Fresh cranberry bread

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        Yes, I am still here. Lots of activity, visiting friends, and miles of Intracoastal Waterway without internet got in the way of posting for the past week. Oh, and I dropped my camera in the water, so that kind of put a damper on blogging. I’ve been itching to bake and dying to catch up on everyone’s Thanksgiving weekend posts. Really though, I can’t complain. Lee and I spent a couple of days playing in North Carolina with some friends who live here. We ate delicious, local food in Carrboro and saw the inland sights before heading south on the ICW again.
        It has been a damp couple of days and, as of Monday, we are unable to charge the boat’s batteries due to another engine problem. That means absolute minimal power usage – no lights last night, no heater, and no computers. However, the propane switch that allows me to use the stove and oven is worth the power. Yesterday I succumbed to my hankering for festive baking. It’s officially time for winter/Christmas foods!

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This is what North Carolina looks like from a boat.

        Hours of brainstorming as we motored down the canal led to a fuzzy idea for bread using the raw cranberries I bought last week. When I searched my cookbooks for a quick bread recipe to start with I was amazed to find almost the exact bread I wanted to make. The Horn of The Moon Cookbook recipe for Cranberry Bread pairs raw berries with orange juice for a sweet-tart loaf. The recipe sounded fabulous but I wanted something a little different.
        A little less honey, different flours, orange zest, and applesauce instead of orange juice produced a cranberry bread different from anything I’ve had before. It is very dense but not in a bad way. The loaf is still moist and it’s chewy in a way that reminds me of mochi cakes. I’m guessing the spelt flour is the main culprit for my bread’s unusual texture. As far as taste, look no farther for a harmony of sweet honey and tart cranberries. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fresh berries but they delivered such a perfect punch that I will add more next time I make this. There will surely be a next time!
        As far as the drowned camera goes, I am now in the market for a DSLR. Our replacement camera is a waterproof camcorder, which isn’t so great for close-up food shots. At least there will be videos in my future! For now, I literally ended up with one slightly less blurry picture out of many, many blurry ones.

Fresh Cranberry Bread
Adapted from Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose. This is what I had)
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
zest from one medium-sized orange
1 1/4 cup chopped raw cranberries
optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the rest of the wet ingredients (honey through orange zest).
Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Fold in cranberries and nuts (if using).
Pour batter into lightly oiled 9X5 inch loaf pan or several smaller loaf pans (I used two mini-loaf pans, two mini-bundt pans, and a muffin cup for the extra batter).
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to cool on a wire rack.

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