Short and simple. That’s the goal of this week’s recipe.
With this concept in mind, I must dedicate this recipe to my late mother, Gloria Pesch. As a kid (and some would say as an adult too), I tended to explain things too much. For example, when I was in high school, my mother would ask me if I had finished my biology homework. In response, I would begin to go into detail on the differences between meiosis and mitosis. After about 30 seconds, my mom would start to smile and she would pat my shoulder gently, look me in the eye and say, âBill, please keep it short and simple.
She was also very humble and down to earth. She retained these qualities even as my father rose through the military ranks to become a two-star general. She treated everyone equally and had little patience for any sign of arrogance. It has strengthened the humility within our family. I lived with my parents when I attended law school in Washington, DC Soon after I graduated, they hosted a congratulatory dinner at our house. As we sat around the dinner table, someone asked me for my opinion on a legal matter. I am embarking on a long technical answer. After about two minutes, my mom, who was sitting next to me, gently rubbed my hand, smiled, and said, âBill, stop bragging. Keep it short and simple. I closed my mouth, admonished appropriately.
Even over time, my mother’s repeated chorus continues to resonate in my head. Several times while pleading a court case in court, I would look at the judge and notice that his eyes were starting to turn glassy. My mother’s voice was emerging from my subconscious and whispering, âBill, keep it short and simple. In response, I quickly summarized my point and sat down. Often the judge would be visibly relieved.
So here I am, almost 30 years after his death, sitting in front of my computer typing this article. There are so many other âkeep it short and simpleâ stories that I want to pass on to my readers. But as my fingers start tapping the keys to start a new story, the image of my mother comes to mind. She smiles, gives me a gentle wave and whispers, “Bill, keep it short and simple.” Ok mom, this one is for you!
This beer bread recipe is a perfect addition to a spicy main dish, like chili, or a spicy soup, like chicken tinola. The sweetness of the bread counteracts the heat. The end result is a loaf of bread with a firm crust and a soft, chewy interior.
It’s a no-frills recipe. And the best part is, it’s short and simple.
Week 24: Beer bread
(As a continuing sign of the aging process, I can’t remember who gave me this recipe. But I found a version online credited to a Gerald Norman.)
3 cups of plain flour *
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 can of beer (12 ounces)
1/3 cup (5 1/2 tbsp) butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a 9 “x 4 1/2” loaf pan.
3. Mix the dry ingredients and the beer.
4. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
5. Pour the melted butter over the mixture. (Not moving !)
6. Bake 55 to 60 minutes – until top is golden brown.
7. Remove from pan and let cool for 15 minutes. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the bread. Serve hot and spread a little butter on the slices.
* As I have said in the past, be sure to either sift the flour before measuring or use a spoon to pour the flour into a 1 cup measure. Don’t just put the measuring cup in the bag of flour or you will turn the loaf of bread into a hard cookie.