Kitchen Vacation: Apple Bread

Thanksgiving is the big holiday for my family. It’s not religious, it doesn’t involve giving presents, and it centers on food, which comes a close second to travel as “things the Podulka family cares about.” We have a menu for the feast that varies little year to year, including a concoction known only as “pink salad” that my mom got off the back of a marshmallow package when she was a newly minted housewife. And while I have fond, saliva-inducing feelings about many of these dishes, one of them in particular reminds me of a specific place. My great-aunt Elva’s apple bread is an old recipe (I’ll say it’s 100 years old, which might be either far too young or old–I have no idea) that, to me, is the essence of Northern Michigan, where my mother’s family is from. I almost want to say, “where my mother’s family is of,” because that place, the hills and the river and the woods, feels like part of their DNA, as if they grew up out of the earth there like the pines. This recipe is simple and sweet and warm and filling, and I can think of no other recipe that takes me up north like this one.

Apple Bread


  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine and set aside.


  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c. diced macintosh apples
  1. Dissolve baking soda in sour cream in a small bowl.
  2. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in eggs.
  4. Alternately add sour cream and flour/powder/salt to creamed mixture.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Fold in apples.
  7. Pour into 2 greased bread tins.
  8. Sprinkle on topping.
  9. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


2 thoughts on “Kitchen Vacation: Apple Bread

  1. Ah, apple bread. Yes, since your Great-Great Aunt Elva Stonehouse was born in 1886, I would say that the recipe was at LEAST 100 years old! And yes, apple bread is truly a taste of home for me too!

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