Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Anna Sultana’s Orange Cranberry Bread and The Beaver Moon

During the holiday season it’s a bit tricky to know how much food to have on hand.
Bake too many cookies and you’ll be munching on gingerbread during Lent and, maybe even at Easter.
Don’t bake enough and you’ll be padding the cookie platter with oreos which nobody believes you baked.
It’s a tricky time, alright.

Managers in grocery stores also face the same problem.
If the meat department runs out of turkeys or hams, well, do you remember that scene in Christmas with the Kranks, when Nora can’t find the Honey Glazed Ham (Blair’s favourite) and has to settle for smoked trout?
It can get embarrassing.
If the manager ordered too much, well, there’s just so much turkey or ham that anybody can face.

Then again… one man’s mistake can be another man’s treat.
If your produce manager ordered too many bags of fresh cranberries and has to sell them at half price, take pity on him and grab as many as you can.

Cranberries have vitamin C, manganese and quite a few vitamins and minerals.
The cranberries can be frozen in the bag, as is, and will keep for nine months.
They can also be used, without thawing, in a few baked desserts.


This recipe also works with blueberries.
Don’t have chopped walnuts? Chopped pecans or almonds would also work.

Want a milder orange flavour?  Use vanilla instead of the orange extract.
Almond extract would also work, especially if you are using almonds.

Did a great job of stocking up on cranberries? Here are two more cranberry recipes:

Wondering what to do with you Halloween pumpkin? Why not make a pot of soup, as Ma would:

                                                Orange Cranberry Bread

Makes 2 loaves
Grease 2 9x5x3-inch loaf pans

Combine together in a large bowl
4 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 Cups sugar
Stir together.

Preheat oven to 325º F

Place in a 2 Cup measuring cup
4 tablespoons vinegar
Add enough water to make 1 1/3 cup

Place in a bowl
2 large eggs
2/3 cup orange juice
the water/vinegar mixture
1 Tablespoon orange extract
1/2 Cup oil
Stir to combine.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture.
Stir just enough to moisten. Do not overbeat.

Fold in
1 Cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 Cups fresh whole cranberries 

Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the centre of the loaves comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then remove loaves from the pans.
Place the loaves on a wire rack and let cool completely.

Slice and serve as is, or with butter and/or jam.

About the sky this week and next, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac

November is the month of the Pleiades star cluster, which will shine all night long on November nights. 

November 2 - Look for Algol, the demon eye, winking this month. Read more about this celestial event here!

November 2-4 - Southern Taurids Meteor Shower peaks. Best viewing anywhere in the sky, from 1-3 a.m. EDT. Unfortunately, the bright gibbous Moon will making viewing difficult. There’s a good possibility of catching 5-10 meteors each hour. The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the comet Encke. They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky.

November 4 - The full Beaver Moon at 1:23 a.m. People have asked us: Isn’t the Moon following the Harvest Moon always the Hunter’s Moon? The short answer is no. When the Harvest Moon comes late (as was the case this year in October), the usual procedure is to by-pass the Hunter’s Moon and go straight to the Beaver Moon in November. Why is it called the Beaver Moon? Find out in this short Farmers’ Almanac video: November's Full Beaver Moon

November 5 -  “Fall back!” Daylight Saving Time ends: Don’t forget to set your clocks back 1 hour.

During the early evening hours, a nearly full Moon will cross in front of the orange 1st-magnitude star Aldebaran in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull. This occultation will be visible anywhere to the east (right) of a line extending roughly from Inuvik (Northwest Territories of Canada) to Pensacola, Florida. To the west (left) of this line, Aldebaran’s disappearance will be unobservable because the Moon and star will be below the horizon and either only the star’s reappearance will be visible (just after moonrise) or the occultation will be missed because the Moon and star will be below the horizon for the entire event. Visit this link to see a map of the visibility zone, as well as a listing of nearly 1,200 locations providing times of the immersion (disappearance) and emersion (reappearance) of Aldebaran.

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