Both my parents are Presbyterian pastors, so the holidays aren’t quite the vacation season for my family that they tend to be for others. The month of December is joyfully filled with Christmas workshops, volunteering, planning for worship services, choir rehearsals and detailed planning of everyone’s schedule. On Christmas Day, though, everything slows for a morning of hot coffee and our traditional breakfast: a spread of fresh bagels and lox alongside slices of my mother’s cranberry nut bread. We go back and forth, from munching on the savory bagels to the sweet bread, until they both run out. Throughout my life, my family has lived in many different homes and cooked holiday meals in many different kitchens. This tradition follows us to each new place to remind us where we started and where we come back to each Christmas. —Helen Dennis

By / Photography By Shell Royster | November 14, 2017

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.

Sift and combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in shortening. Combine orange peel, orange juice and egg; mix into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in nuts and cranberries. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
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