My house right now smells like heaven. I have two carrot breads baking in the oven and they are just making my mouth water as I sit here. The slight cinnamon and sweet sugar smell is exactly what I remember my grandmothers’ house smelling like too, laced with a little old lady perfume. I also remember the 3 tiered dark wood table with porcelain knick-knacks that we weren’t supposed to touch, and the covered glass jar of sugared jelly spearmint leaves that she would keep on top of the refrigerator, my Dad would have to get them to give me one or two because I couldn’t reach.
There are a handful of recipes that are from my paternal Grandmother, “Grandma Nora” we called her, and this bread is one of my favorites. This and her gravy she would make from the drippings of the pan when you roasted a piece of meat – to die for…or her potato salad…I love food. She came to the USA when she was 14 from Ireland and was a tough lady with a lovely brogue. Grandma Nora would make great dinners with lots of butter and salt and always told me that I made a nice cup of tea that she would take with a little milk and one sugar. She had some great quirky sayings, such as “You could be married in the morning!” that she would excitedly exclaim when you when you did something right in the house or in the kitchen that a “wife” would do! We still use it all the time and laugh.
I have never found a recipe for carrot bread like this one. For starters, it uses oil and not butter, which I’m never sure about but when I taste it, I always forget why I had reservations in the first place. I also always think it’s not going to take as long as it does to bake, but every time, I’m wrong. This sweet bread is absolutely perfect for a quick breakfast in the morning or with a nice hot cup of tea at night on the couch and pretty much anytime in between. It absolutely craves real butter to be put on it, but I also adore it with some tangy smooth cream cheese on top.
This is one of the best ways to eat carrots…and kids love it too. Give it a try, you’ll be happy you did!
Grandma Nora’s Carrot Bread1 cup sugar 1/2 cup salad oil (canola, corn, etc. NOT olive) 1 1/2 cup flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup grated carrot 2 eggs 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In a bowl, mix together the sugar and oil. Sift together all the dry ingredients and add them to the oil and sugar, stir well. Add in the carrots and mix, then add in the eggs, one at a time and stir until incorporated. Add the nuts if you would like them and stir until combined. Do not use a mixer for this, do it all by hand. Transfer the batter to a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Bake at 375 for 55 minutes
The edges of the bread will be a deep brown but the inside will be perfectly fluffy. Let it sit for a couple minutes in the pan and then transfer to a brown paper bag lined cooling rack and cool completely. Slice and enjoy!