Nobody will be standing in line at the department store to return a gift of homemade food.
If you're looking for a holiday gift from the kitchen, add this to your quick bread arsenal. My Mom recently gave me the cookbook Incredible Food: A Collection of Recipes by PEO Sisterhood, Chapter IF.
It wasn't even Christmas yet, but I have already put the gift to good use. I tried three different quick bread recipes and contributed them to our annual church bazaar last month. (Of course, we taste-tested them at home, too.)
Gifts from the kitchen are never the wrong size. And even if the recipient doesn't want to eat them, they can always stick them in the freezer and bring them out for their own family or work holiday gatherings.
Put the batter in smaller loaf pans. Make this recipe and other favorites (scroll down after this recipe for some other ideas from the County Line kitchen). Wrap well in plastic wrap, tie ribbons around the loaves, add some holiday stickers and package them together in a holiday sack or on a holiday plate.
One of my church friends, Shirley, buys pretty plates at rummage sales. Then she shares her homemade angel food cakes on a real plate instead of a flimsy paper plate. If you keep your eyes open throughout the year, you can have a stash of holiday trays, plates and tins ready to use to dress up your holiday gifts from the kitchen. Or check out the shelves of the dollar stores or party stores for pretty, yet inexpensive, holiday plates and trays.
Banana-Pineapple-Cherry Nut Bread1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
10-12 maraschino cherries
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add. Stir in mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, cherries and nuts. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in two small greased loaf pans or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
And here are some other County Line tried-and-true recipes to try for your own holiday baking or gift giving. (Just click on the underlined titles to find the recipes.)