A Southern Grace: rotten luck, rotten plants

August 4, 2015

rotten luck, rotten plants


My family is full of green-thumbed gardeners, and they all told us* we were nuts to nurture five squash plants for two people. They might've been right, but we'll never know.

That's right. We're down to one struggling zucchini plant. The other four lost their luster seemingly overnight--one day, they were perky and green, the next, they were sagging and yellowed. We discovered the (numerous) culprits thanks to some quick searching on the internets. It seems we were the lucky recipients of squash vine borers, which were new to us and absolutely heinous.

*I wish those aforementioned green-thumbed gardeners had warned us about these monsters.
So freakin' gross.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for our lone survivor, but we're definitely not counting on it to produce. Fortunately, we got about a dozen nice zucchinis before the plague hit, and I've had fun using them. The last of them deserved a special purpose, so I broke out my loaf pans and made some quick bread.

Like standard banana bread but unlike sweet potato bread, it seems I prefer my banana zucchini bread toasted, though your mileage may vary. Would a tomato jam be weird on this? I have a few (hundred) tomatoes ripening as we speak. Eh, maybe. I'll stick with butter for now.

There's very little evidence of zucchini in this bread, so if you're dealing with some picky eaters, this is a good way to get some green stuff down their gullets.

Pre-Squash-Vine-Borer Banana Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 9x5- or 8x4-inch loaves
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cup plain (or vanilla!) yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x5- or 8x4-inch loaf pans.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add banana, zucchini, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.
Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.


Angie's Recipes said...

I love zucchini quick bread and this looks perfectly dense and moist..right up my alley.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm so sorry to hear that...

Nonetheless, your banana zucchini bread looks amazing and really delicious.



Marjie said...

Can you spread used coffee grounds around the squash plants? That stops slugs and similar creepy crawlies. And then you could make more lovely breads like this one.

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Oh NO about those critters on your plants! But you are clearly making the very best of the crop you have. And, I think my new motto needs to be Butter Makes It Better - we think alike! :)

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

I know how you feel, my thriving zucchini plant also died. I don't know what killed my plant but it could have been an ugly critter.Your bread looks tasty, especially with butter.

Unknown said...

Everyone is trying to make a living - even the squash vine borers. What a bummer, but you can always get your squash from someone with a bumper crop or a farmers market.

Your bread looks amazing! Wishing I had some to go with my morning coffee...

Barbara said...

Lordy, that's an ugly bug! Does make gardening less fun, for certain. I have a sneaky feeling you'll get lots of anti bug suggestions in comments this week. We always had some squash growing when we lived up north....do not remember having a problem with bugs. The problem was getting rid of all the Zucchini! :)
Love your bread, sorry you couldn't sneak in more zucchini.
Can't resist giving you our family recipe for buckwheat pancakes. They're wonderful.

Pam said...

Guess what I am making today? THIS BREAD! I have all the ingredients in hand. Thanks Grace!

Those vine borers look nasty.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Looks delicious! Meaning the bread of course :)
The nasty little squash killer is hideous, indeed. I have yet to run into that bugger, and hope I never do!

Joanne said...

Oh no!! I think my MIL struggled with those guys. At least you got some squash out of them while you could!

Beth said...

So sorry to hear about the fate of your zucchini plants. Looks like you used the ones you harvested very well!