November 22, 2011 at 6:00 am
It’s Cranberry Bread Day! It’s Cranberry Bread Day!!
You saw it on your calendar, right? Heard about it on the radio?
Uh-oh. Starting to think that Cranberry Bread Day may be an Anderson Family tradition only …
But it is so fun, and has become so much a part of what makes us look forward to Thanksgiving that I hope you will join us in celebrating!
Our cranberry bread tradition began many years ago, before Ellery was even born, when Owen and I read the book Cranberry Thanksgiving. It is such a sweet story about a grandmother guarding her famous cranberry bread recipe, but the deeper message is that you really can’t judge people based on how they appear, or even if they smell like lavender.
(This book always reminds of my grandparents who often sought out a person who was alone for Thanksgiving and asked them to be part of our family celebration. In college, they often told me to bring friends home who could not travel all the way back to their own hometowns to celebrate. My grandfather always said that we were so lucky to have so much, and to have each other, and it was our duty to share that. So reading this book gives me a chance to tell my kids that story too!)
In the back of the book is a recipe for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread, and that first year, we tried it. We got lots of recipe requests at Thanksgiving, and the following year, made it again with a few changes.
We keep experimenting based on allergy restrictions and what we think tastes good (fewer raisins, then no raisins, then adding pecans, for instance).
And what we have come up with is our family’s own recipe based on the book, but also a fun family tradition that really is one of my very favorite parts of the year.
Our Cranberry Bread
(based on the recipe from Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin, and pictured here in their muffin form)
2 cups white spelt flour (unbleached flour is fine too!)
1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals or sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp grated orange peel
3/4 orange juice
2 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Mix dry ingredients (including cane juice crystals or sugar) in a large bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in small bowl. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries and pecans, if using. Spoon into greased loaf pan, cake pan or muffin tin. Cook at 350 degrees for 22 minutes for muffins, 35-40 minutes in a cake pan and 55 minutes to an hour in a bread pan. The bread/muffins is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Note: In the spring we substitute rhubarb for the cranberries! Rhubarb and orange is so yummy together too!
Happy Cranberry Bread Day today!
Do you have a special Thanksgiving tradition? Please tell us in the comments below!