“Mom. Mom. Mom. Can we make zucchini bread now? ”
My oldest is interrupting my sacred Sunday Afternoon Nap with questions. She should know better by now. I have had a longer relationship with this weekly nap than I have with the whole entire family living in this house. What is she thinking?
“After my nap” I mutter, and roll over to continue my slumber. Eight thousand interruptions later, I begrudgingly get up, stumble to the kitchen, and growlingly announce to Girlchild the time has come for her bread making.
“Grab that grater and grate the zucchini” I direct her first.
“Wait, what?” she stammers uncertainly, as I continue to gather ingredients. I repeat myself, which does nothing for my mood.
“Um, that seems like a lot of work. I don’t want to make zucchinni bread anymore,” Girlchild announces to my disbelief. Then saunters off to the living room to sulk in a chair, as I begin irritatingly relaying the story of the Little Red Hen. Teaching moments should not occur when the teacher is irritable.
Enter happy little Manchild. Oblivious to his surroundings as usual, he bounces through the kitchen and offers to take over the making of the zucchini bread, as Girlchild has gone AWOL. I consent, and direct him to begin grating the zucchini. After shredding 3/4 of the needed amount of zucchini, Manchild quits. “That’s a lot of work. I don’t want to do it anymore,” he announces, and bounces out of the kitchen on his way.
“Is the zucchini bread done yet”, Girlchild shamelessly calls from the living room.
I light into a second rendition of the Little Red Hen to everyone in earshot, and inform the entire household that only Daddy and I shall be partaking in the consumption of zucchini bread, since I did the baking and Captain Schenanigans cleaned out my van, earning himself a free pass.
I take the remaining 3 inches of un grated zucchini, and pick it apart with my fingernails in to pea sized chunks, throwing them unceremoniously into the mixing bowl. Quitters don’t get finely shredded vegetables, they get chunkies.
By now I’m elbow deep in this recipe, and realized that we are out of baking soda. Mad and cooking are a poor combination. I omit the ingredient, certainly not about to make a trip to the store for a recipe I had no desire to be making, for children who had no desire to stick it out and help. Laziness does not equal baking soda for you!
I’m also too irritated to bother reading the direction on the recipe, which was the result of a hasty google search and unfamiliar to me. I had no time for flipping through Betty Crocker books. So, the batter became stiff, crumbly, and did not look right. Naturally, I added water- which was NOT an ingredient.
I divided the strange batter into 2 loaf pans of differing materials and thicknesses, threw the whole darn thing in the oven, and left the kitchen without knowing what time it was, or when it would be done. Great plan.
Roughly an hour later, I guess, I check the bread. Not cooked through, back in the oven it goes.
Check again, the bread had a strange gray look to it, but has baked through, and is easy to pop out of the nicely greased and floured pans. The family flocks around like seagulls at spilled boardwalk fries. Equally chirpy and demanding. The Little Red Hen story is all I can see in my mind.
The bread is weird, there is no doubt this is not normal. There is no moisture, no raisins, and more crumbles. We compensate by adding extra butter to our slices. And the peasants rejoice.
The next morning, after a breakfast of more strange zucchini bread, Manchild heads to preschool. Now each morning, the children have a question of the day. That particular day’s question was “have you ever eaten zucchini bread?”
Turns out, Manchild was the only one in his class to have consumed this normally tasty treat. Not only that, but somehow he must have been bragging on his mother’s culinary skills and ability to churn out this American delicacy. In his bag I find a handwritten note from his teachers, asking something along the lines of this “Mrs. Schenannigans, we hear you make wonderful zucchini bread! Would you be willing to make some for our class to taste?”
Of course I would.
On my terms, with my scheduling, after all the children have gone to bed. Perhaps I’ll even double the batch, for Captain Schenanigans. Because there is no end to the rewards one ought to reap for detailing one’s wife’s van, especially on a Sunday, without being asked. This time, I’ll even spring for the baking soda! XOXOXO