We visited the Green City Market on Saturday morning, and I was struck by the duplicity of this time of year. Depending which way you looked, you might’ve found yourself in one season or the other. To your left, there’s a pile of sweet corn, pale green husks and flaxen silks stacked high—and it speaks of deep summer, of double-booked BBQs, and boat rides, and baseball. Straight ahead, there’s a table of peppers of every hue—and they speak of late summer, Labor Day, and long, savored days. But then, to the right, there are crates of apples, small and tart, telling of the autumn to come, multi-colored leaves, and thick sweaters, and mugs of hot cider.
Our feet, in other words, were in two worlds: one lingering in summer, while the other stepped into fall. In light of this, I’ve been trying to straddle the seasons. Burgers followed by apple crisp, for instance. Or a peach pie, preceded by a hearty stew. But, really, I’m trying not to let summer go, to send it off too soon. So, while the weather might call for butternuts and brussels, my mind is still dreaming of some perfect summer meals gone by.
In particular, there was a campsite dinner that is forever burned into my memory, just like the brilliant sunset that set the scene:
Nor can I forget a dinner at my grandparents’ house, made almost entirely of food grown in the backyard garden:
But while this reel of summer’s-meals-past unfurls in my mind’s eye, I know that fall is coming. So I’m giving it nods, here and there, while still seizing the summer produce in the markets. To this bread, which stars summer’s zucchini, I added fall’s spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). It’s helping to ease the transition—to remind us of where we’ve been, but still enticing us to where we’re going.
Whole Wheat-Olive Oil Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Seven Spoons
Yield: 1 loaf
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 cup brow sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and buttermilk. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Stir in the zucchini.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stir until combined, taking care not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted into the loaf comes out almost clean, which should be around 50 minutes. Cool loaves in their pans on a rack for 20 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a rack to cool.