Tag Archives: food

Strawberry Bread and Butter

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry bread and butter with ad for fresh strawberries

I’m trying to think of an excuse to publish these go-together recipes for Strawberry Bread and Strawberry Butter.  It is not a vintage recipe. It is not something I’ve cooked for years as a family favorite, (although this strawberry bread became an instant favorite as soon as we tasted it.) Strawberry bread is not an ethnic recipe brought to America by my ancestors.  I have no excuse. Except that it is delicious. And I think you need a break from German sausage every once in a while.

My first attempt at strawberry bread was a disaster. I reluctantly dumped the bread into the wastebasket, thereby wasting two cups of strawberries. I tried to figure out why this quick break didn’t work. Then I realized that I had substituted almond milk for the dairy milk called for in the recipe I had found on the Internet.

I must warn you that in baking you cannot substitute willy- nilly. There are complexities involved. For instance, there are other recipes that call for regular milk rather than the buttermilk I used. But you can’t just change buttermilk for milk in THIS recipe.

I don’t usually feel confident messing around with recipes for baking. As I pondered all the little complexities of the chemical reactions and effects of heat, etc., I couldn’t help but think about those great-great grandmothers who were cooking on a wood-fire either in a fireplace or in a stove.  Here I have a thermostat and an oven that tells me when it has reached the exact temperature I want and a recipe that specifies baking times, and I STILL get things over or under cooked sometimes.  How in the world did they do it?

Strawberry bread sliced

However, in this case, that first strawberry bread was such a disaster, that I decided I could do it better myself.  I read a few other recipes, thought about what was making things happen, and came up with this recipe. I’m happy to say it was a smashing success.

My husband had begged me not to use any more of those beautiful strawberries on that awful stuff, and after I ignored him and made the second version, he promptly ate 3 slices.  Two days later he was offering to buy more strawberries so I could make more strawberry bread.

The strawberry butter was an afterthought, but as I bit into it, I’m thinking how delicious it would be on biscuits, scones, muffins and anything at all in the bread category. Along with the strawberry bread, strawberry butter is a definite winner.

Strawberry Quick Bread with Strawberry Butter

Serves 12
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 5 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Bread
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
When fresh strawberries are in good supply--make several loaves of strawberry bread and freeze it. The strawberry butter will be delish on all kinds of bread.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Heaping Cup diced strawberries

Strawberry Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup strawberries (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons honey


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 5 loaf pan
2. Dice strawberries with knife, put in strainer over a bowl to catch juices.
3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In medium bowl, beat sugar and egg. Add oil, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
5. Slowly pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until completely blended, but do not overmix.
6. Gently mix strawberries with one tablespoon of flour, and blend into batter.
7. Pour into prepared pan. (You can sprinkle turbinado sugar on top. I did not want extra sugar, so left it off)
8. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with tented foil for another 35--45 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in top comes out clean. Better to overbake than underbake. Unlike most quick breads, this will not dry out easily.
9. Let cool in pan 15 minutes or so. Turn out on rack to completely cool before slicing. Serve plain, with strawberry butter (see recipe) or plain butter or cream cheese spread.
Strawberry Butter
10. Let butter come to room temperature. Meanwhile, chop 1/4 cup strawberries fine.
11. Mix strawberries, honey and butter. Spread while soft. Keep any leftover in refrigerator.


Notice that the recipe uses baking SODA not baking POWDER. When you are using buttermilk, you'll always use soda.

Some recipes for strawberry bread put a confectioner sugar glaze or frosting on top. I think that is overkill, but if you're looking more for a cake than a bread--go right ahead.

The amount of sugar may vary according to the sweetness of strawberries and your personal taste. I wanted a minimal amount of additional sweetness.

Don't make the mistake I made earlier of cutting the strawberries in a food processor. Much to mushy.

UPDATE:  When I baked this again, I realized that I had left you with some strawberry juice and no suggestions on what to do with it. Fortunately, it does not go into the bread, the whole point being to remove some of the moisture from the strawberries.  You might stir a spoonful into the butter to intensify the pink color, but I wouldn’t overdo it, because you don’t want your butter to be soupy.

I suggest stirring it into a glass of milk for strawberry milk (almond or other dairy substitute would be fine) or mix a little into a glass of iced tea for extra flavor.  OR–and this is what I did–mix the juice from the strawberries into 1/2 gallon of water and store in the refrigerator. Spa water!!  



Top Ten Posts of 2015

You may be excused if this gets too geeky for you. On the other hand, you might discover a post among the top ten posts that you missed along the way, and this gives you a second chance to read it.

Ancestors in Aprons launched in April 2013.  Since then, I have published 331 posts. In 2013, I wrote 31 posts telling stories about ancestors–some about more than one, and sometimes writing about one person more than once. In 2014 and 2015 I participated in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, which ensured that I would write about at least 104 ancestors and I actually sneaked in a few extra people.

Top Ten Posts on People: THE MOST POPULAR KIDS ON THE BLOCK in 2015

According to Google Analytics, based on the number of people who looked at each post this year, the Top Ten posts–10 most popular ancestors were:

Joseph Kaser's carpentry

Great Grandfather Joseph Kaser made this handkerchief chest.

Harriette Anderson, coach

Harriette Andrson (on the right) coach of Killbuck Women’s Basketball Team 1928

Helen Stucky

Great-Grandma Helen Kohler with Mike, Kenneth Paul, and Brent, in Ohio, 1966

Irene Kaser Bucklew quilt

Irene Bucklew Wedding Ring pattern Baby Quilt 1939. Crib sized gift for me when I was born.

  • Henry Butts wrote home from the Civil War (Dear Wif) and I published all the letters we have. The first one made the top ten list, but I think all of them deserve a look as they tell the story of the war from the point of view of an apolitical, farmer soldier who is patriotic, but more concerned about his family than national affairs. (January 2015)

A slightly different popularity list comes up if we look at who people searched for on the site. There we find Revolutionary War solider Jerusha Howe, Pilgrims William Bassett and Sarah Bassett and Peregrine White are the subjects of curiosity.


(Same criteria as above applied to the food pages–top ten posts about food.)

The first year of Ancestors turned out some lasting favorites.








And then you skipped right over 2014 and chose five recipes from 2015:





Probably more significant in the food category is what foods people searched, because you tend to spend more than twenty minutes on the site when you search for a food story or a recipe. That is a really significant amount of time on a blog, where people average 20 seconds or so.

Searchers landed on:

  • Food books
  • Tomato soup
  • Food grinder
  • Amish Buttermilk Cookies
  • Big Boy Barbecue Cookbook
  • Cornbread
  • Civil War Food
  • Scalloped Corn

Interested in any of those topics?  Just type it into the search box over on the right hand side of the page, and  you’ll find stories and recipes.

So that is YOUR top ten posts. What about my favorites– those things that I thought deserved a few more readers?  I would recommend:

The Civil War Letters of Henry Allen Butts, particularly the one where he loses his temper.

Love Letters and the Course of True Love, My parents love story. I love letters and love stories.

Avoiding the Storm, the story of many German Immigrants. I learned so much while writing this.

Ann Barbara Müller Lost Half Her Children. A sad, and sadly not untypical story.

Paul Kaser, Hydrologist. A family historian’s dream is to have a relative or ancestor who kept lots of records. My father left a fat personnel file that reveals how he went from day jobs to a career.

Where There’s a Will. There were three parts to this, each fascinating as I learned new things about people and how they lived through their last bequests.

Adam Limback loved Women, Married Five. Sure, it was common for men to remarry when their wives died, but Adam Limback Jr. carries it to extremes, wouldn’t you say?

As for food–I have so much fun researching old and foreign recipes that I wouldn’t dare start picking favorites.

What would YOU like to recommend? Or see more of in 2016??


Sex, Booze and Pie Crust, The Top Ten of 2014

What you were reading at Ancestors in Aprons in 2014

As everyone knows, sex and booze sell.  But here food goes over pretty well, too!

strawberry-Rhubarb pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie made Agnes Badertscher’s way with tapioca.

I look at these statistics at the end of the year in hopes that I can figure out what you like the most, so we can bring you more of it.  (*That “we” is not an affectation, I owe huge thanks to contributors–particularly Brother Paul and Sister-in-Law Kay, whose writings and research help scored in the first- and third- most read articles.)

Since we* write about food and family, in almost equal parts. I was curious to see which category you read the most, and fascinated to see that of the top ten viewed pieces in 2014, the outcome was 5 and 5. On the other hand, five of the top six were about food!

So here’s the count down of the top ten most-read articles:

10. Civil War Deserters: Erasmus Anderson Letter #7 As with the case of Naughty Pilgrims below, I think we are attracted to the people who do not obey all the rules. This is the only one of the Civil War letter from Pvt. Erasmus Anderson that made the top ten, but that series was my own personal favorite section of Ancestors. If you’re a Civil War buff, follow the 16th Ohio Volunteers from Cincinnati to Vicksburg with this index.

9. Mysterious Case of the Missing Wife. 52 Ancestors #15 Mattie Worley In which a great-uncle goes West, makes his fortune and his official record makes a wife disappear.

Jesse Morgan on plaque

Squatters Riot Plaque, Sacramento, listing Jesse Morgan, squatter. From Roadside America.com

8. Mystery of ’49er Jesse Morgan: 52 Ancestors #25 Here my brother writes of the dramatic death of our mysterious great-great-grandfather Jesse Morgan–shot on the street in Sacramento.

7. 52 Ancestors: #1  Rhema Anderson Fair  To kick off my 52 Ancestors effort, I chose a favorite relative, my inspirational Aunt Rhema.  I suspect the numerous long-lost Fair cousins contributed to the popularity of this one.

6. Polenta? NO!  Grandma Cooked Corn Meal Mush An amazing number of readers fondly remembered or still eat corn meal mush. For those who haven’t tried it–there’s a recipe.

Pilgrim Punishment

5. 52 Ancestors: #46, My Bassett Ancestors–Naughty Pilgrims.  The 52 Ancestors challenge presented by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small, had me telling the stories of my ancestors–positive or not. I have to admit that title was created as click bait, but I love finding the unexpected.

4. Perfect Pie Crust gives my favorite pie crust recipe. The tradition of good pie crust, if not this exact recipe comes down from my grandfather to my mother to me. Apparently, a lot of you are looking for Perfect Pie Crust.

3. Family Restaurant with Home Cooking introduces the people and the Anderson Restaurant in Killbuck, Ohio that is pictured on the masthead–my Grandparents and helpers. And I share a favorite pork chop recipe.

Dalton Dari-ette, opening day 195 , (before Dick Kohler owned it). Picture used courtesy of Dalton Dari-ette

Dalton Dari-ette, opening day 195 , (before Dick Kohler owned it). Picture used courtesy of Dalton Dari-ette

2. Vintage Family Restaurant: Dalton Ohio Darriette, where Kay Badertscher writes about her Uncle’s classic drive-in. (Complete with recipe for one of their specialties.)

Broken piece of hardtack from collection of Minnesota Historical Society.

Broken piece of hardtack from collection of Minnesota Historical Society.

1.  Civil War Rations: Hardtack and O. B. JoyfulThe MOST READ post of 2014: My brother helped me by contributing information gained in his years as a Civil War reenactor.

What missed the list? What was my favorite?  I have already mentioned the Erasmus Anderson letters.  But here are two that I thought deserved more readers. I concentrated for a few months on the Puritan ancestors from Massachusetts, and in September visited the home of the Howe family. These two are members of that branch. Check them out and let me know if you agree they are worth reading about.

52 Ancestors: The Wheeler Dealer, #37, Samuel Howe

52 Ancestors: It’s All Relative, #35, Hepzibah Death

So much for looking back at the top ten of 2014.  Now let’s look back at the Civil War in 1861, and then the centuries and ancestors that came before.