Zucchini bread and my brain, by Hilary

Tuesday, 30August, 2011

Zucchini bread and my brain, by Hilary

by beckerich

Post image for Zucchini bread and my brain, by Hilary

I have this week off from work and rather than organize my days like the producer I have inside of me (the one I have been desperately trying to kill off for about two years now), I have decided to plan absolutely nothing.  My head held defiantly high I am proudly staying home!  Take that producer!  I’m spending some much-needed time at home with my husband and I’m going to reconnect with myself and my friends here who I have not had a second to spend any time with.  And another thing…. I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing but relax!  So take THAT you horrible whip cracker!!

Yeah right. So, this morning when I’m at my most vulnerable and before I have time to get some sort of semblance of control over my mind, It hops to the front of the line and takes over.  I woke up with a feeling of absolute panic and dread.  It tricked me and before I knew it, it smacked me in the face the second I opened my eyes.  My head was ringing to a familiar tune that sounded something like this.  “OH MY GOD!!!  I have so much to do this week. I have to write my book and I have to do the blog and cook and go on a huge bike ride today before it starts to rain.  I need to start-up yoga again and seriously loose 15 pounds!!”  How am I ever going to do it all before next Monday????”

Panicked, I threw off my covers and sprang out of bed.  Quickly brushed my teeth and splashed cold water on my face.  Heart pounding I ran to the coffee pot and started tapping my foot, arms crossed glaring at the kettle wondering why it has to take so freaking long to boil.  Does it not know I have some serious shit to do today!!

So what do I do?  It all has to be theatrical of course.  I shut off my phone. I throw the computer under the bed as it stresses me out and reminds me of work.  My big pan was going to live all week like a woman in the 80’s.  Ink on paper, yoga every morning, no electronics!!  I need to get my shit together girl.  I have to change everything to make anything happen!  I clearly cant do it the way I am now!  I’m an absolute mess!  All I do is go-go-go.  I’m so checked out I have no idea which end is up!

I grabbed my coffee (FINALLY) and wrote for about 1 hour.  About what?  Would you like to know?  Ohhh… mostly about how shit my life was, how I’m not doing anything I set out to do, how my computer and my job is a soul suck, and how everyone else on the planet but poor little old me is living out their passionate lives and totally happy and mine sucks and I need a change. A BIG CHANGE or I wont be able to succeed in anything I want to do with my life.  I decided, like I do once a week, that I need to quit my job and Tim and I need to travel through Asia for 6 months.  Duh… problems solved.  Pfew!!

Then I stopped.  I realized my brain had taken over and I took a deep breath.  I can’t tell you how many times I have written this exact same thing.  And how many times I have actually quit my job and changed my life thinking that if I do this, I’m going to do all the things I want to do.  And believe me, I know better.   If my years of therapy and self-help na na have taught me one thing it’s this:  wherever you go you take yourself with you.  So yeah yeahhhhhh… here I am again.  2.5 years in England and my life is basically the same as it was when I lived in San Francisco.  It’s gotten a step closer to the life that I wanted when I up and quit my Apple job, feel in love with a Brit and moved to England.  I’m now living in the English countryside 4 out of 7 days a week but rather than just having a 60 mile commute to Cupertino from San Francisco, I have a 3 hour commute to London from the countryside and about 3-4 times a year I have a 5,000 mile commute BACK to San Francisco.  Programing baby.  It’s not easy shit to change.

What else do I know?  When I go slow I can make sense of things.  When I breathe it comes to me.  That if I take me with me that means I also take my creativity with me too.  Yeah… I get that other part that drives me insane but I also get to take my soul with me.  I’m all here.  Every part of me.  I can do anything I want to do if I don’t let my mind get carried away and bring me back to the shit storm that isn’t even real.  That things don’t have to be what I consider in my demented dream world to be perfect before I can live my life or do the things I want to do with it.  That my life is amazing.  To love myself today for the bananarama that I am.  Because I’m not really changing.  I’m 41.  I have had years of introspection and regardless of being a yogini or a workaholic or an alcoholic, I’m still the exact same person.  The challenge is just to accept who I am and love her.

And all this before 10:21am.

And I realize I sound certifiable.

And…well.. I am.

But whatever.

And so… at this very moment, at 10:21am, I have decided to not take life so seriously, I’ve made friends with myself, my phone and my computer and decided to ground myself with a little cooking.  Which is my therapy these days.  So how about a good ole vegan zucchini bread recipe?  This has been a staple at our house for the last month or so as our garden is exploding with zucchini’s!

Also, Lauren and I did go to Budapest last week.  I am the absolute worst.  I attempted to write about our amazing trip twice and this stuff just kept coming up instead.  SO… rather than force out something that is clearly in hibernation this morning, you can read about it next post, since Lauren is the better travel writer anyway!  That said, It was amazing!  And I will post about it too.  Just for some reason I can’t get it out today.


Zucchini-Walnut Bread

*** From Meredith McCarty’s Sweet and Natural cookbook!  One of my all time favourites! All vegan cakes and desserts and all so good for you!

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp each ginger and cinnamon

1/4 cup light walnut or canola oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I use agave as maple syrup in the UK is priced like liquid gold)

1/4 cup soy milk

1/4 cup apple juice

Zest of half a lemon

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup green and or yellow zucchini, about 4 ounces, grated

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


- Preheat oven to 350 F / 177 C

- Line bottom of standard loaf pan (9x5x3-inch) with parchment and oil the sides.

- Set a tablespoon of zucchini to garnish the surface of the bread

- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk he wet ingredient in a medium bowl and add to dry.  Stir just enough to incorporate all ingredients, then fold in squash and nuts.

- Transfer mixture to loaf pan.  Distribute remaining zucchini over surface.  Bake until cake tests done and is quite golden, about 45 minutes.

- Allow loaf to sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn load out to cool completely on a wire rack.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

connie September 2, 2011 at 4:43 am

Love this post, especially the line “wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” So true.


Natalcho October 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Hilary, your writing is so real to me and girl, you can’t be certifiable because if you are I am too:) I know that voice and I struggle with it every day, drowning it most often in red wine or Vampire Diaries endless marathons. I love your writing – please write more often – because all of your writing is so real and beautiful and it resonates with many many people out here.


beckerich October 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

@ Natalcho: Wow! Thank you so so much! I think we might be the same person :) I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve sat in front of my computer with Vampire Diaries and red wine!! I love it. xoxoxoxxoox


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