Good grief and nature go together like basil and tomatoes. There is no escaping it. As much as I thought I could take a break from grief there is so much about Mother Nature that keeps it right on the edge of my mind and in my heart. William was such an outdoorsman. As a kid, he loved everything about playing in the woods. His passions included hunting, fishing or just being with Mother Nature. Fond memories include playing eye-spy searching out critters hiding in the brush. He was happy.
Our new backyard (we have lived here 2 years now) brings William into my heart nearly every day. This week there are dancing blue birds, red tailed hawks, overhead, teaching their babies to fly and just this morning 4 young bucks butting heads—the latter brings an automatic, “Good Morning, William” from my lips. It makes me happy.
As always I am thankful to have these moments with William and to live in such a beautiful place. I am also thankful that the deer have kept their distance from my garden and that Mother Nature has provided us with an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables for me to play with in the kitchen.
Take the zucchini (please take some) for instance. I only planted 2 seeds and I have more than I know what to do with. It’s been grilled, roasted, stuffed and pancaked, but my favorite new recipe are these little cakes. Enjoy!
Yucatan Squash Cakes
3 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup applesauce
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups shredded zucchini, lightly tamp it down into the cup
Preheat oven 350F. Lightly grease or line 2 ½ dozen muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder into a large bowl, then whisk until blended and set aside. In mixing bowl, beat eggs on high speed with an electric mixer for 2−3 minutes gradually adding the sugar. Beat until mixture is pale yellow, thick and creamy. Add oil, applesauce and melted butter; beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold gently by hand until dry ingredients are completely moistened and mixed. Stir in zucchini. Using a standard ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar or add a chocolate glaze or frosting, if desired, but really not needed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes