When Thanksgiving is just a pleasant memory and I’ve put all the good dishes and fancy napkins away (OK, the napkins still linger on the ironing board), I still have cranberries. In fact, I buy extra, so that I can bake this cranberry nut bread.
The cranberry season is relatively short in my area; they seem to disappear from local (mid Atlantic) groceries stores by late December, just as winter sets in. But unlike fresh tomatoes and most fruits, cranberries freeze well. They have to be cooked or baked anyway – they are too tart to be eaten raw except if chopped and mixed with a sweetener, as in raw cranberry relish – and you can don’t have to prepare or rewrap them to freeze them.
I came upon this recipe by accident or by laziness, depending on your view. A few years ago I decided that the cranberry bread recipes I had tried weren't working - the batter was either too delicate to stand up to the tart cranberries or too heavy. So I experimented with a variation on my favorite banana bread recipe and realized that it had just the right consistency.
If you are brave you can probably fit all the batter into the loaf pan without it running over during baking, but I am a coward. To avoid burned drippings on my oven floor, I reserve a small amount of batter for 1 large or 2 small “bonus” muffins.