The Shakers came through Alexandria Virginia with their trembling reverence for God, leaving a trail of traditions, faith, furniture and fabulous recipes for us to enjoy.
One of my favorites is their simple brown bread, which in its simplicity, reminds us to revere the sacred in the simple things we place our eyes and hands to each day.
One of my favorite lines from an old Shaker Hymn is "I will bow and be simple", so I have named my brown bread after this.
I WILL BOW & BE SIMPLE BROWN BREAD:
- I cup bread flour
- I cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- (optional tradition) 1/2 to 1 cup raisins to fit your tastes
- Stir it up Little Darling
- Pour batter into 2 lightly greased coffee cans about 2/3 full
- Cover the tops with foil
- Place in a steamer on low for about 45 minutes until loaves are set nicely.
Look at you. You made a fabulous, traditional brown bread!
Now serve it up with some black bean soup just like a Kennedy would.
BUT WAIT - No steamer? No problem!
- Bring your oven to 325 degrees
- Place the coffee tins in a pan - (anything that will hold a bit of water at the bottom -I use an 8 1/2 x 11 glass pan)
- Cook in oven for 2 hours 15 minutes
- Check to see if done with a toothpick - if the toothpick comes out clean - it is done!
Want to feed your mind too?
Here are some fun and interesting facts about the Shakers you may love knowing about:
Did you know Shakers:
Lived in communal agragrian villages
Prepared all their own food
Practiced sustainable living, recycling and reusing (back then it was just called common sense!)
Shakers treated all people with dignity, respect and equal fairness, regardless of gender or race.
There is a different kind of thirst and hunger that each one of us, and everyone we has.
We have all known and seen those who have abundance, and are still not happy. No matter what he have, or what we have accomplished, we all long for the true and simple things that bring contentment. We all wish to love and be loved fully. We all want internal peace, freedom from oppression, freedom from all that which would disturb our peace or our pace.
I hope that as you prepare this recipe you will join me in taking a moment to see the simple beauty all around you.
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