Happy Holiday Monday! Today is a Civic holiday in Ontario and we’re enjoying ourselves at the cottage. Do you get a holiday today?
Many years ago, when JT and I were first dating we had a party at his apartment; it was the first party we threw together as a couple. By now, you all know how much JT loves themes and that party, so early on in our relationship was no different…we had to have a theme. We rambled on a number of different options like a Pajama Party, a Western Party, a Halloween dress up party and even a formal party but all were nixed because the party was being held at JTs apartment and he had final say. He wanted fun, informal and something we could tie music and food into (yes, we were heavily into food in those days too). You must be thinking, “Get on with it woman”. OK, so the theme we landed on was “Let’s Get Physical” (remember this?). So we had the theme, the music and we based our foods on the healthier side of things. I even designed an invitation for that party and it was all hand lettered because there were no graphic computers in households in those days, each invitation created from scratch. We invited about 15 friends and some brought dates while others didn’t but we all dressed up in our workout costumes (think 20-minute workout for me, big hair too!). It was great fun and I knew we would have more like them in the future.
As I mentioned, the food was on the healthier side with veggies and yogurt dip, some cheeses, some crackers and this unusual Boston Brown Bread. The recipe is originally from Jean Paré’s Muffins and More, published by Company’s Coming Publishing Ltd, 1983 but as you would expect, I have altered it. The unique thing about this no-yeast bread is that it is steamed and not baked and while you can steam it in cleaned out soup tins, I steamed mine is my long narrow Le Creuset terrine pan.
Boston Brown Bread
Makes 1 large loaf 4″ x 12-2/3″ or 3 smallish tins
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup Molasses
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- In a large pot that can hold your tins or baking pan, add enough water to come up about 2″ high on the tin or pans and heat to a gentle boil. Add a rack to the bottom so that the tins or pan isn’t sitting directly on the flame.
- Grease your baking tins or baking pans well. Grease a piece of foil large enough to fit over the top and sides of the tins or baking pan.
- In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre.
- Whisk to combine the wet ingredients and pour into the centre of the well in the flour mixture. Stir until moistened, batter will be lumpy.
- Pour into the baking pan or tins and cover with foil, greased side down. Secure sides of foil so that the bread steams within. Add hot water to the large pan as needed to keep it at the same level.
- Steam for 2-3 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean. (my long narrow terrine pan took about 3 hours and I baked it an additional 15 minutes on 325°F).