Thursday, April 2, 2009

The michael5000 Kitchen #8: Strawberry Nut Loaf

Provenance: I had a friend during my college years who was clinically obese. Dealt a hard hand in many ways, she was nevertheless funny, kind, and often quite charming. She was obsessed with food, and quite literally so I think. We corresponded for several years, and every letter would include two or three recipe cards, almost none of which I ever used. They were just her way of caring, I think. Most of these recipes I discarded over time, but I hung on to three of four of the most promising, presumably thinking that maybe someday I would give them a try. Well, that day is now.

The Recipe:

1 cup Strawberry Jam
1 cup Butter
1½ cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cup Sour Cream
1 cup Nuts
¼ teaspoon Lemon Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Flour
Cream Butter and Sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients, first the wet and then the dry. Bake at 350 F for about an hour. Makes two loaves.

The Results

This turns out to be really yummy. It’s basically a PBJ cake, very moist and kind of hard to keep your hands off of. I made it with peanuts, which I (after the great Brazil nut chopping debacle of ’09) ran very briefly through the blender. Almonds and walnuts would probably both work as well, although it seems like they would substantially change the nature of the beast. Maybe I’ll try it with almonds next time.

Though I didn't notice this so much myself, you see, it seems that the taste of the peanuts ran a bit riot. I had dropped part of a loaf by for Mr. and Mrs. ChuckDaddy, and told them of course that it was "Strawberry Nut Bread." The next day, I heard back from Mrs. ChuckDaddy, who wrote:

For some reason (?) I thought you said "strawberry" bread so my taste buds were confused when I bit into something that tasted very much NOT like strawberry. Surprising, but really yummy. :)
When informed of her ghastly faux pas, she began to rant:

So now that the village is busy analyzing the true taste sensation of this so-called Strawberry Nut Bread, I really must say that IMHO it should be called Peanutbutter Bread. It definitely tastes like a healthier version of our beloved Peanut Butter cookie. This strawberry thing is just craziness!!
Probably she'd been drinking. It totally tasted like strawberries to me.

The only thing I’d add to this recipe is that you should probably butter the loaf pans. I didn’t, and had a little bit of a hard time getting the loaves out in one piece.


Yankee in England said...

I now have the song

First you take the peanuts and you crush em

you crush em

Then you take the jelly and you spread it

you spread it.

For some Peeeeenut Peanut butter and JELLY

Peeeeeeeeeeeanut Peanut butter and JELLY

Stuck in my head. I have no idea where this came from I am guessing some mindless TV show that my nieces have exposed me to or some childhood song long repressed in my mind.

If you do use almonds the next time you might go wild and crazy and replace the strawberry jam with raspberry. Classic combinaiton.

mrs.5000 said...

This was very tasty, and since I work from home I'm sure I ate more than my fair share of it--so nice with those midmorning tea breaks, and those midafternoon tea breaks, and after lunch as well. (My god, I sound like a hobbit!) Peanut definitely dominated, though I could taste the strawberry if I concentrated on it.

Having made a lot of banana bread and nut bread over the years, I've kind of grown up thinking of walnuts as the default choice for this sort of thing, and pecans or almonds as more flavorful alternatives. Peanuts would not have occurred to me. When I pointed out that they "weren't really a nut," the snack-loving M5K responded that peanuts were in fact the quintessential nut. In that moment I could just glimpse those ominous fault lines in marital harmony that could result in terrible earthquakes by the end of Act III if slippage between opposing viewpoints was not allowed to occur. And thus have decided not to pursue the matter, merely to air it in a public forum.

Yankee in England said...

Oh nothing like airing matrimonal fault lines in public. Mr Y in E does not believe in top sheets, I choose to leave this fault line well and truley alone.

Jenners said...

Controversy strikes! Every reader should make this and submit their votes. Strawberry taste ... yes or no. (I exclude myself ... I don't have that kind of time or skill.)

Chance said...

I'm not cook, but I have some skill with verbal attacks. I thus have already called two people "strawberry nut loaf" in a derogatory fashion, and am pleased with the results.

Just doing my part the only way I know how.