Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to celebrate my dad's 94th birthday with him up in Vancouver, Washington, where he lives. It was a great week. My brother Paul and I took advantage of our access to Mt. Hood and went on a short backpacking adventure after the birthday festivities. As we packed our lunches for the first day, we threw some zucchini bread into a ziplock. It was a gift from my dad's next door neighbor who had brought it over for the party the day before. As Paul placed it in the ziplock, he looked up at me and said in his quiet way pregnant with a million thoughts, "Lembas."
Paul is a funny guy. Always makes me laugh. I, of course, not having read "The Lord of the Rings," did not know what he was referring to. But, he explained. And now, I know.
We enjoyed the Lembas, not only for lunch that day, for a little does indeed go a long way, but as a treat for one or two meals after that. Haha!
Anyway, the zucchini bread recipe was actually from Sharon Cline, the neighbor across the street who had shared it with Evelyn Reese, the next door neighbor. Sharon succumbed to cancer about a year ago, unfortunately, but her recipes live on in the neighborhood, and here I am now to share it with you.
You can call it Lembas, if you like.
Sharon Cline's Recipe for Zucchini Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
15 oz. can drained crushed pineapple
Mix together all of the above and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the following:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
Into the flour mixture, stir 1 cup chopped dates, raisins, or cranberries. And 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour batter into two greased/floured loaf pans. Bake about one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
And here is the recipe card that my sister Anne lovingly wrote out for me the day I left to return to LA. I didn't look it over until I got home, and then I laughed out loud. Paul and I had shared the story of Lembas with her, so she included references to it when she wrote out the recipe. My family is awesome. Thanks, Anne and Paul, and Sharon and Evelyn, and of course, my dad. And let's not forget J.R.R. Tolkien. Thank you, Tolkien.