It’s funny how easy it is to get difficult things done in Dubai, such as building 163 floors of the Burj Khalifa in only 5 years, yet it’s often difficult to get easy things done, such as ordering a zucchini. Here’s an excerpt from today’s order from my friendly neighborhood grocery store:
Me: Hi, can I order a zucchini?
Grocery man: No, don’t have. You want courgette?
Me: Yes, that’s fine.
Grocery man: No, don’t have. Have baby marrow.
Me: Huh? What? (Then remember baby marrow is a local vegetable that is kind of zucchini-ish). Oh ok, I’ll try that.
Grocery man: Wait, we have in yellow.
Me: What? The baby marrow?
Grocery Man: No, zucchini. You come look.
Me: OK. I’m coming. (Do my fat lazy expat stroll to the store…)
After arriving at the store, of course there are about 50 zucchinis on the shelf. I actually found the man I spoke to earlier and informed him, only to have him say: Ohhh, you want Za-co-ni. Why you not say before?
Normally I would have been amused at this whole exchange. Living here has taught me patience, an invaluable virtue to have, especially for raising two crazy boys. But today I was just not in the mood. In fact, this ordeal made me feel kind of homesick. So instead of making my farfalle with zucchini ribbons as initially planned, I decided to make some zucchini bread. It’s delicious and something I haven’t seen anywhere but in the U.S. and reminded me a bit of home.
Original Recipe found here, Yield 2 loaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.