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Jane Henegar

Good morning, good company. There is a lemony aroma to our first request. Linda R. Harris of Signal Mountain wrote, "Could you ask your readers if they know the recipe for the lemon sauce that Mount Vernon served with their fish dishes? I have tried to replicate it in my kitchen but have not been happy with the results. The consistency never seems right. If I knew the base to start with, I believe I just might get it."

Here is a repeat request, for an almond milk pudding that is both low-sugar and no-dairy, with an add-on. "Does anyone have a formula for cutting down sugar in a recipe?" Is it safe, say, to halve the sugar in almost any recipe, or is this dangerous in baking?



Today we are taking a break from our Best-of-the-Best-in-Your-Kitchen commentary, but please add your favorite feature of your kitchen for the weeks to come. We have had appliances, built-ins, kitchen counters, ovens, knives and bowls so far.

And now enter zucchini territory. Nanette Tucker of Cleveland began, "While living in Florida in the '80s, my friend and I would have lunch occasionally at Raffles restaurant in Fort Myers. We were crazy for their muffins. One time they had the printed recipe for the taking. These muffins are a big favorite whenever I bake them and a good use for all those zucchinis in the garden."


Raffles Zucchini Muffins

4 cups sugar

6 eggs

2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons salt

6 cups flour

4 cups grated zucchini

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

Beat sugar and eggs until well blended. Add oil and vanilla, and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add to egg mixture. Stir in zucchini, walnuts and raisins.

Bake in greased muffin tins in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen large or 4 regular muffins. They freeze well, so I use the whole recipe, but you may cut it in half.

"Wondering what to do with all those zucchini, besides begging your family and friends to take some?" This was Peggy J. Long's question, and hers is also the answer. (As the zucchini in your garden grows from today to next Wednesday, please send another zucchini recipe or more for next week.)


Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup oil (corn oil)

2 cups yogurt (I use Greek vanilla, but Aldi vanilla yogurt works well; see note for other substitution)

1/2 package vanilla pudding mix (dry)

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups zucchini, shredded or grated (do not peel, unless you prefer)

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup nuts, chopped (optional; I use walnuts always in this recipe)

1 cup raisins (optional, and you may substitute dried cranberries)

Heat oven to 350. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, pudding mix, cinnamon, vanilla and zucchini in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredient mixture to the egg mixture slowly. Stir in nuts and raisins during this step. Pour mixture into 6 small (tin) loaf pans. (I spray with nonstick spray and then flour pans.) Bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness and add a couple of minutes more if needed. The middle of loaf will sink as it cools; this is a heavy but moist bread.

Note: You may substitute either 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup sour cream or all sour cream instead of the yogurt.

Ms. Long continued with another zucchini treat. "If you are a relish lover, try this. When I was in my mid 20s (in the 1970s), I was always on a search for zucchini recipes as I always overproduced. When I would give zucchini away to friends and families and anyone else I could unload them on, I would always give them a recipe to try." And so she did for us today.


Zucchini Sweet Relish

10 cups zucchini

4 cups onions

5 tablespoons canning salt

2 and 1/2 cups vinegar

6 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons celery seed

1 tablespoon turmeric

2 teaspoons mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 large red mango, chopped or shredded or ground in a grinder

1 large green mango, chopped or shredded or ground in a grinder

Grind or shred zucchini and onions. Add salt, and put in a large glass jar or glass bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, rinse and drain well.

Add vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, spices and mango to zucchini and onions. Put in large, heavy pan to cook. (I have a large cast-aluminum roaster. If you use a lighter-weight pan, watch so as not to scorch, and adjust heat accordingly.)

Mix well, bring to a boil, and turn down to simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring often.

While still hot, pack into sterilized glass canning jars, filling full and making sure there are no spaces or pockets of air. Seal with lids; use Hot Water Bath Canning to process (instructions follow).

This recipe yields 8 pints.


Hot Water Bath Canning Method

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot (I used a blue granite canner that came with a rack), and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.

Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight, that lid does not move up or down at all.

Here's to zucchini sharing as well as recipe sharing, and as always here is to indispensable you.



* Mount Vernon's lemon sauce

* Low-sugar, no-dairy almond milk pudding

* Tips for cutting sugar in recipes



Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750