Yes, I am aware of the fact that it is Valentine’s Day.
No, I will not be posting anything involving chocolate, heart shapes, or two servings. There will be the colour red, but that is incidental.
There are many good reasons for this. For one thing, I posted a very chocolately recipe last week. For another, I had a cold over the weekend and didn’t feel up to rolling out cookies or crackers, as I had half planned to. And, most importantly, I felt like baking cranberry bread.
Cranberry bread and I have a long history together. When I was very small, one of my favorite picture books was Wende and Harry Devlin’s Cranberry Thanksgiving. Ordinarily, I wasn’t too keen on rereading, but Cranberry Thanksgiving was an exception: I never got tired of looking at the misty autumn cranberry bog or Mr. Whiskers’ impressive mop of a beard, or of hearing about the mysterious disappearance of Grandmother’s secret recipe for cranberry bread.
After we finished the story, we’d follow the recipe in the back to bake cranberry bread, filling the house with the tart, fruity scent. I loved the bread almost as much as the story. So taken was I, in fact, that I painstakingly copied out the recipe to send to my own grandmother. We still have a photocopy of that version of the recipe, ingredients and directions sliding drunkenly over the page in my large preschool letters.
So when I discovered a stowaway bag of cranberries tucked at the back of my freezer, I knew exactly what to do with them. True, it isn’t chocolate. And it certainly isn’t Thanksgiving. But I think it’s all right to be thankful on Valentine’s Day, don’t you?
Adapted from Wende and Harry Devlin’s Cranberry Thanksgiving.
- 2 C flour (I used sprouted whole wheat, but you can use whole wheat pastry or all purpose as well)
- 1 C coconut sugar or sucanat
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C softened butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- zest of 1 orange
- 3/4 C orange juice or yogurt
- 1 1/2 C raisins
- 1 1/2 C cranberries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Rub in the butter, then add the egg, orange zest, and juice or yogurt and mix to form a dough. Fold in the raisins and cranberries. Spoon the batter into a buttered loaf pan and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.