I’ve interviewed a lot of chefs over the years, and one of my favorite questions is this: What’s your earliest food memory?
Since honesty is the best policy, I’ll start off by saying that mine comes somewhat secondhand, borrowed from a cousin five years my junior. I was eight at the time, spending the summer with my grandparents, when Amy waltzed into the backyard, licking an enormous spoonful of white fluffiness. “Mmm, whipped cream,” I said. “Nope,” she replied, “mayonnaise.”
Lurch. Expecting sweet and getting savory – a huge, grinning mouthful of it – sent my stomach into a free-for-all, the likes of which you normally associate with log rides and roller coasters. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t tell my children about the secret ingredient in the quick bread I made today for their after-school snack. “How about some spice bread?” I asked, knowing they’d easily devour half a loaf. What’s not to love about cinnamon and cloves and ginger? I’m not the betting kind, but I’m pretty sure the response would’ve been less enthusiastic if I’d offered another kind of bread. Say, squash bread.
What is it that makes squash bread sound so, well, yucky? Pumpkin bread is delicious, zucchini bread, too. But squash bread? Not exactly a popular title in most cookbooks. Squash isn’t the problem, at least not in my house, for the kids like it just fine when it’s sautéed with garlic and tossed with parsley. I think it’s that age old problem of expecting one thing and getting another. Like Heinz’s green ketchup, for example. Some leaps are just too big for the eyes – and stomach – to make.
But back to the bread. Like other grated vegetables, squash makes perfect sense because it keeps the batter moist while filling it with added nutrients. Plus squash is readily found this time of year, either at the grocery store (albeit shipped in from somewhere else) or local (if you were part of a CSA last summer and stashed away some of the excess in your freezer). So why not get out the grater and bake some bread? Spice bread, that is.
Click here for the recipe: Spice Bread