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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Food, Good Memories

Zucchini Bread for Thanksgiving

" Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all food; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts."- James Beard

Because I am an athlete I often get asked about what I eat. I try to eat a reasonably healthy diet, but nothing too strict. I make most of what I eat and avoid processed foods for the most part.  One of things I really love is fresh bread right out of the oven.  I have never been convinced bread is evil, and think you can eat most anything in moderation.

It was a really busy weekend, on Saturday I had a swim clinic and on Sunday a 5K race.  So I did not think I was going to have much time to cook or bake.

But I promised to make the bread for Thanksgiving and it is tough to do it after work.  When I got up to go to my race on Sunday it was 10 degrees. When I got home the house was at 60 F because the furnace had stopped working.

The furnace guy is up north deer hunting and because he has not yet bagged his buck he could not come today and the friend he recruited to come fix the furnace could not come until Monday.  Because my house is brick and I have radiator heat the house stays pretty warm and I have a portable electric heater. So doing some baking would help to keep the house warm. It was a little chilly since the temperature had dropped inside the house to 60 F.  So some bread baking would be just the think to kick up the temperature.

My mom and I would always do the baking and cooking for Thanksgiving and it always included bread just like this.  For her food was love and her way of showing her family how much she cared about them. I have lots of good memories of the time we spent together in the kitchen. She usually did not use a recipe and I didn't today either for the first recipe.

The base of the bread is zucchini milk. Just ground up zucchini. I got the zucchini from a garden at work right outside of the training center. It is a great way to sneak some vegatables into my diet because I don't really love green vegatables.  This bread is really moist. I add some wheat flour to make it a little healthier.

To make it I put the zuchinni milk in a pan with butter and warm it up. Then add it to a bowl that has yeast, sugar a little water and flour.  Then go in the eggs and flour to make the dough. I let it rise to doubled, shape into the rolls, then rise again and bake.

While the dough was rising I made some oven baked chicken and mixed up a batch of lemon bread.
Lemon Bread

I got this recipe from my friend Cindy. She was the one that I visited when I did the Duathlon National Championship a few weeks ago. She gave me this recipe the first time I visited her in Arizona.  On both visits she gave me lemons off her tree. I love this recipe because it is easy and quick to make and tastes like pound cake.

1/2 cup butter softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
Grated peel from one lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk

Beat butter and add sugar. Continue beating until fluffy.  Add eggs and lemon peel. Alternate adding the flour and milk. Mix in the pecans. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan. Just butter the bottom.  Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool ten minutes.  Squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon over the top of the warm bread.  Let cool another 20 minutes and remove from the pan to cool. This bread freezes well.

I love both these recipes. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread. I love it warm with butter. The house was up to 73 F by the time I was done.  Making this bread today brought back good memories of cooking and baking with my mom and my friend Cindy.  

A busy but good weekend that ended with some good comfort food.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 137 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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