Someone asked me the other day how many recipes I had. Huh. I know I have over 50 featured in A Butler’s Manor: The Cookbook (available here at A Butler’s Manor, or I’ll happily sign and mail you one), but I also have a 4″-thick binder of recipes solely for breakfast that I am continually adding to. (What an addiction!! And don’t even get me started about my “Recipes to Try” board on Pinterest!)
Following the conversation, I flipped through the binder and was amused to note that just a little under half of the recipes are for baked goods. Ha! Can you tell where my heart is? Bread + sweet = yum yum yum.
My baked goods, as those of you who have visited us know, fall into a couple of catagories–muffins, breads, scones, or coffee cakes. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at anticipating the quantities required each day for each type.
Except for one.
Last year, at the Water Mill Community Club’s annual dinner dance, I met a woman called Anita and we got to talking about A Butler’s Manor, what I generally made for breakfast on any given day, and how I endeavored to use whatever I could out of the vegetable garden Chris plants every year. We discovered we had a joint love of baking. She said, “If you have rhubarb, I have the best recipe for you.”
Oh yeah, we have rhubarb. Which I delight in bringing, in the form of a strawberry rhubarb crumble, to any dinner party we’re asked to during the summer. But for breakfast?
The following day she sailed into the kitchen at 9:30 AM while I was serving out breakfast and dropped off a recipe. “You’ll LOVE this,” she predicted.
Okay, I thought, I’ll bite. I made it that day.
Oh boy, was she ever right. I make a number of types of bread and they all go down well, but when I make Anita’s Rhubarb Walnut Bread, I go through 50% more than any other baked good I offer.
ANITA’S RHUBARB WALNUT BREAD
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup salad oil
1 cup buttermilk, OR 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp. white vinegar added to it
2-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups sliced rhubarb, cut fine
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Mix all ingredients in order given. Pour into two greased 9×5″ or 8×4″ loaf pans. Blend:
1/3 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste
Sprinkle topping over rhubarb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to a wire rack, cool, remove from pans and cool completely.
Freezes well; stays moist when wrapped in wax paper and foil. Yields 2 loaves.
Watch this disappear faster than you can explain to folks what rhubarb is.
Did you know?
* Rhubarb comes in both green and red versions.
* The stalk, which resembles celery, is edible, but the large leaf is poisonous to humans.
* Rhubarb is one of only two vegetables that are perennial–i.e., they come back year after year. (Jeopardy! answer: The other is asparagus.)