For many people, the month of March is about St. Patrick's Day, the arrival of Spring, daffodils and tulips poking their heads up from the frozen ground but at The Slaughterhouse, March is all about college basketball. I'm used to the afternoon phone calls alerting me to the games that will be on that night, and the pleas for game food. I'm used to the mister rushing in and heading straight upstairs to change into a sweatshirt representing whatever team is playing that night, he actually believes he can influence the outcome of the game by wearing his teams shirt! When they lose he will yank the shirt off his body, wad it up and throw it into the corner of the room, where it will stay until his tantrum passes. I'm used to the mister yelling and screaming at the TV when a game is on, jumping up and down until the house shakes, then regurgitating every detail from a missed foul shot but what I am NOT used to and never will be is the mister lying in wait. Allow me to illustrate...I was in the middle of telling the mister about the girl and SIL and the new house they are buying and I was hood winked by his smile and head nods into thinking he was paying attention, he seemed so interested so I told him every little detail, didn't leave out a sneeze... but one second after I came up for air he blurted out, "Kansas lost". My head did a quick revolution atop my neck before I realized what he was talking about, the University of Kansas lost a basketball game. He did not hear a word I said. The entire time I was talking he was lying in wait for his chance to tell me Kansas lost. Chomping at the bit, he was, because this time of year, during March Madness, a university basketball team that he has NO personal relationship with, is far more important than anything I could possibly tell him about his children! It drives me crazy when he does that! I get it though, I really do, I've had somewhat of an epiphany about the mister and March Madness...he loves college basketball, LOVES IT, and for the next two weeks he will be so distracted by games, scores, brackets, players, injuries, coaches, the number one seed and the odds of who will win that he will be blissfully unaware of anything I do or say...as long as I keep the game food going, I will have complete autonomy, think of the possibilities!!
Cherry Bread is just one of the many treats I will ply the mister with while he gets ready for the tourney, the big dance, the final four...I would wager that most of the world doesn't know what those basketball terms mean, but Cherry Bread, now that's something people understand! This is a quick bread recipe, there is no yeast so no rising time, just mix and bake.
Beautiful no? Your kitchen will smell Heavenly and you'll want to cut a nice thick slice fresh from the oven, you'll be hard pressed to wait but wait you must because this bread is made SO much better with the cherry glaze on top. The glaze is made with reserved juice from the maraschino cherries, so it's a very pretty shade of pink and has just a hint of almond extract, making it the perfect topping for this delicious bread!
Cherry Bread - Adapted From Taste of Lizzy T
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 jars (10 oz. each) maraschino cherries, reserve the juice
To make the Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup reserved maraschino cherry juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, oil, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Drain the maraschino cherries, reserving the juice for the glaze. Coarsely chop the cherries in a food processor or with a knife. Gently fold the cherries into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased 9"x5" bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. All the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze: In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, cherry juice and almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Once the bread is cooled, spread the glaze on top of bread. Slice and enjoy. This bread freezes well but if you are going to freeze, do not add the glaze, allow bread to cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. When ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature then make glaze and top the bread. Makes 1 loaf of bread.