Friday, July 29, 2016

I want to BAKE!!!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I love to bake, but I seldom do it. Why? Calories.

I've been reading Susan Branch's Martha's Vineyard: Isle of Dreams. It's a memoir of how she became the unique and famous cookbook author that she is. (I won't admit to you how many times I've read it since it came out in April, either--but it's more than five.)

This book speaks to me on so many levels; as an author, as someone who struggled to become an author (although Suan's book was accepted on her second try--and she never had to go through the whole struggle of finding an agent and 11 years of rejection. And she didn't start at a small press, she went straight to the top). Am I jealous?  A little green with envy, but it doesn't pay to be jealous. Everybody has their journey and that's what makes their talent singular.

We have other things in common. We both bought tiny houses as single women, when not many women were doing that. (Although I bought my first house at age 24; she was 34.) She was writing from an early age (her diaries--which is why she is such a good memoirist), I always had my secret stories, but didn't start writing them down until I was 17. She made people happy through her cooking. I made me happy through baking.

She's sprinkled recipes throughout the book,  (Hey, she's primarily a cookbook author, and her recipes are good.) I'm a cookbook author, too (though not nearly as successful). I used to hate to cook, but always enjoyed baking. These days, I'm cooking more (and finally enjoying the process), but not baking as much.

I live in fear of the scale. As you get older, it's so much harder to lose weight. I recently went on a diet and lost six pounds. For our anniversary, Mr. L bought us a cake (and it wasn't THAT big a cake). We shared it, 50/50.  I gained back those 6 pounds and he didn't gain an ounce.

I'm back on the diet.

But today I'm going to bake zucchini bread. My container garden plant gave me two tiny zucchinis and I bought two more at the Public Market.  I'm going to allow myself one slice, and then freeze the rest. Mr. L will enjoy it for breakfast in the coming weeks. But you know, I'm getting tired of only having one slice. I feel so demoralized by having to deny myself things I like because of the power of that damned scale.

The fact is, most of my family are diabetics and I'm not. And I want to keep it that way. So I'll just have my one slice. And I'll keep writing about food and eating vicariously. That's the only way I'm going to keep from packing on the pounds.

Have you struggled in this way?

P.S.  Here's my zucchini bread recipe (made with unsweetened applesauce for less calories--of course, adding the nuts kind of cancels that out--except walnuts are very healthy. (Yes, they are!)).

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cup granulated sugar
(or 1 brown sugar + 1 granulated sugar)
2 cups grated zucchini squash
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, Gas Mark 4). Combine the eggs, applesauce, and sugar until well blended. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda; stir into zucchini mixture. Stir in chopped nuts. Bake in 2 well-greased loaf pans for 1 hour.

 Yield: 28 slices