The summer Jeff and I got married my parents took the whole family to Southern Spain. It was a really wonderful trip, exploring our Spanish roots, drinking wine, wandering through white villages, and seeing the Al Hambra. The only problem was the food. While I am sure that for some people Andalucia is a gastronomic paradise, if you are a non-pork eater, a vegetarian, lactose intolerant or simply prefer a few vegetables with your proteins, I wouldn’t recommend traveling there for the food alone. Jeff and I nibbled crackers, dark chocolate and sipped wine (it was cheaper than water) for most of the trip, and cooked for ourselves as much as possible. It was an incredible time, but after three weeks of picking ham out of our gazpacho, we were more than ready to return to Boston — food-wise anyway. A person can only eat so many tortillas espanolas before the idea of another egg becomes a little vulgar.
This week we had to travel very briefly to New Orleans (like, 24 hours) where my mother was being honored at the General Assembly for her work in Jewish Education. While the occasion itself was very exciting, and we were happy to be there to support her, I left hungry. I realize that many people love crawfish (I have no idea what it is, actually), shrimp, grits, jambalaya, mixed drinks, po boys, and sausages and I respect their preferences. For us, returning home from a whirlwind trip was made even sweeter by the easy and immediate access to our favorite Thai Food place and the remaining cranberry crostata waiting in our fridge.
This latest candidate for Thanksgiving weekend’s food festivities is a little vegan tea cake that could be served alongside the Thanksgiving meal itself, as a breakfast treat, or afternoon snack. You could also make it into mini breads and deliver them as Thanksgiving gifts!
Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
1/2 cup soy milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 fresh orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat pastry)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 Tbs grated orange zest
1 cup chopped fresh craberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the soy milk, orange juice, canola oil, sugar and vanilla.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and powder, salt and allspice. Mix until just smooth. The batter will be thicker than a normal cake batter.
Fold in the orange zest, cranberries, and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for about 1 hour. Let the bread cool for about 15 minutes before removing it from the pan – inverting onto a cooling rack. Flip it right side up to cool further.