Rain is a product of nature we have become quite unfamiliar with, unfortunately. Most of Texas has been declared to be experiencing severe drought conditions. This is sad news and I admit I’ve forgotten how to use an umbrella. Last evening we, my man Dan, our daughter LuLu and her guy ventured out, even though the weather forecasters were predicting rain. It’s been so long since we’ve had a real downpour when we arrived at the restaurant and it was raining cats and dogs we just sat in the car in amazement. It was rather amusing. Luckily the valets saved our hairdos and shoes by greeting us with open umbrellas and smiles. I sure didn’t want to trade places with them. Not only were we blessed with rain but the weather turned cold too. I’m not complaining, it feels like Christmas and we desperately need the rain. I noticed today when I ran out, in the rain, to pick up a tree stand, that the tanks, or you may call them ponds or small lakes, that have been bone dry were starting to fill up with water. Halleluia for rain!
I know all of you, as I, have moved from Thanksgiving on to Christmas planning, baking, decorating and shopping. I do however have one recipe I want to share where I used a leftover condiment from our Thanksgiving feast. I got the idea from Rufus at http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/. It’s a wonderful site that I read regularly and when I saw their recipe for a cranberry sauce filled quick bread I jumped on it. I did a little research and used a different recipe but stole the idea. Thanks Greg and Katherine.
Going back to Thanksgiving, my mom brought a delicious cranberry relish to serve with turkey and we had quite a bit leftover. It was full of plump cranberries, raisins and nuts. any cranberry sauce or relish you have on hand will work. The orange bread recipe I used is delicate and full of orange taste, moist from the use of buttermilk and healthy with the addition of whole wheat flour . Just seeing those cute little flecks of orange rind in the bread makes me smile. In fact I’m sure the bread baked without the cranberry filling would make a delightful morning nibble with a cup of hot tea. After this post I won’t speak of Thanksgiving again until next year; but I’m thinking that there is a possibility that someone will have cranberry sauce with their Christmas dinner too and so there ya’ have it, an early solution to your Christmas dinner leftovers.
If you are wondering what the bees are up to….they are staying inside the hive except for the nicest days. On nice days they take cleansing flights and go right back inside to stay warm. I’ve winterized 4 hives as they have screened bottoms and I worried how the cold air blowing up from the bottom would affect my girls. My man, Dan helped me secure some nifty insulation that looks like aluminum foil bubble wrap around the bottoms of the hives to keep the wind out. Bee keeping business will be slow until late winter/early spring. Rest assured I will go out to the bee yard from time to time to check from outside but I won’t see inside my hives for several months now. Being new to bee keeping my fingers are crossed that when I open hives in the spring, with the onset of warm days, I’ll find healthy, busy bees ready to begin the honey season.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp orange zest
4-6 tbsp. cranberry sauce or relish
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease loaf pan
Beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat 2 minutes, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add orange zest.
In a separate bowl whisk together flours, soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, adding by thirds. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour half of batter into greased pan. Spoon cranberry sauce onto batter and gently spread to edges. Pour remaining batter over sauce. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean.