Nobska Light House--Wood's Hole, MA
Dave and I spent the first 8 months after we were married living on Cape Cod while he finished up his time in the Air Force, stationed at Otis AFB in Falmouth. For me it was a dream come true because I had been carrying on a minor love affair with anything New England ever since I read the first page of Little Women. It seemed to me that I had maybe been there before, the pull was so strong. Who knows. . .but those months spent there were some of the best of my life. We lived in an old house that had been divided into apartments right on the Old Falmouth Highway. I had a break from my job and was free to explore. We ran the tires off our new blue Chevy blazer driving to and fro,Boston and up and down the Cape. The trip to Wood's Hole was a favorite. Since it was off-season, the beaches along the Cape Cod National Seashore were fairly deserted. Speaking of the beaches starting in Provincetown, Thoreau said:
"There was nothing but that savage ocean between us and Europe."
I first laced up ice skates I bought in an old-fashioned hardware store in North Falmouth so we could skate on the frozen cranberry bogs. And I tried out this recipe in our tiny apartment-size oven.
Today I leveled off the last cup of flour from my December baking frenzy when I baked this quick bread. I got the recipe in a Ocean Spray shop in Buzzard's Bay where you cross the Bourne Bridge onto the Cape. I have tried to bake it every holiday season since 1970 with quite a few exceptions.
CLASSIC CRANBERRY NUT BREAD
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening (I use 1/4 c. canola oil instead)
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped (I leave them whole because they are prettier when you cut into the loaf)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).
It is deep January. The sky is hard.The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.