There’s a little tradition that we have in our household that has its origin on a sleepless night in the fall of 2003.
Back then, our new baby (now in third grade) would wake up at 1:00 every night like clockwork. Well, it was probably more often than that, but each night the crying would begin within a few minutes of 1:00 nightly.
One night in early November, the Patriots were playing a Monday night game in Denver. It was an epic game, and you probably remember it. It was the game when the Patriots took a safety deep in their own territory, then punted the ball away, got the ball back, and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the waning moments of the game. (If you forgot, read about it here). Well, after that pulse-pounding finish, I was so wired that I needed something to do… so I made some cranberry bread that was ready exactly five minutes before my son woke up for his one o’clock feeding. I then hand-delivered both a fussing infant and a steaming slice of cranberry bread to my grateful wife.
And from this stroke of genius, a tradition was born. If it’s fall, and chilly, and the Patriots are playing on Monday Night Football, it’s cranberry bread night in the Brosgol house.
In recent years cranberry bread night has grown into an event in our house on par with the annual squash festival (read here and here) and our apple festival that we have each fall. I also like making it even when the Patriots are not playing on Monday Night Football (like tonight).
But this year, it’s a triple treat- Monday Night Football, Sukkot, and cranberry bread night are all intersecting on a cool and crisp autumn evening. Reflecting the New England fall harvest and the outdoorsiness of Sukkot, it’s the perfect recipe for the end of the fall festival.
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice (feel free to substitute in apple cider or apple juice)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups of cranberries, blended in food processor
Prepare the dry and wet ingredients separately. Sift and stir the dry ingredients and combine with the juice, egg, and oil mixture. Place in a lightly greased bread pan and cook 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
For extra variety add chopped almonds, orange zest, or other tastes that complement cranberry. You can also adjust the sugar amount to make it more or less tart, and add 4-6 ounces of applesauce to the wet ingredients for a little extra flavor.