Saturday, November 26, 2005

may contain nuts

Darn, our snow only lasted a day. Since then it's been cold and crisp and the stars are out tonight. Other parts of Lower Saxony got absolutely covered in snow and there were car accidents, power outages and many delays. More of the white stuff expected on Monday.

I woke up with a raging headache this morning and decided that taking a brisk walk down to the post office to drop off a parcel might do me some good. Unfortunately, the post office closed half an hour earlier than I thought it did so when I got there just after 12:30, everything was locked up tight. The parcel will have to wait until Monday.

After that, in the spirit of Nachbarschaftspflege ('cultivating that neighbourly feeling' would be a rough translation) we hopped over the fence and had a couple of mugs Glühwein (pronounced 'glue-vine') with our neighbours. Glühwein in our area is made from red wine simmered with cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel and served hot. Too much of it can really go to your head. Just go to the German Christmas markets and you'll see what I mean.

Much to my surprise, instead of getting worse, my headache actually improved and I spent the afternoon digging out Christmas decorations and decorating our Advent wreath which will go on the table tomorrow. I was also in the mood to do some baking and needed to use up a couple of ripe bananas so I made this banana, cranberry and walnut quick bread and had to restrain myself from eating the whole loaf.

Banana, Cranberry and Walnut Bread - makes 1 loaf

Preheat oven to 350F (180C)

1 1/4 cups flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

In large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, sugar, mashed bananas and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until blended. Stir in nuts (if using) and cranberries. Turn into greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350F (180C) for about 1 hour or until wooden skewer stuck into centre of loaf comes out clean (I had to bake mine quite a bit longer). Let cool on rack before removing from pan.

Oh, and before I go, here, direct from our living room, is a bit of pre-Christmas kitsch just for J.


At November 27, 2005 1:01 a.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

My, Christina, you're up late!

Those look lovely. I might try baking it myself sometimes!

At November 27, 2005 1:48 a.m., Blogger Haddock said...

Looks like another baking job for Mrs H. :)

At November 27, 2005 1:58 a.m., Anonymous lillian said...

I need to get in that christmas mood... maybe I"ll make some Glühwein....

At November 27, 2005 3:25 a.m., Blogger Crystal said...

December is one of the few months where I actually get interested in baking, and that banana nut bread sounds delicious! I will definitely be on the lookout for Glühwein when I go to our Christkindmarkt in the coming weeks.

At November 27, 2005 6:12 a.m., Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I stopped by Via Mar...It's lovely toi be here and I think that's amazing that the whatever-you-called-that-drink...took your headache away, or at least made it better....I have a friend who says that red wine GIVES her a headsche, but of course, that's not the same thing...!
Love that the Christmas season now officially begins!

At November 27, 2005 7:31 a.m., Blogger Sandra said...

Ohhhh I love cranberry bread. That looks so good.

At November 27, 2005 12:33 p.m., Blogger GC PHILO said...

I lived in Prague for a few years and one of my favorite things during the cold winter months was getting the what sounds like the Czech equivalent of Glühwein, called Svařak, in Old Town Square and just sitting there and sipping it while walking through the Christmas market stalls. That stuff really warms you up!

At November 27, 2005 1:59 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

It's too bad Marths's apprentice show has been cancelled. You could win it with your lovely photos of the delicious food you prepare.

At November 27, 2005 4:30 p.m., Blogger euro-trac said...

Wow... that bread looks good! I'd love to pop over for a cup of tea with you one day... all your food looks good! (You can make brussel sprouts look good!)

At November 27, 2005 5:14 p.m., Blogger Schatzi said...

Marthasnoofle.. you are a domestic goddess dahlink! That bread looks yummalicious...and that snowman just makes me smile!

At November 27, 2005 8:44 p.m., Blogger J said...

Cheers, Christina. The snowman really made me smile.

At November 29, 2005 3:58 p.m., Blogger Belinda said...

I have the same mug! :)
I have some sour cherries so I might tweak your recipe a little.

Btw, the lemon squres recipe i got from you was a total winner *drooling*


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