The main thing I truly enjoy this time of year is the holiday food, made from recipes dating back as far as my childhood. In recent years I haven't always tried to make every single one of my favorites because the weight gained in a one-month duration seems to take me four months to lose. It takes even longer for Cliff. I don't want the weight, and yet at my age there can't be too many Christmases left, and I want to taste Christmas while I can. I've been dipping a lot of pretzels and peanut-butter-and-crackers in chocolate or almond bark ever since Thanksgiving. It's easy, and we both love that stuff. And we seem to be able to limit how many of them we eat.
I can't say the same for cranberry bread, though. It's very hard to limit. I bought some cranberries before Thanksgiving thinking I might make my mom's dessert-like cranberry salad. For whatever reason, I decided there was plenty of food without it and left the bag of cranberries languishing in the
Debra's Cranberry Bread
2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. soda
1 cup sugar 1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 egg, slightly beaten 3 tablespoons melted shortening
3/4 cup orange juice 1/2 cup nuts
1-2 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half
Mix dry ingredients. Combine egg and liquids. Combine dry and liquid ingredients. Fold in nuts and cranberries. Don't mix too long. Put in greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour at 350.
melt 1/3 cup real butter in saucepan. Blend in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Add two to four tablespoons of hot water till the glaze is of proper consistency. Drizzle over bread.
You can often find that same recipe on the bag of cranberries, and also many websites, the only difference being it doesn't have the glaze, and the cranberries are chopped instead of halved. Once I got hold of the recipe, I decided it was quicker and easier to chop the berries rather than painstakingly cutting each little fruit in half. At one of our Christmas gatherings I told Debra about chopping the berries. She said, "Oh, it really doesn't take that much time, and the bigger pieces of cranberry look so pretty in the bread. And Larry (her husband) usually cuts them in two while I'm doing something else."
Oh well, different strokes for different folks.
But today I remembered Debra saying that, and just because she's such a nice person, I decided to celebrate her by doing things her way. After all, I had to check each berry for softness anyhow. May as well cut them while I'm at it.
When the bread was cool, Cliff and I each had a tiny piece. Oh, it was so good! And guess what? You get more tartness with the larger pieces of cranberry, the sort of tartness that goes perfectly with the sweet bread and the icing. By the way, I personally wouldn't call that topping "glaze" because it's thick, like frosting. But it sure is good! I think we'll each have a piece for breakfast tomorrow.