Monday, June 12, 2006

An Obsession

Wow. Have I really not posted since Wednesday? Sorry... I haven't really been feeling well the last several days. Abigail and Zander had a bug a week apart from each other, and still another week later, I came down with it, and it's taken everything out of me to just take care of the basics- like laundry and cooking. I really don't feel much better right now- but hopefully as the morning goes on, I will improve.

Today's Obsession Nod goes to The Quick Bread. I love quick breads. Sweet morsels of bread that actually borderline the realm of cake- of course I love them. Whether they are in loaf form or muffin form, quick breads are my favorite breakfast and snack food. Personally, I prefer them in loaf form, over the muffins. There is less of an interior/exterior ratio in a slice of bread- and I'm an inside girl. Give it to me freshly sliced with no adornments, and don't you dare mess it up with a smear of butter or cream cheese. I do have a stash of recipes which I consider my quick bread recipes, but lately it has occurred to me that I don't have nearly enough variety in my repertoire. My standard quick breads are Banana Nut, Cranberry Nut, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Zucchini. All very good, but pretty standard fare. I do have a Pumpkin one floating around too somewhere...

Recently the blueberries have started appearing in my grocer's produce department. I was getting depressed every time I looked for blueberries, and was rewarded with this tiny little half-pint plastic clamshell container- usually reserved for blackberries. But last week my search was rewarded when the full size pint containers had returned. Two of them immediately went into my cart, while I pondered a third one. Zander loves blueberries. He can just sit down with a bowl of them and munch them like candy. And of course, they also make the most fantastic pancakes, muffins, and pies. But what about a full size loaf quick bread? A recipe search yielded...not much. And I was up to the task.

I started with a recipe for a basic tea bread which I found to be quite bland and boring. I added the blueberries, and some extract, and banana and buttermilk for moistness and flavor. The end result is fabulous. The banana is a hidden force. If you really concentrate, you can identify it, but it blends so nicely with the juicy sweet blueberries. The almond extract is also slight. It's definitely a presence, but it doesn't overwhelm as almond extract tends to do. But it works very well. And the almond/sugar mixture on top? Well, that adds another layer of sweetness, and an unexpected crunch to the myriad of flavors. Perfectly moist and delicious, this bread is a winner. You can find the recipe for Blueberry Almond Bread in the recipe trove.

One of my favorite things about quick breads is that you can easily double a recipe and freeze the extra loaf. And the magic of the quick bread is that they actually taste better after freezing and thawing. I can easily be found making up to four loaves of banana bread at a time, because I simply must slice into one right away, but then I safely ensconce the remaining three in the freezer, where they honestly don't last long. This one will also freeze well. I wrap mine in a souble layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of heavy duty foil. Make sure you add a label! If the loaf is smaller, I also place it in a freezer bag, but usually the foil works just fine.

I will be back tomorrow with another quick bread- this time for a Lemon-Poppyseed Bread. And stay tuned, because there is a rumor that one of our area strawberry patches is open for business...

And briefly, if you notice anything wierd going on with Tummy Treasure- rest easy, I'm playing around a bit with the template and the HTML, mostly right now just screwing things up, but I'm trying to personalize it a little more, so please bear with me. :-)

1 comment:

Michele said...

The baked goods look wonderful!

By the way drop by my blog, I tagged you for a meme :)