Poetry Tea Time :: Winter Solstice + Orange Cranberry Bread

Along with our regular poetry collections (see more about them here), we read a few books on the Winter Solstice today.

The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson explains the science of the shortest day of the year and how cultures over time have celebrated and understood the winter solstice. It was very interesting. 

from the Winter Solstice 
Another book about the Winter Solstice that we read every year is The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer.  This one is a favourite of ours and explains clearly the solstice. It also tells about the celebrations different cultures observed over time. 

from the Shortest Day 

Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root is a lovely story with beautiful illustrations. It isn't specifically about the solstice but tells the story of Grandmother Winter and her quilt filled with goose feathers. She shakes the quilt and snow comes. We then follow all creatures and what they do as winter comes around. 

from Grandmother Winter 

We baked a "sunny" dessert and had Meyer Lemon tea from Stash Tea Company. That tea is amazing by the way, not just lemony, it has rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, and hibiscus...so tasty! 

We also had the rinds of the orange used in the dessert gently simmering on the stove in water with a bit of vanilla. 

Here is the recipe for the Cranberry Orange Bread I found it at Lick the Bowl Good. I didn't add any nuts. I made a mistake and only added half a cup of cranberries, so I call mine "Orange Cranberry Bread"! It tasted great still and half was gone by the time tea time was done!  

Cranberry Orange Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional 
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended.
Stir in cranberries and nuts, if using. Spread evenly in loaf pan.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.

Makes 1 loaf (16 slices)


  1. The cranberry orange bread looks good! I'll have to try it sometime.


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