I feel like starting something new…
If you follow me you know that I have spent a good portion of this blog creating recipes that come from my late grandmother Peggy. I have attributed those recipes to the time my grandparents ran Hollymead Inn down in Charlottesville, VA. I realized that up to this point I have just randomly featured those recipes whenever I felt like going through her cards and something jumped out at me. I don’t think I am truly doing her recipes justice or giving them the right amount of attention.
With that being said, I would like to start a new weekly method of blogging here on Haute Pepper Bites. I would like to start by dedicating Monday’s to her recipes. We will call it Hollymead Mondays. I wish I could have come up with some clever alliteration but in this case we will be true to what it is.
These are her recipes and these are the dishes that might have been spotted while dining at the inn. I find myself still learning about the time they spent running Hollymead. I never tire of hearing stories from my dad or finding treasures that they held on to over the years. Recently I found myself sorting through boxes of photo albums and pictures, looking for anything and everything that captured our family history with food. When I came across the Hollymead “archives” I was again in awe of what they accomplished and what they spent many happy years doing.
My grandparents were amazing! I am so fortunate to have a great history on both sides of my family. Feeling like a very lucky girl! I have also spent some time digging more and more into my mom’s side of the family. You have already seen some of her Southern roots make their way to this blog here. I started this blog because I knew that food was a huge element of my life and it didn’t take long for me to learn that this was not by accident. I have parents who grew up surrounded by traditions and hospitality.
Both grandparents ran establishments where they focused on making others feel at home by cooking them comfort dishes and food that was simple but satisfying. The wonderful thing is that they found a way to do it without too much fuss and they were known for their specialities. On my mom’s side it is the famous beef ribs that my grandfather still makes for his admirers in San Francisco. My grandmother was famous for her Beef Wellington which I am still working up the courage to create. When I think about it, this is what I love to do. I love to cook and make it simple. I want it to be comforting and easy. I want to watch you eat and tell me how much you love it before I even take a bite. I cook because I love it, the way they love it, the way they show their love to others.
So, each Monday I will feature a dish from the Hollymead collection. They could be vintage and silly or they could become your next favorite dish. I will do this to carry on the memory of my grandmother in a way that I feel I have failed to do so far. It turns out that this one is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Blueberry Orange bread is something I don’t think I have come across but it is certainly something that you could enjoy alongside your morning coffee. It is a wonderful vehicle for showcasing the bountiful blueberries and tweaking things ever so slightly by mixing in orange juice. A wonderful summer bread and I am sure it was a huge hit at the inn.
Blueberry Orange Bread*
Yields 1 Loaf
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cups Sugar
3 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter (melted)
1 Tbsp. Grated Orange Peel
2/3 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Blueberries (rinsed)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3 bread pan using a non-stick spray or butter.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in to a large mixing bowl. Combine sugar and stir to combine. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of flour over the rinsed blueberries, this will help to make sure they don’t sink to the bottom when baking.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, orange peel and orange juice. Slowly add melted butter, whisk as you add in the butter.
Place your mixer on low-speed and begin to add the liquid mixture to the flour. Slowly combine until all of the liquid has been added and the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overwork the batter or you risk the bread coming out very dense.
Fold in the blueberries (and nuts) in to the batter, careful not to overwork the batter. Fill your greased bread pan with the batter and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Remove bread from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. You can enjoy the bread now or store overnight in the fridge before slicing and enjoying in the morning. If you do store it in the fridge you can warm up the slices before eating.
*The original recipe calls this Blueberry Orange Nut bread, I don’t happen to be a huge fan of nuts in my baked goods but feel free to add them to your version.