I'd like to say that old refers to length of time. Though that is true somehow old is becoming a reality that we can hardly believe! My friends are coming by for a much appreciated catch-up time. How is it, that at this stage of our lives, it is harder to find time to connect than when our children were all little and at home. Somehow we are all busier now than ever before. So today I am chiseling out some time. brewing a pot of coffee, serving a lovely tea bread and welcoming dear friends.
I know you younger moms have lives that are crazy busy too. I see my own daughters and what it takes day-in and day-out managing all the demands and needs that loving and caring for family requires. So, I don't write this to discourage you. Just to say, try to make time for friends. To laugh together over nuts-o stuff that happens. To share heartfelt issues. To lift each other up in prayer and to encourage each other. I know, after a time with dear friends, I come away with a fresh outlook and a lighter countenance.
We met thirty-plus years ago when our oldest children were just wee ones. We've helped each other when additional children were added to the fold. We served together on various projects at church.
Sometimes read books together and pray together. We deal with the needs and concerns of aging parents and we gush over the arrival of new grandbabies. Occasionally we even cry together.
We laugh together too and encourage one another, always leaving with a better perspective and lighter heart after spending time together.
Orange Poppy Seed Tea Bread
adapted from Pampered Chef recipe
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons orange zest, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup butter, softened
8-ounces confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbs. milk
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom only of loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For tea bread, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and orange zest in small bowl; set aside.
Beat butter on high speed of electric mixer 30 seconds. Add sugar; continue beating 3 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla; beat well.
On medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each. Add one third of the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Beat in half of the sour cream. Add another one third of the flour mixture, the remaining sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in dried cranberries; pour batter into pan.
Bake 60-65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown.
For the glaze, combine powdered sugar, orange juice and zest.
Immediately remove bread from pan to cooling rack. Brush some of the glaze onto top and sides of warm bread. Repeat several times with remaining glaze as bread cools. Cool completely. Cut into slices. To store tea bread, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The bread also freezes well.
To make frosting:
In medium bowl, mix butter, confectioners' sugar and salt with mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
Cook's Tips: Baked goods will have a higher volume when all of the ingredients start at room temperature. For this recipe, remove butter, eggs and sour cream from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin mixing.
Stored in an airtight container this bread will keep at room temperature for about 3 days. For longer storage it will keep in the freezer for 3 - 6 months. If you want single servings from the freezer, prior to freezing slicing it and separate the slices with wax or parchment paper. The whole loaf will thaw in about 30 minutes at room temperature, while a single slice can be microwaved for 10 - 15 seconds for a warm and comforting treat.