…buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz…
It’s not just the sound outside our windows from the biggest, fuzziest pollen-drunk bees bumbling around the front bushes — I gave my banana-coconut bread a spring makeover.
With a little advance planning and patience, but not too much, homemade English muffins enhance any simple morning (or afternoon or evening) at home (or picnic or other gathering)!
This recipe, modified to our liking over many years, has become our standard. Replete with whole grains and seeds, it’s the fluffy comfort classic sneakily made healthier.
Among the flavors that, for me, evoke nostalgia for the holidays, cinnamon and ginger dominate. The cozy-spicy duo is hard to beat — any time of the year — and even more so when the two merge in gooey, intense gingerbread bites with other warming spices, sticky dates, a hint of orange, plus four types of seeds.
I’m sharing these today not just to prolong my love of the winter season, but also because the ingredients show some serious love to your heart for American Heart Month.
In years past airy popovers, a golden braided challah, fluffy brioche or another light style of bread graced our Easter tables. Rain clouds and a damp chill settled in to southeastern NC this year, so I went for dark and dense.
Soda bread originated in Irish kitchens around the middle of the 19th century. Traditional recipes utilize only four basic ingredients: flour, salt, buttermilk (or soured or “clabbered” milk), and baking soda as a leavener — making a hearty, nourishing loaf easily and in short order.
Though you may be accustomed to loaves studded with currants, raisins, dried cranberries or a combination, fruit is typically reserved for tea cakes and tea breads in Ireland. You are, of course, welcome to deviate. Mine is without, but I did add 2 teaspoons of mildly sweet and aromatic ground anise seed.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart. Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
Days before travelling through Ireland, when our noses weren’t stuffed into back-country guides or poring over maps, free moments were spent tidying the house (because no one wants to come home to a mess), confirming reservations, and engineering the most efficient luggage configuration.
We were going on an adventure, off to climb mountains!