Christmas Memories…Cranberry Nut Bread

Since we’re staying put for this Christmas, my husband asked for a few favorite foods his mother always makes for Christmas. I don’t do much baking, mainly because of my son’s food allergies. It just doesn’t seem right to make all sorts of goodies that he can’t eat. But I do want my husband to have a nice Christmas.

Although I had these recipes, they are on my old computer, in an old program that isn’t compatible with Vista. So my MIL kindly wrote out the recipes and mailed them this week.

I was shopping for the Christmas groceries yesterday. It was really heartwarming to see various mother/daughter teams (of varying ages) pouring over the old recipes, remembering what and how to do them. I spent a while discussing with the young man working the checkout his family customs for Christmas food. He’s going back home to Georgia for his mom’s cooking. (I almost asked for an invitation — homemade rolls? Yummy!)

As I read my MIL’s handwritten recipes, I can see how those family recipes become the way to remember, to keep a person prominent in our memory, to bring them back to our family celebrations even as years pass.

I’ll be posting a few other recipes so I won’t lose them for next year, but the first is my husband’s favorite, required for Thanksgiving and Christmas breakfast.  One year, when recovering from a c-section, I even made a box mix from Trader Joe’s just because that meant Christmas morning to him.

Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup salad oil
2 cups cranberries, halved
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tsp. grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Blend together dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Combine egg, juice, and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. Stir in cranberries, nuts, and peel. Pour into 2 greased and lightly floured 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pans. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes clean.

Cool on wire rack.

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