Morning Bread

Around my house Christmas is all about food, and while Mrs. Claus doesn’t spend all her time baking cookies that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her way around a kitchen. Over the next few days I’d like to share some of Mrs. Claus’ favourite recipes with you! Each one of these recipes is written in the voice of one of the incarnations of Mrs. Claus from my latest anthology, Mrs. Claus: Not the Fairy Tale They Say.

Enjoy!


Morning Bread

A recipe by Eve Claus of “Good Morning” by Kristen Lee

(Adapted from James Beard’s “Beard on Bread”)

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of  baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of buttermilk (or soured milk)
1 cup of chopped apple
1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans (chopped)
1 teaspoon vanilla or grated lemon rind

Pre-heat oven to 350° and butter a loaf pan.  Pour prepared batter into the pan and bake for around 45 minutes to an hour.  When the bread begins to pull away from the side of the pan, you’ll know it’s done.  Allow bread to cool in the pan for a few minutes before loosening and removing the loaf.  Slice when completely cool.  Best enjoyed at sunrise.


Excerpt from “Good Morning” by Kristen Lee:

The breaking of the spell starts in her fingers and creeps through her veins. Her dreams muddle as the thaw spreads, and there’s always a brief, glorious second during which she believes she will open her eyes to the soft glow of a newborn sun.

Instead, Eve is greeted by the navy-dark of the North Pole. Even the faerie fires that illuminate the chamber blaze with the cold, blue light of stars. Their glow—though relatively dim—burns her eyes, and tiny replicas flash behind her closed eyelids. Her vision adjusts before her body remembers how to move, and as her blood rekindles, she watches the slumbering form of her husband.

Nick is still confined within the crystalline ice. The uneven facets warp his glamour, so he flickers young-and-beautiful and old-and-jolly all at once. Beneath his age-whitened hair are Nick’s black curls; beneath his cloud of beard, the squared-off jawline Eve had pressed countless kisses to before their lives became bound to December 25th. Even frozen, his long-lashed eyes flit in dream beneath his lids. She wonders if he dreams of her.

Misty breath gusts over Eve’s hand. In her frigid state, the ghostly warmth burns, and she twists to escape the pain. Hooves clatter against the icy floor of the chamber, and Eve draws herself painfully upward to see Dancer—her favorite of the reindeer—staring dolefully at her. She wants to reassure the beast, but her lips are cold-cracked and her tongue frozen to her teeth. Instead, she raises her stiff arm, and Dancer sheepishly creeps back over to rub her shaggy head against Eve’s outstretched hand.

Eve loves the reindeer, but in moments like this, she misses the dogs. She yearns for their ever-wagging tails and their soft-tongued kisses. She misses their love of running so strong that it twitches their legs in their sleep. She misses the dogs and the rising sun and holding Nick, talking to him, and—

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