Okanagan Apple Bread and the San Juan Islands – Outdoor Wednesday

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Tucked between Puget Sound and the Straits of Georgia is an archipelago known as the San Juan Islands. The islands are accessible only by ferry and they’ve become the quiet place to which I retreat when the world is too much with me. There are 172 islands in the chain, but only a few are inhabited and some are not visible at high tide. In the spring and summer these islands are coves of stunning beauty, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the view rivals the majesty of a cathedral and the silence, broken only by the gentle lapping of waves, becomes an evensong. Life here moves slowly and you can, indeed, lose yourself in solitary splendor if that is what you seek. Food is simple and what you don’t grow or raise must be ferried in at some expense. One of our favorite treats on the islands is an apple bread that comes from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s farm bread at its best. It can be made without special equipment and it falls into that easy but delicious category of old-fashioned quick breads. I love its simplicity. I use Golden Delicious Apples and coarsely chopped walnuts to make the bread, but feel free to improvise and use choices of your own. Here’s the recipe.

Okanagan Apple Bread…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup light or golden brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup peeled, grated apple

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1-pound loaf pan. Set aside.

2) Sift all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and whole wheat flour together. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients, alternating with grated apples and buttermilk, to egg mixture. Fold in toasted nuts. Scrape into loaf pan.

3) Bake in lower third of oven for 1 hour. or until a cake taster inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes. Turn on a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.

This recipe is being linked to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

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