Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It's That Time of Year!
I guess I took a little blogging break for a few days. I really didn't intend to, it just happened. So, what have I been doing?
This is a part of what I've been doing for the last few days. I'm sure you can relate!

Those bins are full of cherished Christmas decorations. I really do enjoy lifting the lids and seeing all those memories from past years. As I have been pulling things out and putting them around the house I realize I have several treasures to "Show and Tell" for the next few weeks. I bet you have some treasured Christmas items to share also. Let's get together here on Friday.

I am almost finished with the decorating agenda for the year. The first things I put up were these two wreaths. I love them so much because they were made for us by a dear friend the year we moved to this house. This is the tenth year for them to greet friends and family to our home. I have considered replacing them, but have decided that If I do just a little more sprucing up they will make it through this year.

Now that's all you get to see for now.
All my decorating will be finished in time for this:
I hope you are planning to join in for this fun time.
I would love to see what Christmas looks like at your house!
And here's another thing I've been doing during the last few days.

Some people are not going to believe this! I'm going to share a recipe! I know. I know. Somehow there is rumor among people I know IRL that I do not cook. Not true! I do. I especially enjoy cooking this time of year. I just have never cared for the idea of "fixin' (as we say in the South) supper!

So, for all the non believers--Here goes! I made these bread loaves for the sweet ladies in my Monday night Bible Study. We had some cranberry cookies a couple of times that they loved, So--I thought they might enjoy this little treat as an end-of-study/Christmas gift. What a precious group of women! I loved every minute I spent with them. Monday night just won't be the same--until we start another study after Christmas.

Cranberry Banana Nut Bread

2/3 cup All Vegetable Shortening--such as Crisco (It's a southern recipe, ya'll!)
1-1/3cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas--about 4 large
3-1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts--I use pecan/ walnut would also be good
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce


1. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease--or spray--bottoms of two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
2. In large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add bananas, flour, soda, nuts and cranberry sauce, stir gently to blend. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake at 350*F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cook in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool on wire rack. For easier slicing, wrap loaves and store overnight in a cool place.

I like this recipe because it easily makes two good sized loaves. I have a good recipe that uses fresh berries. This recipe uses the whole berry sauce so chopping berries is not required. Since I needed eight loaves this was much quicker than using fresh berries--and still good! I actually made six small loaves with one recipe. So, if you're in the neighborhood, I have a couple of extras. Drop by--I'll gladly share!

Here they are all wrapped and ready!

You know, I don't remember the last time I made a recipe that called for that much shortening. However, that was an easy quick bread recipe that I had used before--good ole' southern recipe from the good folks at Martha White. And--good folks they are. I mean, you know, I have that Tennessee, Grand Ole' Opry, hometown connection to uphold and all.

But, nevertheless--look at this recipe I found after I was already making that batch of bread loaves!
Cranberry-Orange Bread
1 cup nut-like cereal nuggets (Grape-Nuts)
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking aoda
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1/2 cup low-sugar orange marmalade
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in center of mixture.
2. Whisk together buttermilk, oil, and eggs, add to dry mixture, stirring just until moistened. gently fold in grate orange rind, marmalade, and cranberries. Spoon into a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
3. Bake at 375* for 28 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and let cool 20 minutes or until completely cool.

I found that one in Southern Living. I think it sounds like a tasty as well as healthy choice. I may give it a try--after I find homes for these last few loaves in my basket! :-)

Yes, I am definitely enjoying preparations for this season. I have shopping online to do, more baking, a little more decorating, some blogging fun to participate in, and plenty of IRL traditions to savor and cherish. I pray that, through all the busyness of the season, my family and I will retain our focus on the reason for the traditions and activities--the very precious reason for the celebration.

Luke 2:11
"Today in the city of David a Savior had been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord!"

I hope you, too, are enjoying preparing your home and heart for the most wonderful season of the year.

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  posted at 11:51 AM  

At November 27, 2007 at 5:05 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

I'm beginning to get the itch to get the Christmas stuff out, too. I always wait until at least December, so my day is coming. I hope you'll join us on December 10 for my Christmas Tree Treasures day and share some of yours with us.

At November 27, 2007 at 6:05 PM, Blogger Becky said...

That was sure a fun post. I love the wreaths and you are right, I have many things that need "fluffing" every year to look great again.

I'm all decorated. We do it the day after Thanksgiving. It is a little early for me really, but our house is open for fun starting the Sunday after Thanksgiving so we need to get it ready.

I will love sharing my fun with everyone. I can't wait for the Christmas fun this year. My first bloggy Christmas.

At November 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM, Blogger Cherdecor said...

Myrna, Where do I find guttermilk? At the Rescue Mission????? Hahahahaha! Just teasing.....but I read and reread that recipe and decided it MUST be a typo.. . . we all make them! (At first I thought is was buttermilk made with goat's milk.)

I love your wreaths and will be waiting to look inside those doors at the rest of your beautiful decorations.

At November 27, 2007 at 7:34 PM, Blogger Myrna said...

OOPS! Thanks--I'll edit that. Don't want anyone ending up in the gutter while searching for buttermilk!

At November 27, 2007 at 9:24 PM, Anonymous ellen b said...

I am planning to join in the fun. I hope I can get my act together! All the boxes are down from the attic. That's a good start...
I'm looking forward to seeing everyones homes decorated! Blessings...

At November 27, 2007 at 10:39 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I got all done that I'm going to do. I need to have some people over this week-end before we leave for Hawaii. My daughter's and DIL's birthdays are both the 8th, the day after we leave, so we need to celebrate that, too. Oh, what a busy week ahead! I love looking at the treasures every year, too. I am going to recycle last year's tour the day we get home.

At November 28, 2007 at 7:28 AM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Haven't even thought about Christas YET!!! Better get with it!!

At November 28, 2007 at 8:28 AM, Blogger Suzy said...

I clicked on over to Boomama's site and it sounds like alot of fun!...now I have to hurry and check out Morning Glory's "Christmas tree treasure Day"

At November 28, 2007 at 9:53 AM, Blogger Robin said...

I know how you feel about your treasures - they do bring back wonderful memories. I find it very hard to get rid of anything in my Christmas boxes. This year I did give a few things to my married daughters so they can begin their own Christmas treasures.
Your wreaths are gorgeous - I can't wait for the Holiday Tour!

At November 28, 2007 at 11:16 AM, Blogger Diane J. said...

I'm waiting on decorating because I want to buy a new tree and decorations. I hope to do that on Saturday.

I'll start my Christmas baking and cooking about the second week in December. Much earlier than that I and it will be eaten before I can wrap and gift some of it!

Jesus is indeed the Reason for the Season. :o)

Love and hugs,


At November 28, 2007 at 4:14 PM, Blogger Frazzled Farm Wife said...

"Jesus it the Reason for the Season"....one of my favorite sayings! Thanks Diane for putting it out there too!

I haven't even started decorating yet....I like to do it as a family and reminise while we decorate but we never all seem to be home very long at the same time.


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I am a Christian woman who shares a blessed life with my precious husband, our two adult sons and their wives, and four grandchildren. We cherish the adventures God has allowed us to have together. I recently retired from an over thirty year career as an elementary teacher and administrator.

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