It would be rare to see coffee in my hand. I reach for it only when I absolutely need a boost for an early morning or from a long and tiring day. It wasn’t always like this. While I never drank copious amounts, it used to be what I asked for often instead of tea. But either the beans or the processing here is different from India. And whatever the change is, it leaves me with a bitter taste, both literally and figuratively. The smell of some coffee beans brewing early in the morning can make me nauseous. I’m sorely disappointed that I can’t enjoy any and all varieties. I read somewhere that the palette changes every seven years. I do hope mine learns to like all coffee. Meanwhile I’ll stick to the tried and tested. I get my coffee from a jar bought in the Indian store.
Working where I do brings with it, among other good things, every other Friday off. Though most of my weekends these past months have involved wrestling with books filled with cost estimation, grades of soil, Modernism and the like, I’m nevertheless still thankful for these alternating long weekends. I wake up early in the morning, grab the requisite cup of coffee to help keep my eyes open and jog my brain, and hit the books with the fervent hope that they won’t hit back too hard. It’s difficult to put up much of a fight when I’m just about barely awake.
Today, the caffeine carried me through some part of the morning.Then I realized methods of project delivery were starting to leak out of my head. My early morning meant that I was hungry earlier than usual as well. Luckily, there was still some orange bread left over. While I would normally never advocate this for a meal; indeed, it’s original intention had been for an afternoon snack, I was glad to have it at hand. It meant I didn’t have to get up and futz around the stove, racking my already hurting brain about what to cook.
This bread is strangely refreshing, something I’d never thought I’d say in connection with bread. Bread would be satisfying or comforting one would think, but refreshing sounds like a stretch. In this case though, it is actually true. The recipe utilizes the fresh juice and zest of an orange which I believe is responsible. The bread though sweet and having the consistency of a coffee cake, can be toasted and eaten like regular bread. Makes a superb snack.
Adapted from Everyday Greens. Makes 8-10 slices
All-Purpose Flour – 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter – 1 stick, softened
Sugar 3/4 cup
Eggs – 2 large
Orange Zest – 1 tbsp, minced
Fresh Orange Juice – 1/4 cup
Sour Cream – 1/2 cup
Dried Cherries – 1 good handful, pre-soaked in warm water
Walnuts – 1/2 cup, toasted and chopped
– Preheat the oven to 350°F.
– Whip the butter and sugar together using a hand or stand mixer, until the mixture is fluffy. To this, add the eggs, one by one, taking care to mix the first in before the other is added.
– In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and separately, combine the juice, zest and sour cream.
– Add the dry ingredients and the cream mixture bit by bit to the butter and egg mixture, alternately folding until everything is incorporated.
– Lastly, fold in the cherries (removed out of the water) and walnuts.
– Pour the batter into a 9”X5” loaf pan, buttered or lined with parchment paper. Bake until an inserted skewer or toothpick comes out clean, about an hour to an hour and half.
The original recipe was made with blueberries and listed the cherries as an alternative. I would like to try the recipe again with the berries as I’m sure they will taste great. This bread was delicious and it made the apartment smell better than any candle could. The alternative of slivered almonds listed here would also work excellently here. On my study day, I did toast a slice and it took to the toasting nicely. I didn’t take the recipe up on it’s suggestion of buttering the slice though, I thought it might be overkill. An excellent, if not entirely appropriate, lunch substitute for a hungry and tired mind.