Woman Enough

Kindness and Baked Goods

Posted in Uncategorized by womanenough on September 12, 2011

I’ve written before about how often I am the recipient of great kindnesses. Last time, I wrote about it while stepping out of a pool of jealousy.

Today, I’m firmly planted in gratitude as I think about the currency of kindnesses around here. The most important things I learned while working as a cook on a small expedition cruise vessel had nothing to do with culinary skills. Rather, while traveling through remote parts of northern Canada and Greenland, the take home point was always to be generous with what little you have, no matter where you are in life.

During those northern travels, we were often the beneficiaries of fresh fish and berries, baked goods, stories, salvaged treasures, showers, tours of interesting places. Gifts were always reciprocated with what we had to give; kindness and baked goods. Kindness and baked goods have become a natural currency for me.

One of the silver linings of the land-based life right now is access to my mother’s oven, which allows me to bake up  some gratitude  where before kindness had to suffice on its own.

Last week we were given lobsters by a local fisherman, and I just got done baking the “thank you” loaf of blueberry citrus bread. It’s left me thinking of all the thank you gifts I owe near and far. Some of them will be baked, some of them will never be, due to time, geography and resources. In the absence of baked goods, however, I maintain that kindness goes a long way in the marketplace of human relationships.

Here’s the recipe for Blueberry Citrus Bread. Not in blueberry country? Try fresh cranberries, too.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or frozen, thawed, drained
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Method
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour an 8×4 pan. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside, these are your dry ingredients. Cream butter with 1 cup sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add lemon peel. Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients, stirring by hand until batter is smooth. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, a little more than an hour in my oven . Cool 20 minutes in the pan, turning out onto a rack to finish cooling.

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