“The shore is visible beyond the window. And you can hear the sound of waves, and someome’s voice. There’s a hint of the sea in the breeze. Small white clouds are etched against the azure sky. And it’s summer. Always it’s summer”
On this magnificent day with blinding sunlight, I am feeling so many feelings about it not being ceiling fan weather anymore. Summer has taken its time sticking around this year and for that, I am eternally grateful. My blood runs warm and the slightest change outside makes me want to call a strike and stay home consuming warm beverages and noodles. Last week I crossed an amazing think off my list of things I’ve dreamed about experiencing: I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert in one of the most beautiful concert venues I’ve ever seen. Sitting right on the ground, surrounded by the Columbia River Valley, listening to the voice of my teenage years. It was perfect.
My walks home from work have given me a little extra time to think about all the things that I push aside when the days get too much. So far, house life has been a series of decisions on all the things we need to replace and disagreeing 1000 times about the importance of it all. For me, things are meaningless. Yet, here we are in a new house we convinced ourselves we needed. It’s beautiful in here and yet it has just enough to leave me wanting to escape from it. I think that’s a good thing. There’s an apple tree in the front and I know exactly how to find my way back. As for filling this place up with stuff, it’s going to take a while. I keep telling myself that it’s okay that there still is chaos. We aren’t robots. We have to go to work. In the middle of it all, we need to rest, watch pointless television and walk the dogs. For those of us struggling to make sense of the ease in which people summer, we have cake.
And this cake is my celebration of a summer of firsts and a summer I’m letting go off as the leaves turn. It’s okay that I haven’t had time for many many many things. I’ve done my best and deep down in my veins, it’s always summer, just like Murakami wrote.
This cake has no icing for a reason: We eat it for breakfast, after lunch and with tea. It’s almost like zucchini bread except it’s a lot more celebratory. We’ve needed some of that around this place. If you’re like me, still buying every last bit of squash I lay eyes on, make this up for yourself! I didn’t refrigerate this cake because I didn’t want it to dry out. Instead I plastic wrapped it and set it in the corner of the kitchen. It stayed perfect for the 3-day period it lasted in the house. If you feel feelings about leaving things in the open, follow your heart. 🙂
- 260 gms (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground pumpkin spice OR 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ginger powder + 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs (160 gms), at room temperature
- 187 gms (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil if you want a milder flavour)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped almonds
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a cake pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet and line it with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and dust with flour. You can also use a cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside
Break the eggs in a large bowl and pour in the sugar and oil. Beat the ingredients using a hand mixer on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Once the sugar blends in, the mixture will start to look fluffy. Add vanilla extract to the blend. Pour in the flour mixture. Beat the flour in with the egg-oil mixture until it all combines (less than a minute). Be careful not to over mix.
Stir in the zucchini using a hand whisk or a spoon. About 4-5 big stirs should ensure that the zucchini is mixed in well. Add the chopped almonds the same way.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan/skillet and place into the over for 45-50 minutes. The cake is ready when you insert a toothpick into the middle and it comes out clean. Once it’s done, let it cool completely before slicing into it. Or you know, don’t.