If there is any more hated word in the Southern lexicon than zucchini I don’t know what it is. It’s not that we don’t like zucchini. We love the stuff. But right about now is when the first of the zucchini starts coming in from the garden and IT DOES NOT STOP until the frost hits. Zucchini is the weed of the vegetable world. Crookneck squash runs a close second.

The sad fact of the matter is that Southerners can’t seem to stop growing zucchini even though we know that the supply will by far exceed the demand. First we’ll use it ourselves. Then we’ll start giving it to our friends and neighbors. Pretty soon, they’ll avoid eye contact when they see us coming with a basket of zucchini. Finally, we’ll print up signs next to the garden. “Please take all the zucchini you would like.” Yes, it’s true. We will depend on the kindness of strangers to get rid of the zucchini.

And then, for some unknown reason, we will plant the exact same amount next year and go through the same process. We never learn. Apparently.

One of the time-honored ways of using up zucchini is in zucchini bread. It’s tremendously popular in the South because you cannot actually see much of the zucchini in it. In fact, if you peel the zucchini (which you do not have to do), you won’t see any of it in the bread.

My friend, Bobbie Cox, has a garden the size of New Jersey and she almost starts taking orders for excess zucchini while they’re still sprouting in the soil. I got my first load last week. You can only imagine what a hard time Bobbie’s in for. It’s only the middle of June and she has three more months of unloading her excess crop. It’s a good thing she has a lot of friends.

So, it was zucchini bread  for me this weekend. You all know I can’t bake much except pies. So I turned to a girl who has seen her share of zucchini over the years, Paula Deen. Her recipe for zucchini bread couldn’t be easier and it comes out tremendously moist. Here’s her recipe.

And here’s a really good thing. Zucchini bread freezes beautifully. And that’s a good thing because you’ll have a lot of it.

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