Well, shit. What a roller coaster it’s been lately. I know no one wants to hear my sob story, but it’s my blog so I’ll say it anyway.
Unfortunately my father (and also the greatest chef I know) who was only 58, and the first man I ever loved, passed away on August 28th. I never got to say goodbye– and I’ve had a hell of a time trying to process this. Who will I ask when I need to know how much sugar to mix with the yeast in sourdough waffles?
I know it sounds cheesy but if you’re reading this, hug your Pops real tight because I swear to you every little thing they’ve ever done wrong slips into oblivion and disappears once you know you’ll never get to hear their laugh again.
It took me a while to get back into the kitchen (by awhile, I mean about 2 weeks, but that’s like a century for me). My father taught me how to cook; he showed me how to pick out flavors and put them back together in my mind to create something uniquely delicious before it even hit the bowl. In his absence, I am forever grateful for the gifts he gave me. I miss him every second; either I’m laughing at something he used to say or do or I’m crying because I’ll never make a new memory with him. I just have a collection of the wonderful ones to cling onto when I’m feeling empty. This is life. Death is a part of it, and I’ll be okay. But I’d be a liar if I said this one didn’t hurt like hell.
Sorry for the mini-eulogy, but it felt good to get that out. I’ll keep cooking, of course, and now I have more reason than ever to dig into the kitchen and make my Pops smile.
This quick bread is made with the last bits of summer and the first flecks of fall– and a beautiful way to transition from the hottest season of the year to its slightly chillier cousin. The gooey figs and soft zucchini give the loaf a delicate texture, while the apples and cinnamon sweeten it all up. A slice of this is crumbly, warm, and cozy…and pairs more beautifully with a cup of hot coffee than peas go with carrots.
Did you know figs have a fuckton of fiber? Oh you didn’t? Well, now you dooooo. Fiber is so important- it keeps us fuller for longer, may reduce the risk of certain cancers, and helps our digestive system run smoothly (vague way of stating they help you shit). Figs are actually members of the mulberry family and are also a great source of energizing B vitamins and potassium (which can counteract sodium and thus lower blood pressure).
The spice in this cread (cake/bread combo, anyone?) lingers on your tongue long after the last bite has been gobbled up. Plus, the entire house (or shoebox sized city apartment in my case) will wreak of Fall. No #PSL necessary. This one is for you, Pops.
Apple + Fig Bread with Zucchini
Makes 1 loaf
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium sweet apple, grated
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 cup figs, sliced
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan or a bundt pan with a little bit o’ coconut oil.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, zucchini, ginger, figs, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until just combined. Scrape batter into baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before popping the bread out and going to Carb Town. Bread appetit <3