Ah, the little white lie. Chances are you said one in your lifetime. If you’re married (especially for a long time) you might say one once a day.
Now we are all taught not to lie. Your parents teach you that. I am sure Barney the Purple Dinosaur probably has a song about not lying. Sesame Street taught me that. And the ABC after school specials did as well.
But as I got older I realized that they same parents who taught me not to lie, were (wait for it) liars themselves (oh the horror).
Case in point. My bunny (no, not the one I have now). Growing up I had several bunnies. The first one I ever had was an outdoor one in a hutch. One day when I woke up and my parents had that serious look on their face. I quickly scanned my head thinking ah shit, what did I do now, but then quickly remember that I was indeed the perfect child, so no worries there.
They sat me down to let me know that my rabbit had run away. I being the inquisitive little sucker that I am, relentlessly asked questions as to how this tiny little bunny could have escaped from the cage. Well, my parents must have not been ready for the full court press as their tiny white lie, got a little bit bigger. They told me that the neighbor (a guy I would later find out they didn’t like) had gone and pet the rabbit (we had no fence between us) and didn’t latch the cage right when he left. Well, hell hath no fury like a little girl who lost her bunny. Needless to say, the poor man’s flowerbeds never looked good again.
Years later, as an adult, we were all sitting around talking about something. And then it came out. That little white lie from so many years ago. The neighbor had not accidentally left the cage open. In fact, what had really happen was that a raccoon had gotten into the cage and ripped it to shreds. Now I don’t have kids, and even I know it was a good move on my parents part to not tell their young daughter about the true demise of her bunny. These are the times the little white lie is your friend.
Speaking of little white lies. I’m coming clean on one. A few years back for Christmas I got a lot of cookbooks. I mean a lot. 26 to be exact. I know some of you are saying to yourself, I don’t even own 26 cookbooks. But let us all remember that I am a cookbook whore (people are in awe of how many I own). To set the record straight I did not ask for that many cookbooks. But when all else fails, people buy me a cookbook. It’s a safe bet I am going to use it.
But because I got so many that year, a few of them got passed over (I was too busy focusing on the ones I asked for). One was a book called Chocolate Snowball. It wasn’t on my wishlist (Amazon) and I had actually never heard of it. It’s a cookbook a bakery in Dear Valley put out. So months later when the friend who gave it to me asked me how I liked the cookbook, I pulled out the little white lie and told her it was great. Except that I didn’t actually know. Because I didn’t actually really look through it yet. I had planned on doing that when I got home only to realize that I had packed it up. Yes, I have so many, I pack them up and rotate them through. So low and behold a few weeks before Christmas, I opened one of those boxes. And there it was, mocking me. Mocking me because there were recipes in there that I wanted to try. And if I had just bothered to look at it in the first place I could have already made the stuff.
Back when I made this you could still get fresh cranberries. I am quite sure that dried cranberries would work just as nicely, but I would go the unsweetened route. Or you could make this with fresh raspberries as well. This bread isn’t reinventing the wheel or going to cause world peace (like those chocolate cookies) but it’s a all around good quick bread.
So feel free to lie everyone. I’m sure many of you have even lied to me on here telling me something looks good when you are thinking not so much. But remember, a little white lie can go a long way.
Cranberry Orange Bread
8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)
1 ½ cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease and flour a 12-x-4-inch loaf pan (or three mini pans).
Using an electric mixer (if using a stand use the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after every addition.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Mix and scrap the bowl.
Add the orange juice and mix until fully incorporated.
Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until ingredients just come together.
Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
Spread into prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes (about 40-45 for the mini). Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
Adapted from Chocolate Snowball and Other Fabulous Pastries from the Deer Valley Bakery by Letty Halloran Flatt