Recipe: Tea bread makes the most of small berries
|Sunny strawberry bread marries berries and lemon. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)|
This delightful tea bread combines two favorite flavors of spring: Strawberries and lemon. It also makes good use of small berries.
Small berries is what I have right now. My strawberries have had a bountiful May, producing pint after pint of flavorful berries. And they just keep going.
I grow Seascape, a disease-resistant ever-bearing variety that's bright red all the way through. It can take the heat and produces berries from April through November. Besides all those pluses, the flavor is intense and very berry.
The first round of fruit is always the largest and prettiest; those berries go into shortcake or on top of tarts. In late May, the plants are pumping out little jewels -- thimble-sized berries that are just the right size to bake into bread or other treats.
This recipe is an adaptation of Nicole Routhier's strawberry-lemon bread in her excellent "Fruit Cookbook" (Workman Publishing, 1996).
Tossing the strawberries with a little flour before baking keeps the fruit suspended in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
Yes, it's a lot of butter, but the result is light and moist.
|Still a few large Seascape berries, but mostly small ones now.|
|Strawberry bread is great for brunch, a snack or dessert.|
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For week of Nov. 26:
Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!
* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.
* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.
* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.
* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.
* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.
* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.
* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.
* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.
* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.
* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.
* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.
* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.
* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.
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