14 September 12 • MAV

A handful of days ago Miles, my oldest nephew, and I were making a fort.

We gathered our blankets and a few pillows. We used one heavy rock to extend our fort from the couch to a chair. The build out was quite impressive if I do say so myself. Miles really had a plan so I have to give all the credit to him.

The one thing we were not sure about was … how do we get in?

We walked the perimeter …

… and tried out a few options.

Until we found it!

And inside the fort we found Scotch the cat! He had already found his way in and was busy taking a nap.

We played in our fort until it was time to move onto the next adventure. It was a good day.

14 September 12 • SCB

This week, in my home, we find ourselves stumbling around a bit, trying to adjust to our autumn routine while still feeling the pull of summer. Early mornings, homework, lunches to pack, full days of work for me—we are not quite in step with the next season yet, but we are trying.

The end of summer is a stunning time in the Northwest. Chilly mornings and hot afternoons. A bounty of fresh produce. Crazy-beautiful golden light. The days are still long enough for an after-dinner walk, and it was on our way home from an evening trip to the library that we came across an offering of free zucchini from a neighbor’s garden. We took just one because it was the size of a small infant and our arms were already full of books.

I find that these overgrown squash are best in baked goods. I shredded ours in the processor (I compost the inner core of seeds) and had enough to freeze for future baked goods. Lacking the ingredients for MAV’s yummy bread, I made my own fall-back recipe. Mine is more of a treat, full of butter and sugar (though still using some whole grain flour). I have always added lemon zest, but this time I threw in some candied ginger as well, and we loved the result.

Lemon Ginger Zucchini Bread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (we buy ours at Trader Joe’s—crystallized ginger would work here too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large loaf pan (9″ x 5″).

Place grated zucchini in a towel and wring out as much moisture as you can. Cream butter and brown sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, mix to combine, then add zucchini.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon. Toss in candied ginger and lemon zest, making sure the pieces of ginger are coated with flour and don’t stick together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just to combine. Fill your prepared pan with the batter. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleanly and loaf is nicely browned. I store our bread at room temperature or slice and freeze for lunch-ready treats.