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3 Unique Holiday Harvest Traditions

Each fall Americans look forward to Thanksgiving – a day of bountiful eating, family gatherings, and even football. Often this day winds down with a nap on the couch and leftovers being put away for a chance to re-live the great feast. For many, the leftover turkey is best put to use in a sandwich and the sweet potato casserole makes for a great late-night snack. This has become the tradition. But it all had a different beginning.

The History of Harvest

We celebrate Thanksgiving to commemorate the feast that pilgrims shared with some Wampanoag Indians after the first harvest in 1621. The festivities lasted 3 days and the fresh food eaten then was more likely venison, not turkey, and sweet potatoes were unknown to the settlers at that time.¹  The food has evolved and the holiday has since become a day of thanks for all that we have, including our family, community, and local food.

Going Global

In some countries, harvest celebrations are a bit different. Honoring the harvest of local food and sharing with the community happens in some interesting ways as ancient traditions are enacted. Let us take you on a tour around the world and get a glimpse of some global holiday harvest traditions.

Incwala – Swaziland

In Swaziland, Incwala lasts for many days leading up to the cutting of the sacred shrub, known as Iusekwane. .² The Incwala is also referred to as the first -fruits ceremony and includes communal harvesting of fields, weddings, and rituals of song and dance only performed for this festival. The celebration is meant for “renewing and strengthening the kingship and the nation.” ³

Dozynki – Poland

This Slavic harvest festival coincides with the end of the harvest season and was originally associated with an ancient pagan cult of agriculture. ¹* Still celebrated in Poland today, it marks the tradition of rewarding farm laborers for their work in the fields of the larger landowners and comes at the end of the harvest season.

The last of the harvest, usually wheat and rye, is formed into a dome-shaped wreath and presented to the head of the manor. Participants wear traditional costumes as a processional heads to the landowner’s estate. There is an offering of bread to the host, who then shares a vodka toast with the eldest male peasant. A feast follows where peasant-style food is served. ²*

Crop Over – Barbados

The island nation celebrates the end of sugar cane season with what can be considered one of the longest harvest events around. As much as two months time can be spent on feasting, eating, and Calypso music competitions. ³* The tradition dates back to the 1780’s and today it’s a party atmosphere complete with a parade and the ceremonial delivering of the last sugar canes to the king and queen of the festival. ¹ª

Honor the harvest

Across the globe people take time to observe the significance of the harvest and to celebrate the bounty.

While we decorate with gourds and bales of hay and eat ourselves to the point of being overstuffed, remember, it is a celebration of harvesting that provides us some of the best local food around. It is also a commemoration of the hard work the pilgrims endured and the friendship they shared with the indigenous people.

The Leftovers

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and if you don’t have any leftover turkey you can always visit Atlanta Bread for our delicious Turkey Cranberry Sandwich!

Sources:

¹ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/11/26/why-we-celebrate-thanksgiving-every-year-it-isnt-what-you-think/

² http://www.thekingdomofswaziland.com/pages/news/index.asp?NewsID=146

³https://www.britannica.com/place/Swaziland/Cultural-life#ref480823

¹*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do%C5%BCynki

²* http://www.polishtoledo.com/dozynki01.htm

³* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_Over

¹ª http://www.barbados.org/cropover.htm#.WAD6dGxSMaI

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breadSized

Hip Holiday Breads – Not Your Grandma’s Fruitcake

You’ve probably heard the jokes and lore of the fruitcake:  fruitcake tossing competitions, fruitcakes as doorstops and the legendary story of one single fruitcake being passed around year after year. Grandma’s fruitcake doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation, nor does it delight the palate of foodies these days, but today’s inspired holiday breads sure do!  So what’s the difference, other than new flavors?

A bit about fruitcakes

Fruitcake has been around since well before your Grandma’s time…in fact, according to What’s Cooking America, fruitcakes date back to ancient Roman times.  Ancient hunters and crusaders were reported to carry fruitcake with them in order to survive their long missions away from home.1 Fruitcake became very popular in the mid to late 1800s as a must-have item at Victorian tea parties.  Traditionally, fruitcakes combined harvested fruits and nuts into a loaf form.  Today, you can tempt almost any palate with the concept of warm, fruity and savory holiday breads made in much the same way, but with today’s trending and tempting ingredients.

If you said you were dropping by a neighbor’s house to deliver a fruitcake, you’d likely find them hiding behind their door, but you’ll get a much warmer reception if you ring the bell bearing a gift of delicious holiday bread, with modern flavors like Cranberry Orange, Pumpkin Spice or Mocha Chocolate Chip.

Historical holiday breads across the globe

Holiday breads have a history too.  For thousands of years, many cultures have had their own interpretation of breads and cakes served to celebrate holiday seasons.  Breads like Italian Panforte or Panettone, Romanian Cozonac, Norwegian Julekake, and German Stollen are just a few of the traditional holiday breads you can find filled with spices, fruits and nuts. Today, holiday breads come in delicious new flavors with healthy, fresh ingredients and so many of them are just impossible to resist.

Here’s a great compilation of holiday bread recipes fromfood.com if you’re in the baking spirit.  It’ll be difficult to decide which to try first, Christmas Stollen, Sour Cream Apple Cardamom, Almond Cranberry Bread, or Spiced Anjou Pear Bread just to start…a difficult choice indeed!

Holiday breads – baked fresh for you

Obviously not everyone has time to gather fresh healthy ingredients for baking, but who wouldn’t want to enjoy these fresh baked breads.  If you’re scrambling around for last minute gift ideas and don’t have time to bake your own delicious, breads with healthy, fresh ingredients, why not bring home the holidays from Atlanta Bread.

We have a wonderful variety of fresh baked holiday breads to treat yourself to, or delight your friends and family.  Our Pumpkin Spice Bread is simply delicious and on trend with everyone’s favorite fall ingredient, and our Cranberry Orange Bread is sure to zest up your day with fresh healthy ingredients!  If you’re looking for something a bit more decadent, why not try our Mocha Chocolate Chip Bread.

You’re sure to be the favorite friend, neighbor, co-worker or dinner guest when you deliver the gift of delicious, fresh baked holiday breads from Atlanta Bread.  Come by and enjoy a quick lunch with a fresh, healthy twist and take some of our delicious fresh baked holiday breads with you, or visit www.atlantabread.com to order ahead.

1 https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/Fruitcake.htm

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Fresh Mayonnaise (homemade) on an old wooden table

The Ultimate Guide to Flavored Mayo: From Aioli to Zest

Flavored Mayo…drop mic and exit stage! There’s not much more you need to say…flavored mayonnaise is all the rage and why not? What better way is there to liven up your sandwiches, spice up your veggie platter or zest up your favorite meats or seafood with new flavors? Flavored mayonnaise has gained popularity as of late and you can find flavored mayo recipes online to delight almost any palate.

Truly, the sky’s the limit with flavored mayonnaise…all you need is a spice drawer and a jar of your favorite mayonnaise and you can create just about any savory, sweet, or spicy accompaniment you can imagine. It’s not difficult to make your own aioli or mayonnaise (yes, there is a difference) so here are some easy recipes for both AND our A-Z list of flavored mayonnaise ideas to spark your interest.

Homemade mayonnaise with fresh ingredients is easy to make and is a good choice for those looking to avoid preservatives found in store bought mayonnaise. Here’s a great recipe from allrecipes.com1

Ingredients:

½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs*

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups vegetable oil

In the container of a food processor or blender, combine the mustard powder, salt, eggs and vinegar.- Set the food processor on medium speed and gradually drizzle in the oil while it runs. Transfer to a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. *Consider using pasteurized eggs

Homemade Aioli is a bit different from mayo, in that it has 2 key ingredients:  olive oil and garlic. Here is a popular aioli recipe from epicurious.com.2

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves

1 large egg yolk*

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)  Whisk in garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. If aïoli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use. *Consider using pasteurized eggs

So now that you know how to make your own mayonnaise or aioli from fresh ingredients, you can decide whether to DIY or simply dress up your store bought mayo with our comprehensive A-Z guide to flavored mayonnaise!

A-Z Guide to Flavored Mayonnaise

  •      Aioli (OK, so maybe it’s not a mayonnaise, but it’s a favorite, so…)
  •      Avocado Mayonnaise
  •      Ancho Mayonnaise
  •      Bacon Mayonnaise
  •      Basil Mayonnaise
  •      Blue Cheese Mayonnaise
  •      Black Pepper Lemon Mayonnaise
  •      Cajun Garlic Mayonnaise
  •      Chive Mayonnaise
  •      Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
  •      Cran-Orange Mayonnaise
  •      Chipotle Mayonnaise
  •      Curry Mayonnaise
  •      Dill Mayonnaise
  •      Edamame Mayonnaise
  •      Fennel Mayonnaise
  •      Fire-Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise
  •      Garlic lemon Mayonnaise
  •      Ginger Sesame Mayonnaise
  •      Green Peppercorn Mayonnaise
  •      Herb Mayonnaise (using Herbs de Provence, Dill, Basil, Rosemary or your favorite blend)
  •      Honey Mustard Mayonnaise
  •      Horseradish Mayonnaise
  •      Italian Tomato Mayonnaise
  •      Jalapeno Mayonnaise
  •      Kale Garlic Mayonnaise
  •      Lemon Caper Mayonnaise
  •      Mango Chutney Mayonnaise
  •      Maple Brown Sugar Mayonnaise
  •      Miso-Agave Mayonnaise
  •      Mustard-Mayonnaise
  •      Nacho-Chipotle Mayonnaise
  •      Old Bay (Seafood Spice) Mayonnaise
  •      Onion-Garlic Mayonnaise
  •      Orange Zest Mayonnaise
  •      Oyster Mayonnaise
  •      Parsley Mayonnaise
  •      Pecan Mayonnaise
  •      Pesto Mayonnaise
  •      Pomegranate Mayonnaise
  •      Pumpkin Chipotle Mayonnaise
  •      Quince Garlic Mayonnaise
  •      Raspberry Mayonnaise
  •      Red Wine Mayonnaise
  •      Roasted Red Pepper
  •      Sesame Mayonnaise
  •      Sriracha Mayonnaise
  •      Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
  •      Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise
  •      Teriyaki Mayonnaise
  •      Thyme Shallot Mayonnaise
  •      Tarragon Mustard Mayonnaise
  •      Urchin Mayonnaise (Yep…it’s a real thing)
  •      Vegetable Medley Mayonnaise (with roasted onion, bell pepper, garlic and tomato)
  •      Wasabi Mayonnaise
  •      XO sauce Mayonnaise (XO is a spicy seafood sauce used in Chinese food recipes)
  •      Yellow Saffron Mayonnaise
  •      Zesty Lemon Mayonnaise

Now that you can see the endless varieties of flavored mayonnaise out there, why not try to whip up your own batch of flavored mayonnaise to enhance next week’s sandwiches, party meat platters or crudité. Flavored mayo recipes are easily found online and can be as easy as adding herbs to store bought mayo.

We’re all about flavored mayo at Atlanta Bread, so if you’re looking for a seasonal favorite to try, give our Turkey Cranberry Sandwich made with fresh ingredients and cran-orange mayo a try. It’ll give you reason to celebrate the season with all-natural turkey, pickled red onions, lettuce, tomato and cran-orange mayo on cranberry walnut bread! DELISH!

For more great seasonal favorites and to order ahead, check out our online menu or simply download our app.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/159507/whole-egg-mayonnaise/

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/aioli-107026

 

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food, harvest, season and autumn concept - close up of pumpkins on wooden table at home

5 Ways to Treat Yourself to Pumpkin

I fondly recall carving pumpkins for Halloween as a kid. The trickiest part was cleaning out the “guts” but designing and creating the traditional Jack-O-Lantern and then eating the roasted seeds was a real treat. Back then I never knew about eating pumpkin in anything other than the traditional holiday pie. But now you can enjoy the flavor of pumpkin in a variety of food and drinks – it’s healthy, and it’s everywhere!

It’s not a commonly used ingredient so you may be unsure about what to do with pumpkin. While the jolly, round gourd provides a subtle yet distinct flavor to shakes, lattes, breads, and even healthy dinners you may want some suggestions about how to make it a part of this seasons fare. Let us be your tour guide and share our 5 favorite ways to enjoy the flavor of pumpkin this season. Many of these recipes came to us from Real Simple, and that’s the way we like it!

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Okay, I know it sounds strange, but this really is a great combo of new flavors. It may not be your traditional grilled cheese but it will become a healthy family favorite.

½ cup pure pumpkin puree

16 slices pumpernickel or white bread

Check 2 ounces Gruyere, grated (about ½ cup)

Check 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

Directions:

Spread the pumpkin puree on half of the bread, dividing evenly. Top with the cheese and the remaining bread to form sandwiches.

Melt ½ tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.

Cook the sandwiches, in batches and turning once (adding an additional ½ tablespoon of butter to the skillet for each batch), until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, 4 to 6 minutes.

Use 3-inch pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters to cut the sandwiches into shapes.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Not much of a baker but still love to enjoy a sweet treat? These easy to make, 3-ingredient cake-y cookies are perfection. Recipe from a friend:

 

1 box of spiced cake mix

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Combine cake mix and pumpkin and mix until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18

Pumpkin w/ White Beans and Bacon

Looking for a healthy lunch or a dinner side item? Try this tasty dish. It’s light and packed with nutrients but still gives you a full-on pumpkin experience!

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

If you’re carving a pumpkin and want to roast the seeds, don’t just pop them in the oven. I know that’s the traditional way, but as your tour guide, I suggest that you first cook them on a baking sheet at 300 degrees for an hour (until dry) then toss them with 2 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10- 15 minutes and you’ll have a sweet, salty, and crunchy snack!

 

Pumpkin Martini

If you’re looking for a liquid version of a pumpkin treat then consider this adult beverage. It’s sweet and rich and could be served for cocktail hour or even after dinner because it’s like a dessert in a glass.

 

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons vodka

2 tablespoons half and half

1 tablespoon canned pure pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon maple syrup

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Combine the sugar and ⅛ teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice on a small plate. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in water, then dip in the sugar to coat.

In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, half and half, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared glass.

Pumpkin Bread

Warm, delicious pumpkin bread is great for breakfast, dessert, or as a sandwich – just spread a little cream cheese in between 2 slices! You could bake it, or pick some up at Atlanta Bread and bring home the holidays!

Pumpkin isn’t a fall fad, it’s a real, healthy food that adds a unique and delicate flavor to various food and drinks – so enjoy it all season. You can also stop by your local Atlanta Bread location and try our new Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte, it’s the perfect partner for your pumpkin bread.

Sources:

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/delicious-pumpkin-recipes