I love food for so many reasons. Not only it is tasty, good for us and necessary part of life but we can learn so much by participating with it. We can discover art, history, science, math, culture and more. I think the main reason I love it so much is the heartfelt connection that also comes with food. We have our traditional holiday foods, favorite foods, and comfort foods. So many memories and emotions can also be tied into food.
Recently my grandma Joan past away. She was the last of my living grandparents. As each one has passed over the years I have been slowly collecting things from them specifically tied to food like handwritten recipe cards, favorite cookbooks and tools. One prized gift I received last year was my Italian Great Grandmothers Pizzelle maker. To me this is one of the most amazing things I own. I often imagine her working in the kitchen flipping them one by one off the hot grilled preparing for the large Italian holiday feasts. I think about how maybe her life was and how life has changed. To think what she would have said to have used one of the 4 burner hot plate electric pizzelle makers we have now.
I love how food connects us. A specific favorite recipe or distinct smell can bring a memory or person right back to particular moment. When my Grandma was alive she always loved this simple cherry nut bread. She would make it for the holidays and slather it with butter. I never cared much for it as a child but it has grown on me over the years. As my Grandma was aging I would often bring this as a special treat for her. I loved seeing her eyes delight by sharing something so simple as a slice of bread. I am sure it held memories of her youth as well.
You see although she is gone and missed greatly. Everytime I have this bread it is like she is sitting beside me. She may be physically gone but she lives on in the memories and particularly this one favorite bread will always connect me to her. I made these recipe cards and handed them out at her service to family and friends as my way of saying she it gone but not forgotten. I hope you enjoy this simple family favorite of Cherry Nut Bread as well.
Do you have a favorite family recipe or tradition that reminds you of someone you love? I think these are some of the most precious memories and why I will forever cook and share food with those I love.
Grandma Joan’s Cherry Nut Bread
2 cup flour 2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shortening 1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar 1 cup drained Maraschino cherries
Grease loaf pan or 1 lb coffee can well. Combine all ingredients except
nuts and cherries in a large bowl blend for 1 min on low speed.
Fold in nuts and cherries until combined.
Pour into pan bake at 350, for 40 50 min till pick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then carefully remove and cool completely on rack.
Serve with generous amounts of soft butter.
*Note this will work with using regular milk as well but the crumb will be slightly drier.