On the fourth day...
When I was in junior high, one of our neighbors a few doors down made Almond Poppy Seed Bread every year and delivered it to nearby households around the holidays. We started receiving bread from her the year we moved in down the street and never missed a year. My family fell in love with the treat and decided that the holidays would not be the same without it.
At some point I began to realize that our neighbor was only getting older, and baking all that bread was probably not as easy as it used to be. So, I took matters into my own hands. I walked down the street and offered to help her with her Christmas baking in exchange for her poppy seed bread recipe. She took me up on my offer, and I've been making it every Christmas since.
It wasn't until my newlywed years that I realized that what I was making wasn't really bread, it was more of a cake or a muffin, if you will. And because the batter bakes similarly to muffins or cakes, I could make the treat in many different forms. Muffins, bundts, small loaves, cupcakes, mini-muffins all started appearing out of my creativity, and for other reasons besides Christmas.
It was also about this time that through a series of unfortunate circumstances, I found out that if you eat an undetermined amount of this bread right before you take a drug test, you may or may not test positive for having taken drugs. But, really, drug tests are not a very Christmas-y thought are they? So we'll move on.
These days it's a treat I make for the kids 3 or 4 times a year, and it's always part of our Christmas morning brunch. I also like to make a few extra loaves and give them to friends and neighbors around the holidays, just like Miss Dixie used to do. And just like Miss Dixie, if you want the recipe, come on over and bake with me and I'd be glad to share it with you.
And...Speaking of bread. We've got another little thing going on here at Casa de Hairdryer. Apparently, we have some secret friends that have been leaving us treats every night to celebrate the countdown to Christmas. Pictured here are the chocolate kisses, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and fresh bread that we received. Not pictured are the sugar cookies we got a couple of nights ago. Because...um... as of press time, there were no sugar cookies left to be in the pictures.
Anyway, it's a fun little Christmas mystery, and I can't wait to find out who our Secret Santas are.
What are you doing to pass the time until Christmas arrives?