Last week, I fell in love. It took about, oh, 30 seconds…

 

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I live around the corner from a vet clinic. I pass it every time I go to the shops, or the train. And sometimes the antics of the cats in the big cage in the window make me smile. But last week, I stopped. I looked. I was a goner. This tiny little black kitten lifted its head and looked at me with big blue eyes….

So, most unexpectedly, I found myself adopting a kitten.

Zuki (it’s short for zucchini, which is the name the folk at the vet clinic had given her – quite a good omen, I thought when they told me, a foodie name for a food-loving owner) is adorable. I know, all kittens are! But she was found when only a day or two old, taken to the vet and raised by them, and they have done a great job. She’s happy, playful, and (almost!) toilet trained.

So today, I made zucchini bread, as a thank-you for the lovely folk at the clinic. I stuck fairly closely to this recipe but added half a cup of walnuts. I found it needed a little longer to cook than stated in the recipe, but I was using silicon bakeware, not a metal loafpan.

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Zucchini Bread with Walnuts

[Original recipe from Good Taste magazine, posted with permission]

300g (2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted

140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

1 cup coarsely grated zucchini

250ml (1 cup) vegetable oil

3 eggs, lightly whisked

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 20 x 10cm loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, zucchini, oil, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and walnuts in a large bowl.

Spoon the zucchini mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: I obviously can’t say how this tasted, but it smelled and looked very tempting. The cooked loaf had that lovely weightiness in the hand that you get with a good banana bread, too (and when I licked the spoon the batter was yummy. Come on, who doesn’t lick the spoon??) I will be making this one again.  And if you are looking for tips on freezing, check the link to the original recipe. Apparently you can toast slices from frozen. Now that’s a good breakfast idea!)

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