Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teacher Gifts

Following Mama Teacher's suggestions and coming up with some of my own ideas, I have finally decided what to do about gifts for the myriad of teachers, aides, specialists (2 music, art, Spanish, PE, library), administrators, and staff who assist in the education of Sis and Bud: we're bringing a platter of breakfast breads--pumpkin, banana, strawberry, and chocolate--this week, on a day when they're all in the building, to put in the staff lounge. Because they so enrich the school experience and because the kids will have them all for years to come, I thought it was important to remember them. Also, Mama Teacher tells me they rarely get a thing. And while I'd considered some kind of homemade gift like hot chocolate packets in a mug (realizing each person would then get two, so I'd have to differentiate for Sis and Bud) or individually wrapped little loaves per teacher or a large donation to Heifer International in honor of all of them, this is what we decided on (no worries, we're donating to Heifer as a family). Additionally, next week, the kids will take tins of something (right now, it will probably be specialty chocolates from Teuscher's in the city) for their classroom teachers (I'll save the book gift cards for summer. Which seems so far off at this point). Wish us happy baking before then, we're doing all the bread tonight.


Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups sugar

3 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons each nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon

4 eggs

2 cups fresh or canned cooked pumpkin

1 cup oil

½ cup water plus ½ cup apricot or peach brandy (or another ½ cup water)

1 cup each chopped pecans and raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine sugar, flour, soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in large electric mixer bowl. Mix eggs pumpkin, oil, water (or brandy) and combine with dry ingredients; beat until well mixed. Fold in pecans and raisins. Bake in large greased Bundt pan until cake tests done, about 1 hours and 30-45 minutes.

Gommie Hungry

Banana Bread


1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup butter

½ cup shortening


2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

Sift and add:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda


1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups mashed bananas (appx. 6 bananas)

1 cup nuts

Grease and flour pan. Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes. For miniature muffins, bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves

Gommie Hungry


Strawberry Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, well beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped pecans

1 ½ pints strawberries, washed and stemmed (Note: 2-10 oz. packages frozen

strawberries, thawed, may be substituted for fresh.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar; mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs and oil; add to dry ingredients. Stir in pecans. Fold in strawberries until moistened. Pour into 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Gommie Hungry


Church Cake Lady Chocolate Cake

Devils Food Cake mix

8oz sour cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup coffee or liquor

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon

12 oz chocolate chips

Mix all that together and pour in a greased and floured pan. I usually flour it with unsweetened cocoa powder, that way the flour doesn't leave a white mess on the fininshed cake. Bake at 350 for around an hour.

If you are so inclined, when the cake comes out of the oven, pour on the following.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup orange juice or orange liquor

1/4 cup water.

Heat this together until the sugar melts and pour in over the cake while it is still in the baking pan.

Happy baking! J.W.

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