Back in the day there was a restaurant/coffee shop called Stewart’s Pharmacy. It was also a drug store. They made the most fantastic orange bread. You could order it as toast with butter or as French toast. And they sold the loaves, so you could take one home.

They closed, Mrs. Stewart died and that was that. Yesterday I got a yearning for that bread. I looked it up on Google and much to my delight was the entire story as I remembered it plus the recipe. It is not ‘easy’. There are many steps including peeling several oranges and boiling the cut up peels with sugar. It is worth it. Plus your house will smell wonderful.

Stewart’s Orange Bread

1 cup orange peel, pith removed, cut into very thin strips about one inch long

1 cup sugar

4 cups flour

6 level teaspoons double acting baking powder

1/8 teas salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter

Put orange peel in saucepan, cover with water and boil till peel is tender. Add one cup sugar and boil to make a medium-weight syrup. Set aside to cool.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter, eggs and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add milk and dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed in electric mixer for four minutes. Add cooled orange syrup  and finish beating by hand for another minutes. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

This recipe is easy to halve, if you only want to make one loaf. But other than peeling a few more oranges, it doesn’t really take any longer to make two loaves, and you can either gift or put the other one in the fridge ‘for later’.

By the way you can make a nice orange salad with sliced up peeled oranges. And the easiest way to peel an orange and just get the orange part, is to use a vegetable peeler, like you would use for peeling carrots or a potato.

As I hate to waste anything, I then peeled all the remaining pith from the seven oranges. I put the oranges in a zip lock bag in fridge for salad and snacking.

I tossed the pith in a zip lock bag with a large amount of ground cloves. Then transferred this to a fine mesh bag and hung it in my closet. You could use an old nylon stocking.

When I was a little girl, one of the first gifts I made for my mother was an orange with a pretty satin ribbon tied around it with a bow on top. The sides of the orange were studded with whole cloves. She had it hanging in her closet for years.

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