Merry Christmas! I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday with tons of snow!
I love the snow. I’ve always loved the snow. There’s something about the way the magical snowflakes softly and silently blanket everything that makes me feel like a little kid about to open presents on Christmas Day. This past Tuesday, I woke up to an unexpected, but welcomed surprise of snow. At school, I wasn’t able to focus at all because I just wanted to play outside in the snow. For one of the first times in my life, I felt as if school was just like confinement. I wanted to get out so badly. I got my chance to frolic about at lunch when I jumped around in the fresh snow. It’s a great feeling being the first person to make a set of tracks on a field. The snow seems to hush all noise and cover up any worries—unless you have to drive in the snow. I even saw a bunch of adults having a snowball fight in the park.
Another 5-10 cm of snow was forecasted for Wednesday before it was supposed to change to rain. Rain. The word I hate hearing in combination with snow. Living near Vancouver, I’m supposed to be used to the snow making a brief visit before getting washed away by the rain in less than a day, but I never am. As a huge snow lover, it always brings me sadness watching the beautiful, light snow quickly turning to nasty, wet slush.
Wednesday brought a few more centimetres of snow before turning to rain at around 1:30pm. Being busy at lunch, I wasn’t able to enjoy the huge snowflakes that fell. I enviously watched from inside a classroom as other students had fun making snowmen, twirling about, letting snow caress their face, and rolling around—well, that’s just basically a description of what I like to do in the snow, but I imagine other people like doing that too.
Now all that remains are dirty clumps of snow on the sides of the street. An eyesore.
It’s another wet and green Christmas for me, and the spirit of the holiday almost seems to get drowned out a little by the rain. Maybe it’s because I know Christmas is essentially a commercial holiday now. Maybe it’s because my family doesn’t put up a tree anymore. Maybe it’s because there’s no snow. Maybe it’s because the feelings of love and kindness take a backseat to the hustle and bustle of this holiday. OR MAYBE BECAUSE IT’S SO DARK THAT I JUST WANT TO SLEEP. Grr.
Whatever the reason, I just don’t feel the magic this year. It’s simply another day of the year.
This past weekend, I finally had some time to bake. I had an abundance of oranges that I wanted to make something with. A few weeks ago, I requested some oranges to bake with and my mom returned with two boxes full of oranges. Oranges are weird because they’re pretty much in season in the middle of winter. It’s great because oranges remind me of the summer when it’s so dark and gloomy outside. Vancouver…
I clearly am not a fan of the rain at this moment.
I decided to make this orange loaf because I love loaf cakes and I love oranges. I like lemon loaves (with blueberries please!), so I figured that an orange loaf would be just as good, if not better.
The zesting of the oranges is probably the longest step in this entire process. I don’t really like zesting citrus. I’m not patient enough for that. However, I do like the smell of the fruit that perfumes the house… and my hands.
This orange loaf is ridiculously moist, especially when you consider the fact that there’s only two tablespoons of oil in the batter. The orange flavour is very pronounced, which comes from both the zest and juice. There’s a pretty orangey-yellow colour to the loaf. Once the oranges are zested, this batter takes hardly any time to put together. I dig it. I dig it a lot. My mom likes it too.
Adapted from Brooklyn Galley
Yield: 1 loaf
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 oranges)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
DirectionsPreheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8.5 x 4.5” (9 x 5” works too but it will finish baking a bit quicker) loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a cup, combine the buttermilk and orange juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the orange zest and sugar until the sugar is moistened (I cringe) and fragrant. Add in the oil and mix. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Add a third of the dry ingredients and whisk together. Then add in half of the buttermilk and orange juice mixture and mix. Repeat until all ingredients are just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.