I can’t believe that my mum’s annual visit is coming to a close, and she’ll be heading back to the states in a week. Many people live very far from the people they love, so I don’t want to start throwing streamers for a pity party here folks, and I am constantly thankful for the Internet and free International Long Distance, things that weren’t always available to me when I was so far from home (like when I was just a little 16-year-old non-French-speaking exchange student, lost in a rural village in the Loire Valley…), but her eminent departure does make me a bit sad…
I am however thrilled that since my marriage in 2004, my mum has come at least once a year for a visit in the Spring. One of her dreams was to visit France, and now her passport is beginning to look rather accustomed to travel! This year’s visit was a bit dampened by her being very, very sick for nearly two weeks, and that on her birthday to boot! We’d made reservations at a schmancy restaurant to take her out to celebrate (a restaurant which was willing to accommodate a vegan diner no less!), but she was so sick, she couldn’t even pretend to want to go. I could tell she wouldn’t be able to force down a birthday cake, but I wanted her special day to begin with something special, so enter Cranberry-Orange-Nut Bread from Veganomicon!
The following is not the original recipe in VCON, I made a handful of adaptations, and the result was delicious (as is the unadulterated recipe in VCON of course!). Here is my altered version, which my mum just loved for her birthday breakfast- we even put a birthday candle on it! Here’s my changed-up version:
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup veg. oil (it was actually a bit less, I maybe filled it 3/4 full)
- 1/3 cup Xylitol (all-natural sugar-sub made from birch bark)
- 1/3 cup raw/brown sugar
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar (reserve 2 tbs. to sprinkle on the bread & decorate plates)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbs orange water
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup whole frozen cranberries (they don’t have to be completely defrosted, just mostly)
- 2/3 cups chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Sift together all the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet to dry, mixing until smooth. Fold in the cranberries, nuts & orange zest, and pour into a loaf pan & bake for about an hour at 325F/160C. Let it cool a bit, like 10-15 minutes, before trying to take it out of the pan.
We loved this bread, and since finding fresh cranberries is nearly impossible except in November here (my frozen ones were left over from Thanksgiving), I am going to try this with blueberries or blackberries.