On a cold winter day nothing beats a good book and the promise of something delicious baking in the oven. Last week when the blizzard hit us I couldn’t resist making a sweet bread using an old-fashioned recipe.
Since my mom let me borrow Grandma’s recipe files I’ve enjoyed reading through her recipes and picking out ones to try. Mom also loaned me a copy of 200 Years of Favorite Recipes from Delaware County, published by the local senior council in 1990. Lately I’ve been comparing Grandma’s recipes to the ones I’ve found in this book.
A generous neighbor gave us a bag of Valencia oranges just after Christmas so I thought I’d try to find a way to use a few. I found a recipe for “Meredith Inn Orange Date Bread” in the 200 Years… cookbook.
The Meredith Inn burned down more than 60 years ago but its recipes live on. This particular recipe originally appeared in Adventures in Good Cooking, published in 1939. Grandma had a very similar recipe (she called it a receipt) for “Date and Nut Bread.” The only real difference is the orange juice/rind and Grandma’s recipe had no added fat while the Inn used 2 tablespoons butter.
I’ve never made a quick bread that didn’t use oil, margarine or butter so I opted to follow the Inn’s recipe, including using fresh juice and rind from the oranges. The bread came out great! It tastes like something I remember eating as a child while visiting older family friends or relatives. I recall eating it with cream cheese as a topping, but it’s terrific plain.
If you are craving something that will remind you of times past and have the urge to fire up your oven, give this delicious recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!
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