both in size and harvest.
Zucchini right out of the garden can be used to make a delicious bread that goes with every meal.
Unfortunately, they live too far away for me to take advantage of the fruits of his labor every day.
So when we get a chance to visit, we always make sure to raid the garden before we pack up to head back. Bags full of onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and, of course, zucchini always are packed into the car for the trip home.
This year's zucchini was exceptionally good, and when my husband and I recently entertained some friends, I was pleased to shave up one of his zucchinis and make a zucchini bread.
I've tried several different zucchini recipes, including chocolate ones in which you would never know you are eating zucchini.
By it turns out my favorite is pretty traditional. I do always add walnuts and raisins. I like them, but if you don't, of course they can be easily omitted.
Apparently, my visitors liked them, too. The bread was devoured with just one piece left for my breakfast the next morning.