Breads and Spreads
When I grew up we were really poor. Not welfare poor but my parents struggled and we lived out of town. Not close to a store and stores were all closed on Sunday’s. Times have changed. My mom made homemade bread every week. So we had plenty of bread and she always made jams and jellies every year. She covered them with wax. No lids and rings, just wax. I guess with all the sugar and wax covered over them it was ok. I never remember a jar going bad. But I didn’t like breaking through the thick coat of wax to get at the good underneath. The wax was melted and poured onto the spreads and as it cooled it sealed perfectly the jam.
My mom made wonderful jams and jelly. Grape was my favorite jelly. I love a good grape jelly. She also made a wonderful algerita berry jelly. It was so good. The berries grew on thorny bushes. We had to harvest the berries with gloves. They were so thorny that my mom actually cooked the berries with the thorns and leaves. But the end result was amazing. The hard thing about algerita berries is that they grew wild and only product occasionally.
Food is memories and spreads on breads have some really wonderful memories for me. I am passionate about using food to create memories. A slice of toast with a good spread is a great memory.
Nothing completes a bread like an good spread. I love toast with something delightful to spread on it. And this time of the year when we share breads with our family, friends, and neighbors, we need to think about adding a spread with the bread.
The nice thing is you can prepare the spreads way ahead of time and when it’s time to share your bread you just grab a spread and spread the joy.
One of my favorite spreads of course is butter. There are so many things you can do with butter. Top it with sugar and cinnamon, Honey butters, fruit butters, and I love cranberry butter the most. I make my cranberry sauce ahead of time and whip it with butter. I place it in tubs or make butter rolls wrapped in parchment or wax paper and put a bow on it and it’s ready to go.
This year my favorite is a Cardamon Apple Spread, and I am making cranberry butter. Below are both recipes. Both are so easy to make and store well.
Cardamom Apple Butter Spread Recipe
1 large apple chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or 2 cubes
2 teaspoons cardamom
In a sauce pan place water and sugar and cook on medium high heat or until it starts to golden and caramelize. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until apple are tender. Place in blend, being very careful and blend until pureed. Place in airtight container and store in refrigerator. May need to stir the first time you use.
Chef Brad’s Cranberry Delight Recipe
1 small pkg. fresh cranberries
1 half of a vanilla bean
1 tablespoon orange flavor
Follow instructions on back of package adding ½ cup more sugar. Before adding cranberries to sugar, add vanilla bean cut in half length-wise and chopped. Bring to boil and add cranberries to sugar and water. Cook until cranberries burst. Turn off heat and add orange flavor. Cool and eat every bit of it right away! It goes great with turkey, but not necessary.
For an extra zing add one chopped chipotle chili to recipe. Or more if you like it really spicy.
Cranberry Butter Recipe
1 lb. butter
1 cup of Brad’s Cranberry Delight
Let butter come to room temperature. Place in mixing bowl. Whip, and add chilled cranberries. Whip until well blended.