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This is the recipe that inspired my group "Baking New Memories". Due to Covid-19, I suddenly found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, as so many of you have. In the quietness, a desire arose that I hadn't felt in some time. The desire to bake. I had, somehow over the years, forgotten that I love to cook and to bake, and actually had myself believing that I wasn't any good at either. When I decided to ask my aunt for my great grandmother's Mondel Bread recipe, I had only the intention of trying to bake it (for the first time ever) with every expectation of completely botching it and never trying again. But that isn't what happened. Instead, I just did it. Although, I had some idea of what it should look like because of the many times that my great grandmother made it over the years, I had no idea how to get to the finished product. And, here is what I love so much about this...it didn't matter how I got there. I had the steps in front of me, and whatever I ended up with was gonna be okay! Because the point wasn't to make perfect Mondel Bread. The point was to try, and the trying led to so much more than a great memory, and reminiscent aromas of some of my favorite childhood times. More than that, the trying led to new memories of MY children and I making Mondel Bread for the very first time together. And so I had found perfection in the making of this familiar and unfamiliar recipe. We were Baking New Memories as I shared old ones, and the past and the present mingled there in my kitchen, creating a new and familiar aroma. It was the smell of new traditions in the air that had laid dormant, waiting to be brought to life and passed on. It is never too late to start a NEW memory. My children are ages 16-21, and this was our first Mondel Bread experience. The beauty lies in that it won't be our last. I hope that you will join my family and I as we begin, continue, and leave a legacy of sweet and rich memories shared from so many perspectives, cultures, religions and homes in this amazing community we've created. Here's to Baking New Memories
 

Grandma Burns's Mondel Bread

1 juice glass of canola oil (5 oz)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 juice glass orange juice (5 oz, no pulp)
1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 325 F

In a large bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs, orange juice, raisins (or chocolate chips) and mix with electric mixer for two minutes
In a medium bowl mix flour and baking powder
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients two cups at a time

Batter may become too thick to use beaters, you can finish mixing with your hands (lightly flour your hands, as batter will be sticky)
Split batter in half, creating two separate loaves
Put loaves on lightly floured cookie sheet (do not grease cookie sheet)

Let bake 45 minutes, check after 30 minutes
Loaves should be golden brown before taking them out

Once loaves are golden brown, remove from oven and lower heard to 250 F
Cut loaves into 1 inch slices and lay them down on the cookie sheet
Return cut loaves to the oven and bake until desired toastiness
Consistency will be similar to a biscotti or slightly softer

Perfect with tea or coffee

From the kitchen of Neeka DeGraw

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My Great Grandmother, Minnie Burns

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Original Mondel Bread Recipe in her                                     handwriting