The Little Foodie: Apple bread makes neighborly offering
Food is a way in the door — literally. When you come in with a plate, you’re saying, “Hey, just letting you know I’m here.” It’s a nice gesture that connects people.
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I am not a person who socializes much with neighbors. When I come home, I tend to keep to myself. I’m not trying to be rude. I think part of being a good neighbor is giving people their space at home.
My closest neighbor seems to agree. We don’t talk much, and when we do he calls me “Girl,” or by a name he misheard when we first introduced ourselves. Now we’re too far in for me to correct him.
Even so, he occasionally knocks on my door with an offering. A box of doughnuts or ice cream sandwiches for my kids. Bananas. A plate of salmon for dinner. Last week, he heard us singing happy birthday to my youngest, and the next day he brought some candy.
I’m embarrassed to say he’s fed me more than I’ve taken over cookies or dinner to him. Isn’t that MY thing? To bring baked goods to others?
But when I pulled this out of the oven, I cut a big slice for my neighbor — and was suddenly hit with nervousness over whether he would like it. So I sent the cutest messenger from my family to make the delivery.
I appreciate that food is a way in the door — literally. When you come in with a plate, you’re saying, “Hey, just letting you know I’m here.” It’s a nice gesture that connects two people.
I guess there are two qualities of a good neighbor: someone who allows you your space and occasionally feeds you.
CINNAMON SWIRL APPLE CIDER BREAD
By Mariko Jackson
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
In small pot over medium, bring apple cider to a boil, then lower to simmer. After about 40 minutes, it will reduce to 1 cup. Cool.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with baking parchment.
In large bowl, whisk reduced cider, flour, eggs, baking soda and powder, salt, sugar, yogurt and oil.
Melt butter in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Combine with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Pour 1/3 of batter into loaf pan. Layer with 1/3 of brown sugar. Repeat with remaining batter and brown sugar mix, for 2 more layers.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out fairly clean. Makes 1 loaf.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Mariko Jackson blogs about family and food at thelittlefoodie.com. Her column runs on the last Wednesday of the month. Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.