A Summer Tradition

by Laura on July 17, 2013

in A Year in Our Kitchen 2013

Family

The Summer Tradition Continues

“But it’s tradition,” said Nicole, responding to the idea that we weren’t sure if we would make it to Ohio to visit the grandparents this summer. It is a tradition that the kids look forward to. The pool, the crafts, the baking and cooking with Grandma and Granpa, the donut party with Pa, the beach, amusement park and woodworking. The list goes on, and the kids would not relent until we confirmed that our summer would include our traditional trip to Ohio.
Well, we made it late last night. (Or rather, early this morning.) The excitement had been building for weeks, and throughout the flight, the anticipation continued to grow as the hours ticked by. When we finally emerged from the plane, the kids took off running to meet the grandparents.
After the squeals and hugs, we headed home to Grandma and Granpa’s where the kids reacquainted themselves with the house, then enjoyed a snack, even if it was way past everyone’s bedtime.

After about an hour, I was able to settle them down to sleep. But not for long. Despite the 2 am bedtime, I awoke at 8 to the smell of bacon and eggs and the sounds of a 10-year-old boy and his Granpa. As I made my way downstairs for a cup of coffee, I found them both at the stove chattering like old ladies, discussing upcoming meals, books, and what they had been up to lately.
photo copyThroughout the day, the kids welcomed all those traditions they have come to enjoy while visiting the grandparents – a lot of which is centered around the kitchen. Me, I took some time to wander the garden making note of all the great things I could create with the vegetables and herbs found within. I also took some time to dive into Mom’s recipes, which sat in stacks on the dining room table awaiting a bit of reorganization.
We are excited about what the next two week brings as we enjoy time spent with family – from those adventures around town to those in our kitchen. AddieRich
To start off our summer adventures with the family, here is a new recipe that Mom had waiting for us to try. It was the perfect accompaniment to my morning cup of coffee enjoyed alongside my Mom.

Dried Apricot-Pecan Bread

photo

Dried Apricot-Pecan Bread

Delicious when served plain, thin slices or spread with sweet butter to accompany tea or coffee. You can also serve it for picnics and holidays, sandwiching paper-thin slices of smoked turkey and Black Forest ham.

Yields two, 7 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricot halves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp in salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup(4 ounces) chopped raw pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh or frozen

Coarsely chop the apricots by hand or in a food processor. Place in a large bowl and add the boiling water, butter, and sugar. Mix well and set aside to lukewarm.

Combine the unbleached flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the apricot mixture and stir to combine. Add the whole-wheat four, pecans, eggs, and orange juice. Beat well to make a batter that is evenly combined but slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into two 7 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch greased and floured loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Let the loaves rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before placing them in the center of the oven to bake for 55 to 60 minutes. When done, the tops will be firm to the touch, the loaves will pull away from the sides of the pans, and a cake tester inserted into the centers will come out clean. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a rack. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill overnight or up to 5 days  before serving.

For a printable version of the recipe, click here.

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