Monday, January 8, 2018


Well, officially I missed it by 2 days as Epiphany (January 6th) this year was Saturday. Epiphany is the end of the Christmas holiday when Christian churches celebrate the coming of the Wise Men or Magi. Everyone finds so much joy watching the children at church recreate the Christmas story which always includes the shepherds and the Wise Men. We see the scene everywhere so it is easy to think they all appeared at the manger the night the baby Jesus was born, but the church celebrates 12 days later as the date when the Wise Men came. In the Bible story of the Wise Men, it says "when they came to the house" not the manger which implies it was later not the night he was born. (Another possible misconception is that there were three wise men. This probably came from the fact that there were three gifts named. The Bible doesn't say there were three.)

Epiphany is also the 12th day of Christmas. (You know the Christmas song that just keeps going on and on and on?) We  had a minister in our church once that didn't sing Christmas songs until Christmas Day (the first day of Christmas)...the time until then being Advent. It was very hard for the congregation not to sing the familiar Christmas carols in church but to wait (aka "advent").

Anyway, I saw this bread called the Gift of the Magi and after making it I thought, "How sad she (Sanda Bonow) only makes this bread once a year." It is so moist and full of all things great. Think of a fruit cake without all those dried fruits. I made three smaller loaves using my Pyrex 4 x 6 - inch loaf "pans". We enjoyed one, I gave one to a friend for Christmas, and we froze the other one.

Since I didn't get this out last week, you can make them and celebrate the Gift of the Magi who were a little late getting to Bethlehem. 

Sandra Bonow of Lewiston, Minnesota says "I make this extra - special banana bread only once a year to celebrate Christmas. It's loaded with scrumptious ingredients such as coconut, mandarin oranges, dates, cherries, chocolate chips, and almonds.


1/2       cup butter or margarine, softened
1          cup sugar (I removed 6 teaspoonfuls)
2          eggs
1          teaspoon vanilla
2          cups flour
1          teaspoon baking soda
1/2       teaspoon salt
1          cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1          can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1          cup flaked coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
1          cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao chips)
2/3       cup sliced almonds, divided
1/2       cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2       cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 x 4 - inch loaf pans. (I used three 6 x 4 - inch loaf pans.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl with a whisk. 

Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture

alternately with the mashed bananas. (I started and ended with the flour mixture.)

Stir in the oranges, coconut, chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of the almonds, cherries, and dates. (I cut the mandarin oranges into thirds.)

Pour mixture into prepared pans.

Sprinkle tops with the remaining almond slices.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes (Run a knife around the edges to loosen before trying to remove from pans.)

before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

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