Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blueberry Bread and the Misadventures of Joey

I have been staring at a half empty package of frozen blueberries in my freezer for the past three months. The blueberries have lived in two homes now and have been used sparingly in oatmeal and some muffins. They were hanging out next to some frozen strawberries that had been around even longer. It was time to do something about it.

I gathered my resolves and took a quick inventory of the kitchen and decided some blueberry bread was in order with a few strawberries thrown in for good measure. There were dishes that needed to be washed and put away first though. Joey mysteriously disappeared as soon as he heard the word dishes escape from my mouth. I plowed through the chores, strapped on my apron and started on the bread. It takes about 10 minutes to make and then forever to bake. The baking time could probably be reduced if you did not have a husband who insists on peeking in the oven every ten minutes to see how the bread is doing. Finally the knife came out clean and it was time for the bread to cool. It had the prettiest and tallest crown on it I’d ever seen.

As I pulled the bread out of the oven I distinctly remember saying –

Don’t touch the bread! It’s supposed to cool over night and I want to take a picture of it.

The bread was cooling nicely while I made dinner and we ate our lemon pepper chicken stir-fry. Then I made the mistake of going in the office to work on the computer for a bit. I came back out to discover Joey devouring the entire top off the bread. After slicing some for breakfast the next day we were left with this –

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Notice the gaping hole in the corner?

I promise it looked much prettier before my human Hoover got a hold of it. The rest will go in the freezer tonight since I finally made some room. So today I’ll leave you with the blueberry bread recipe and maybe next time I’ll let you sample the Chicken and dumplings we are having for dinner tonight!

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• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 2/3 cups milk
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel or orange peel
• 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries – you can also add other fruit – just avoid anything with a high water content as it will increase your bake time
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside. (Make sure the pan is the right size – THIS BREAD GROWS!!!)

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine beaten egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract; add to the well in dry ingredients. Stir until batter is moistened.

Fold in lemon peel, blueberries, and chopped nuts. Spoon into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60 to 75 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf. Cool.

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