Monday, August 1, 2011

Superhuman Effort

That's what it has taken in the last three weeks, with this constant heat.  Tomorrow is predicted to be the hottest day yet... at various times today I saw 110 and 111 listed as the predicted temperature, not including heat index.  I am taking tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday afternoon, since Keith is still in Cancun for his daughter's wedding.  Having just hung up with him, I know that the wedding went off beautifully, and a fine day had by all. 

I have spoken with others at work who are caring for gardens and animals, and most are getting up at 5 in the morning to go out and water and care for the animals.  Tonight I brought down all the little birds from their tree... I had a bad feeling that something is lurking out in the pasture for them.  I watered and watered, then let the well build back up, then watered some more. 

Yesterday, after church, I received a visit from fellow blogger Melinda, and husband Ken, whom we met recently at the TBones ballpark.  Melinda is a teacher, and came over to pick up some supplies that I was no longer using for scrapbooking for her classroom.  I was so glad to see them go with someone who could put them to good use!  It was good to see them and sit and visit in the cool house for a while.  Just before they came, I had put this in the crockpot:

What is it, you ask?

Only the best zucchini cake you ever tasted, moist and good!

And since you know my new Nikon is inoperable... photo courtesy of my boss, Dave, just before we cut the cake.
This was so moist and good, that I am going to give you the recipe.  It took me less than twenty minutes to get it prepared and mixed, and then into the crockpot, not making the kitchen hot with the oven. 

Here it is, from the magazine currently on the sales racks called "Grow, Cook, Eat" by Bowtie Publications.  These are the folks who give us Hobby Farms, Hobby Farm Homes, Urban Farms, and the ever popular Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy, all magazines I like very much.
This recipe, in fact, is called Zucchini BREAD, but I'm tellin' you... it's like cake!

11/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
11/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs (thank you, girls)
2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups zucchini, shredded (I used four small ones)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped  (I used a small handfull)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp flour

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until well-blended.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a bit at a time, and mix until evenly blended.  Fold in the zucchini and nuts.

Line the bottom and sides of the slow cooker with foil.  Generously butter and flour the foil liner.  Pour the mixture in the slow cooker, and cover.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.

When done, remove the lid, and let the bread rest at least 10 minutes before removing it from the cooker, using the foil to remove it.  Peel off the foil before slicing.  Makes one loaf.

NOW... my changes....

I used a regular crockpot liner, the kind I cook roast in, so did not do the foil and butter step.  I simply lifted the cake out and set it on a plate, cutting the liner off around it, and slipping it onto the plate.  I also found that it was ready in two hours, not two and a half.  It smelled scrumptious as it cooked!  There was no cleanup of the crockpot at all, and I also combined ingredients (except for the zucchini and walnuts) in one bowl, mixed them, and then added the last two ingredients, throwing in the handful of walnuts at the last minute. 
I'm sorry Keith didn't get to eat any, so I'll have to make another this weekend, oh darn!

Things I saw tonight while slogging around with sweat in my eyes: A dozen geese flying low over the pasture, headed to the north.  We have not seen any all summer, but we are in the flyway, and they are starting to move early.  Many trees are already dropping leaves, is that a trigger?

For a week and a half, Keith has been seeing bobwhites in our yard.  I have not seen them, but heard them once.  We have not seen any for 5 years, but I have left most of the pasture high this year on purpose.  Tonight, almost dark, I went out to water more of the garden.  The cardinals are the last to leave the feeder, and I saw a bird fly up and caught a glimpse of red.  Then I noticed another bird on the ground eating the spilled grain.  It was a bobwhite, who calmly fed while I stood there. Then it walked away into the overgrown paths between Keith's garden beds!  Pretty soon it returned, and kept eating.  I placed the small birdbath I bought on the ground so it could drink tomorrow, it has been sitting on a rather rickety base, but the birds have been using it a lot.  Now the quail can, too.

I'm glad Lilly is in these days!


  1. Thats some heat! Cooking too, gotta a real effort to bother!! Still, worth it.

  2. You are a sweetheart to care so much about the wild birds.

    I don't encourage them in the yard because of the cats. And besides we have a 24/7 fresh water creek that runs right behind the house.

  3. Enjoying the heat???? I am soooo tired of it!
    The bread/cake looks delish. Do you think this would work in a tall crock pot?
    Tahanks again for the supplies--they are great and will be put to use!

    Take care and keep cool.
    Keith will be home soon!



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