Lemony Zucchini, Blueberry & Buttermilk Bread & A Loss In The Family


For months, everyone kept telling me that Michigan blueberries were terrific, so when local blueberries started showing up in the market, I went a little crazy buying over fifteen pounds of them for my freezer. The blueberries were indeed very tart with lots of flavor, so I am definitely glad I bought lots! I wanted to bake something for the grandkids this week, so I decided to use up some of my blueberries and incorporate them into a zucchini loaf.

With summer passing by so quickly, I couldn’t miss posting at least one zucchini bread recipe, and here it is. This one is certainly a keeper, and has just enough shredded zucchini to create a moist bread, but not enough so that picky little eaters would pick out that zucchini is even in the bread. Buttermilk and fresh blueberries added into the mix also helps to create a moist loaf, and just enough lemon zest is in the batter to bring a lightness to the flavor. This bread keeps very well in the refrigerator if well wrapped for about five days though I honestly doubt it will last that long.

On a very sad note……….The world lost a very special man this weekend, and though our hearts are broken, we cannot help but be thankful for all the many years that he was in our lives. This recipe was already scheduled to be posted today, but I felt that I had to add something about the loss of my Father-In-Law who loved everything about Italian cuisine.

My Father-In-Law Saverio Mele was one very good man who worked so hard his whole life to take care of his wife and five children. Sam was an Italian immigrant who arrived in Canada as a young man with almost nothing and often worked a number of jobs at a time to ensure that his family had everything that they needed. Family was everything to him, and he was never happier than he was when he had all his large extended family around him,

Dad also loved to eat good, simple, home cooked Italian food, though was very particular in his likes and dislikes. I was always nervous cooking for him, and though he always praised my meals, he often would often add that had I included “just a little bit of pasta into my menu, it would have been perfect”. For my Father-In-Law, a dinner without pasta just wasn’t complete! I feel like my two children were blessed to have been raised around such a great role model as Sam, especially since my own father died far too young, and my grandchildren all loved him dearly and will miss him terribly. I personally will miss his smile, as he had the BEST smile, which went along with his great sense of humor. I will especially miss him laughing heartily at his own jokes.

Saverio Mele making his yearly sausages.

Sam may not have been a big man in stature, but his loving personality was huge, and you couldn’t meet him and not like him. I have been married for over forty-five years now, and throughout those many years my Father-In-Law was an important person in my life that helped develop my love of Italian cuisine. He also shared many stories about growing up in a small town in Calabria. Until his health failed in recent years, he had a huge backyard garden, and he treasured his fig trees that he had to bury every winter to protect them from the harsh Canadian winters. My Father-in-Law also made sausages and wine every year, and he even dabbled in creating a type of moonshine that tasted like rubbing alcohol to me. The Mele home welcomed one and all, and my Father-In-Law made every guest feel like they were at home.

RIP Dad, we will miss you!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2018

Zucchini, Blueberry & Buttermilk Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (I Used Olive Oil)
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Zucchini
  • Zest & Juice From 1 Large Lemon
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and spray or grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In one bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the two eggs until blended.
  4. Add the oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and buttermilk, and beat until well mixed.
  5. Stir in the zucchini, then pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until mixed.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries, then pour the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  8. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from the pan.
  9. Continue to cool to room temperature before slicing.