Lately, I’ve been craving this wonderful zucchini cake my Aunt Mary made once when I was up at her and my Uncle Mike’s house in New York State near Batavia. Up there, in farm country where highways are long and flat, and fields are green and lush with vegetation in spring and summer, fresh zucchini is in abundance, ripening in the sun and collected by the bushel. I am quite sure that my version will not rival Aunt Mary’s due to the lack of quality in my produce alone, but it doesn’t matter. For me, making this cake is about remembering some amazingly fun meals we had together in her kitchen and on the big sunny back porch at their house which looks out over what used to be the potato field (now overgrown) on the farm where my father and Uncle Mike grew up. It’s about remembering those dinners that stretched long into the summer night because the sun wouldn’t set until 9pm, and the conversations that were had around the kitchen table before and after.
My Babcha’s house was next door to Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary’s – the original farmhouse where my father, uncle and their two sisters grew up. When my Babcha still lived there it was easy for her to come over for dinner to my Uncle’s and I remember her razor sharp wit which she used to “zing” whoever came into her line of fire during the course of conversation. She was a regular firecracker, both kind and outspoken, and even when she was older, she could light up a room.
Ugh. It’s not just the cake. Honestly, the cake doesn’t even fit the real criteria for this project because I’m not sure how many generations it goes back. It’s just that for some reason, the taste, the smell, the recipe card with my Aunt’s familiar handwriting which has been on countless cards and notes of well-wishing over the years, all of it just pulls me into a wormhole that takes me straight to those warm summer nights in upstate New York, watching my parents, Aunt and Uncle and Babcha engage in conversational fireworks on the porch looking over the potato field. And I guess that’s what food like this is all about anyway.
Aunt Mary’s Zucchini Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 lg eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I used more)
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup nuts (optional)
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes.
13 x 9 greased pan
Sour Cream Frosting
2 1/2 cups 10x sugar (confectioners sugar)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup margarine
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
Blend together mix well
So excited to announce that our film made for the project “Crazy: A Story About Cake (And Other Things)” is an official selection of The Americas Film Festival of New York and will compete for the The Americas Film Award! The festival is June 2-5 in NYC , check out the full lineup here:http://www.taffny.com/
We’ve been loving the response for this film, and are so grateful for the support it has received! We’re continuing to look for fresh stories to film, so if you know someone with an amazing story, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @AmericanRecipe.
Creator, The American Recipe Project
We had such a wonderful time at the Food Film Fest Charleston and met so many fellow food-lovers and movie-makers in that great southern city. We saw a film about BBQ on the flight deck of a battleship, we had our own film screened for a crowd of about 300 in a distillery. It was also great to catch up with the stars of our documentary, Jan and Dean Weaver, who attended the screening with us and kindly answered the many questions of audience members after the screening. As if all this wasn’t enough, we were even lucky enough to be given the Audience Choice Award!
We’ll be posting out own photos soon, but till then, you can see festival pics here:
Maddie and Justin at the Food Film Fest Charleston 2014
Screening of “Crazy”
Maddie and Jan Speak to George Motz, Festival Director
High Wire Distilling Co
Stay tuned for more exciting project news very soon!
Founder, The American Recipe Project
We have some very exciting news about one of the short films we produced for this project – “Crazy: A Story About Cake and Other Things” which has screened in Boston is making it’s way to Charleston South Carolina as an official selection of the Charleston Food Film Fest (http://thefoodfilmfestival.com/) and we will be screening at the Food Porn Party with some other great films Friday April 25th at the High Wire Distilling Co! Party starts at 6:30 pm and will feature all-you-can-eat-tacos, Crazy Cake (Alice’s recipe from the film) made by a PASTRY CHEF, drinks, more food and of course, FABULOUS food movies. Best of all, the stars of our documentary, Jan and Dean Weaver will be there to see the film on the big screen.
Needless to say, we are stoked.
We hope you can make it if you’re in the Charleston area and want to have an AMAZING Friday night! Passes can be purchased on the festival website. Follow @AmericanRecipe and like us on Facebook to see pictures and exclusive updates from the festival!
Creator, American Recipe Project
We are so excited to announce that our short documentary (and one of our episodes) “Crazy: A Story About Cake and Other Things” has been invited to be screened at Portsmouth Short Film Night in Portsmouth, NH! The event is Friday February 28th at 280 Marcy St. Portsmouth NH from 7-9 PM (free!) and Maddie and Justin will be doing a Q and A after the screening. Come down, check out some of Portsmouth’s great restaurants and breweries, see some amazing local films, and make a night of it! Details are at the FB event below:
See you there!