Recently, while looking through my recipe cards to find recipes to make and freeze, I ran across a recipe for Cranberry Bread. It reminded me of one of our favorite books, Cranberry Christmas. I thought the recipe came from the book, but further research revealed that it probably came from a different book by the same author (Wende Devlin), Cranberry Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Christmas is a book we discovered in our church library. It occurs to me that we never purchased our own copy. Strange.
Mr. Whiskers lives near a cranberry bog in Maine. He is a fisherman who lives alone and lives as he pleases. This causes a little concern for his young friend Maggie when she finds out his 'persnickety sister Sarah' is coming for a visit at Christmas. Mr. Whiskers' house is not exactly company ready.
Maggie and her grandmother help the reluctant Mr. Whiskers get his house shined and polished, and in the process discover something that will allow the local children to continue their tradition of ice skating on Christmas day.
This is a delightful book. My children always loved Mr. Whiskers. Maybe he reminded them a little bit of their own daddy- not that he is 'unsavory', but more because he also sports whiskers.
Read this book to find out why Mr. Whiskers is 'a wonder'.
Cranberry Thanksgiving has the same characters: Mr. Whiskers, Maggie and her grandmother. Maggie invites Mr. Whiskers to Thanksgiving dinner after her grandmother encourages her to invite some who is "poor or lonely". Grandmother is not entirely pleased, as Mr. Whiskers 'smells like seaweed'.
This book has a little bit of mystery, also, and in the end, Mr. Whiskers saves the day.
Grandmother's famous Cranberry Bread recipe is included at the end of the book. I think the recipe I made last week is the same recipe, but I'm not sure.
Wherever the recipe originated, it is incredibly delicious! I love the fact that it uses fresh cranberries.
I have made it twice this week. The first time I used all-purpose flour, the second time I used whole wheat flour. Both breads were good, but the one made with all purpose flour was better.
Both loaves stuck to the bottom of the pan even though I greased it heavily. I would suggest greasing and flouring the pan or making the dough into muffins.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
3 cups fresh cranberries, chopped (I used food processor)
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Combine egg, orange peel, and orange juice in separate bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in cranberries.
Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.