Remember Tom Hegg’s book A Cup of Christmas Tea? That’s one story that inspires me as we approach Christmas Day 2011. Our Christmas will be a quiet one, and it causes me to want to ask a couple of special friends over for Christmas tea—some Christmas cookies, a slice of Dale’s delicate Christmas Bread and a fruited tea. Dale’s bread contains apples and cranberries and pecans, but this time the ingredients are processed to pea size. The result is delicate, nutty and ready to be toasted and spread with a bit of butter or jam.
Dale’s World: Christmas Bread
This time of year, you just have to have munchies in the kitchen. People seem to drop in for no specific reason. It’s just the way people are around Christmastime. So why not serve them something that says that they are welcome in your home – something that tastes just like Christmas.
You will Need:
1 Apple ½ tsp. Salt
3/4 cup of cranberries 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
½ cup of Pecans 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 ½ cups of apple juice 2/3 cup of Sugar
2 Tbs. of Butter 2 ½ cups of A.P. Flour
1 tsp. of Baking Soda
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a loaf pan, then line it with parchment or waxed paper.
3. Peel and core the apple, then chop it into several chunks to make it ready for the food processer.
4. Process the apple chunks, cranberries and pecans until they are around pea size.
5. Soften or melt the butter so that it will mix into the batter.
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. You could mix it all in the food processor or mix it by hand . There is no need to dirty the electric mixer for this small amount of batter.
3. Don’t over mix. The batter should be chunky/lumpy to create a loaf of varied texture.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
1. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. When the pan is cool enough to handle, remove the loaf.
3. Prepare yourself for outrageous complements.
Food for Thought:
Bread—The Staff of Life
Dale’s Christmas bread, honey orange bread, blueberry buckle, orange rosette rolls, cranberry orange biscuits, Austrian chocolate balls—all are impossible without Gods’ gift of grain.
In what they are labeling the “nouveau wheat movement,” the December 2011 issue of Smithsonian magazine writes that many farmers from New England to the Northwest are working toward self-sufficiency for their areas by building hometown mills and growing, not only hard red wheat, but many different varieties of the grain.
One of those farmers, Don Lewis, says “ ‘the nation owes its very existence to Hudson Valley wheat’ because the grain allowed the Continental army to eat fresh bread while British troops were gnawing stale hardtack.’ ”
Wheat is enormously adaptable and because of this, Heritage Wheat Conservancy thinks wheat may prove to be “the salvation of humanity as the climate changes and pests evolve. “
The Bible is like wheat: it adapts to our particular situation, meeting us at our points of need. It is our spiritual nourishment, the means by which we hear of Christ who is the Word, the Bread of Life, and proves to be our eternal salvation.
One of the great joys of my life is Bible study. When I plow into scripture and repeatedly discover profound depths, I am filled with a sense of wholeness and joy.
We are studying II Timothy in Precepts this year, and an in-depth study of II Timothy 3: 17 (“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”NASV) inspired me to try to capture on paper what the Bible means to me personally.
It anchors me, gives me guidance, keeps me in touch with Christ, encourages me, soothes me, reminds me, shows me God knows and loves me anyway. The Word lifts me out of the darkness and struggle of deep anxiety into His Light of help and hope.
It is essential for my spiritual health.
I love bread, whether it’s made of wheat or other grains we use these days like millet, spelt, rice or oats. It gives life, but even its goodness, no matter how nourishing doesn’t compare to the nourishment of the Word.
It is our necessary bread.