My husband and I were recently talking about how some meals can never be un-eaten. Once you have been traumatized by a food, you never look at it quite the same again, and the memories can remain remarkably vivid. This set me to thinking about the emotions of food. Eating can be a very positive experience, enough so that most of us have a ‘comfort food' that we bring out on Jonah days, those days when you feel like you have spent three days in the belly of the whale (I also call these azure days). As much as food can bring comfort, there is no denying the power of negative dining room memories. It is perhaps ironic that I enjoy eating food, not to mention cooking and writing about it, as much as I do, but it was not always so. I wont get into details, but suffice to say that long before additive sensitivities made food my focus, I used to dread lunch and try to hide from dinner.
I recently faced down a ghost of meals gone by, it showed its teeth and rattled its chains. I had gotten yellow summer squash in my co-op box, and I was grating it for my Pear & Yellow Summer Squash Spice Bread. I was also shaking, sweating, in tears, and my stomach was tied in knots that might have left a Boy Scout green with envy; I, on the other hand, was just plain green. I came close to chucking the whole thing into the compost, but I felt ridiculous enough. In the end, something sweet came from my efforts, and when I decided to make this Blueberry & Yellow Squash Bread, it wasn't as traumatic. I don't suppose straight yellow squash will ever be a comfort food for me, but I have faced it down and found that I can enjoy it in stealth mode. I don't know if other people have such strong reactions to food, but judging by the comments that some of my posts garner, I suspect that I may not be alone.
Blueberry & Yellow Squash Bread
All the emotions aside, I can honestly say that I really enjoy this Tea bread. It has just a hint of lemon, the blueberries show off nicely, and the bread is moist and mildly sweet. If you like a sweeter bread, you could add sugar or a glaze, but even with my sweet tooth (Who am I kidding? I must have several sweet teeth, LOL), I really would make this just the same next time around. As always, I use as many organic ingredients as possible.
• ½ cup butter
• 1 cup lemon zest sugar, you substitute cane sugar & add the zest of one lemon
• 2 cups flour (I used 1½ all-purpose flour & ½ cup whole wheat flour)
• 2 eggs
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 yellow summer squash finely grated
• 1½ cups blueberries (toss gently with an additional Tbsp or so of flour)
Preheat oven to 350° F (app. 175°C*)- if using stoneware, check the recommendations of your manufacturer regarding oven temperature.
Prepare a loaf pan (butter, and if needed, line with parchment paper).
Cream butter & sugar, add eggs one at a time.
Whisk salt, baking powder & baking soda into the flour.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the grated squash, mixing only until all ingredients are incorporated.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter and spoon it into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake app 60 mins. or until a tester, inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
I allowed the loaf to cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning the loaf out, but that was mostly so that I could photograph the bread.
Enjoy with a cup (or pot) of tea.
summer squash: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=62
*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.