The Retirement and Sneaky Zucchini Brownies

This is from Lila’s series about work. Get out your tissues.

The Retirement

 Honored for

35 years of work service

with cake, coffee for the plant.

The paper circulated:

Honoring ________ for 35 years of service

Was he the young man

I had observed growing up

in my hometown?

 

He didn’t belong to the clique of the kids whose parents had full-time jobs.

Always a pained look on his face,

A bent-shouldered look about him,

For his young years.

Hungry to be liked and accepted,

He was plain,

His brother pretty.

He laughed little because of crooked teeth.

Seemed to carry his family’s sorrows,

His dad walked a little like that too.

His dad drank some and his mother had boyfriends,

You knew he knew in the set of his shoulders.

Those were hard times years, the ‘20’s and ‘30’s,

Everyone was poor.

 

Yes, it was the same man, now 60,

His face and frame had spread,

Like an ink blot that didn’t stop,

Not bright colored – grayed -bluish of face.

The room was full of well-wishers.

I recalled to him the years ago,

Of his brother, his mother,

Where did they live?

My oldest brother, same age,

He knew my husband,

Yet, those years in that town,

Had been blotted out.

Success had come through work,

Still gentle of voice.

 

Dead just within 4 weeks.

Heart attack.

 

Did he sacrifice himself

in mid-age for burdens

he carried as a youth?

 

Love, Lila

Sneaky Zucchini Brownies

Frosted Zucchini Brownies

Today’s recipe is Sneaky Zucchini Brownies. I know you’re thinking, “What the heck! TWO sugar-ish recipes in a row?” Well, here’s the deal. There’s SO MUCH zucchini out there, that after a while, after you’ve put zucchini into everything else, you might as well put it in a family favorite.

Just don’t mention the “Z” word and your kids won’t know they are eating the “V” word!

Sneaky Zucchini Tips

Here are a couple tips I recommend you do that others may not recommend. Most recipes will call for shredded zucchini. That’s an okay thing, but I recommend you use the shredder or grinder attachment to your KitchenAid. It grinds it up so well, no child will wonder out loud if they are ingesting a vegetable. The shredder also obliterates the look of the green outer skin and chunky-vegetable feeling that may be off-putting to some. I make these brownies in the middle of winter. I put my zucchini puree in freezer bags and use it year-round. If you use frozen zucchini, you’ll have to throw it in a colander to remove the excess water from freezing.

Sneaky Zucchini Brownies

Tools you’ll need:

Vegetable shredder or food grinder

Bowl

Sifter

Wooden spoon

9X13 pan

Ingredients

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

1 ½ Cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Cups flour

½ Cup cocoa

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded or zucchini puree

(You really don’t need to strain off any liquid from fresh puree)

½ Cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven at 350˚. Mix oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl with your wooden spoon. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into the oil mixture. Add the zucchini and optional walnuts. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350˚ oven.

Optional Frosting

We eat this without frosting. But if you think people would turn up their noses at a green-tinged brownie, you might want to cover it a bit. You could sprinkle powdered sugar on top and lower the fat and sugar content. But if company is coming and you want to go all out, you can make this chocolate frosting. It does contain less fat than most frosting recipes. It is thinner, but covers a pan of warm brownies well.

Tools you’ll need

Bowl

Wooden spoon

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons cocoa

¼ Cup butter

2 Cups powdered sugar

¼ Cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Melt the cocoa and butter in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Add to the powdered sugar. Add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time. Beat with wooden spoon. Add vanilla. Frost brownies while warm.

 

Zucchini Brownie Recipe