During my high school years, Raymond Carver was a favored short fiction writer of mine. As a student of literary arts, I wanted to emulate his poetic brevity and directness. As a human, I admired the delicacy with which small and honest moments of understanding were placed amidst the chaos of circumstance. His writing could easily be described as “minimal,” without the flourish of metaphor to cushion a character’s hard reality. There’s a story I’m thinking of this morning called “A Small Good Thing,” from his collection of stories “Cathedral.” It’s rather dark but ends with a man and woman in mourning and the kind, few words of a baker who reminds them “Eating is a small good thing in a time like this.” Which is what I wanted to share with you, no matter the time you’re having.
Carrot, Zucchini & Pistachio Bread
Makes 2 loaves
3 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 T Graham Masala
¼ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ C Unsweetened Applesauce
1 C (packed) Brown Sugar
¼ C Agave Sweetener
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 C Grated Zucchini
1 C Grated Carrot
½ C Unsalted Pistachios (whole or chopped, roasted or unroasted)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two loaf pans, or line two loaf pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and graham masala. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, olive oil, applesauce, agave and sugar. Once well combined, add vanilla extract.
Switch to low speed if using stand mixer, otherwise switch to a sturdy wooden spoon and add the zucchini and carrot. Fold in pistachios.
Bake on a rack centered in the oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. The bread should be dense and moist and delicious with butter, cream cheese, or alone.