Good Morning!  This is the like the post between posts; this is the intermediate post.  Like a freeway offramp, leading to another freeway, which will come later. The Drawing and Giveaway are still ON, if you don’t know about it, read the next post down to see what it’s all about.  I wanted to make sure everyone has time to sign up before I let Vanna pull our winner out of her Santa hat!  Just leave a comment to get yourself entered.  In the meantime, pour vous, zee French MUSICA . . .

While we wait, some reading entertainment:  We ran out of calendars last year, not everyone got one — so I thought I’d put up this year’s December calendar page here . . . something to read, ideas for December decorating and fun . . . and then I thought, since you’re being so patient, that I would make you tea . . . Just a quick one . . .


Everyone take a cup!   Get comfy, I have snacks coming . . .

This delicious, molasses-y, bendy, chewy, crunchy-edged thing.  O treat of treats.

It gets that special crunchiness if you toast it, maybe even twice, so the edge sort of caramelizes and crisps up, making the insides even more chewy, so you have to pull on it a little bit with your teeth, and then, you butter it, drippingly, with savorment.

. . . and then you bite it.  And make it your own.  Eyes to heaven. Thank you so much. What is it you ask?  A little miracle, in a can.  For when you are too stinkin’ busy to live, but you need coddling and love … and you decide:

This is your answer for treats on the run.  And truly vintage . . . I have at least one of these in my cupboard at all times, would not think of being without it:

 You probably guessed it!  It’s been around for a long time . . . you probably have it in your cupboard too!  But just in case!  My mom would toast and butter a slice of this “B & M Brown Bread” (available in most grocery stores, btw); she would put it on a little plate, bring it around behind my back and slide it under my nose, as a little surprise when I was doing homework.  A person doesn’t get over such things very easily. Niceness is a wonderful thing from a mom. Now I do it for myself.  And I thought, if you never heard of it, you might want to put it on your shopping list. For those “one-ingredient cooking days.” (I just looked it up, if your store doesn’t have it, you can get it HERE . . .)

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten, that chocolate chip cookie recipe is coming soon, I’m saving it so you will still love me when I have to announce that only one person won the drawing (scroll down to the next post for the details)!  It will be our consolation prize!  But remember, if it makes you feel any better . . . you have a lot better chance of winning THIS drawing than winning the lottery!  Much better! Until then, Boum, darlings, enjoy the day! ♥ 

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  1. mary spring says:

    …good morning !!!…we all love you..pure and simple !!…have a great day !!!!!

  2. Becky says:

    My grandson LOVES the kitty cat posts! He calls them Kit Tats! He is two! Have a super lovely day!

  3. Julia says:

    Good Morning Early Birds!
    Thanks for telling us about the new product. New to me.
    My mother used to buy the Dromedary Date Nut Bread in
    a can and spread it with cream cheese. Sweet memories.
    Putting up Christmas this morning. Jack and Girl must still
    be sleeping. Dolly Rose (my beagle) is still snuggled in.
    So are Pearlie Mae and Pinky Lee (cats.) Your blog is one
    of our BIG blessings. Thank you Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Your animals have the best names!

    • dottie (in the OC in SoCal) says:

      How odd — somehow lost my sign in info up there — name and locale — and had to reenter it. Computer gremlins. Love the pet names — former neighbor had dogs name Louie and Keeley (Keelie?) which I LOVED also.

      Date nut bread in a can and cream cheese brought back memories — also had the Brown bread in a can at times also — need to revisit these two treats.

      I have a crock-pot full of zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and tomatoes for aour vegetable contribution to a potluck tonight — smells so good and looks like the holidays — all red and green and yellow with the pearly onion.

  4. Ellen says:

    I actually have a can in my pantry right now! Do you just slide it right out of the can, slice it and toast it, or do you have to steam it in the can first? Thanks for the calendar page too. You always inspire!

    • sbranch says:

      Cut off both can ends and use one to push it out, you don’t have to bake it, just toast it…there are some ideas written on the can. Perfect breakfast.

  5. Becky Bruner says:

    Susan, this prize would be a magical addition to the season. Thanks for your constant inspiration. My heart leaps with excitement and anticipation every time you post. !! (fingers crossed!)

  6. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Willard is wonderful! Thank you so much! I hope your nieces & nephews save the little stories of your childhood with their parents! Made your delicious baked cranberries this week, for Mom, we loved it. Tomorrow, will add some orange marmalade! Also made her your butternut squash soup, she loved it! Great blog my dear! Thank you! xoxo

    • Dena in Oklahoma says:

      I did the cranberries, too, for Thanksgiving! Received many compliments – mostly from people who never cared for cranberries. It was by far the best cranberry sauce I ever had – tribute to the recipe, not my cooking skills. =)

  7. Renee says:

    Hello! I live in the middle of Oklahoma and I have never seen nor heard of bread in a can. What aisle of the grocery store would it be on? I may have to purchase some – if it is in fact at the grocery. Maybe it’s there but I’ve never noticed because I have never know to look! 🙂 Love your blog and all of the creativity you share!

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s near the baked beans! Who expects bread in a can? You might never see it!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        My mom bought “Dromedary” and “B&M Brown Bread” too! Both are super-good and a major childhood flashback for me. Perfect with hot tea.

        Also, can I suggest an activity that might go along on the December calendar? Touring around to look at all the Christmas light displays! My family started doing this when the first grandkids/nieces/nephews came along and at one point had 3 cars in our caravan! The little kids’ eyes would just light up – it was so much fun to watch them too. We’d go out to eat first – someplace casual – as a special treat. You quickly learn where the homes are especially dazzling, neighborhoods who hold friendly “competitions” for best displays etc. Drivers switch out too so everyone gets a chance to “leer” at the houses too. I call it “parade-driving.” Take your foot off the gas and just idle up and down streets at a sonic 2 mph. And if you live in the suburbs or city and the sidewalks are clear, a walking tour is fun and good exercise too. Like the “turkey trots” some Girlfriends talked about a few weeks ago. Just have to be a little extra careful if there are little kids or babies – daddies can tote ’em in Snugglis or backpacks! :>)

        • sbranch says:

          My parents did the same thing, we went in our jammies, to streets called Candy Cane Lane, Elf Avenue, and Christmas Tree Terrace! When I grew up, I sound out these streets were only maybe 3 miles from our house, but when we were little, and it was dark out and magical Christmas, it felt like we were driving cross country to get there!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Oh, jammies on the little kids is an excellent idea. We should have done that! Very very smart, Sue – your mom and dad. Was necessity the mother of invention? :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, better jammies before ride, rather than having to do it when we got home!

          • melinda w says:

            i do this with my 3 beauties (daughters), also put a big quilt across them and bring brown lunch bags of popcorn & mugs of hot cocoa. It ranks up there with making gingerbread houses!

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      At my “regular” store it’s in the Baking Aisle – shelved along with baking soda/powder, mixes for bread machines, brownies, date nut bread, corn muffins etc. So look there if you don’t find it in with baked beans at your store… Hope this is helpful. PS – you’ll love it [nummy good].

  8. Debbie Anderson says:

    I have never heard of B & M Brown Bread. Can’t wait to see if our stores carry it down here in Texas. Thanks for sharing!

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Debbie, I’m with you! And I’m originally from Ohio! I have never seen B&M Brown bread in a can. Jim is MUCH older than I and he’s never seen it. When I go to Ft Worth, I’m going to check Krogers, Trader Joes & Whole Foods. If they don’t have it….I don’t think it can be had!

      • sbranch says:

        Don’t look for it in the fancy stores, I’m sure Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry it. It’s like stuck in the middle of everything, minding it’s own business, probably knitting, or even napping, on the shelf. Look for it near the baked beans.

        • Cris says:

          OMGosh. I remember that from my childhood and have forgotten about it all these years. I could taste it as I was reading this and wondered why and then you got to the name and it clicked. I am going to have to find me some now.

        • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

          I am going to look!…near the baked beans.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            It makes sense that some stores display brown bread along with baked beans because I think it’s kind of a classic pairing in the New England states. I’m remembering a friend who attended Philips Exeter Academy [boarding school] & told me that apparently baked beans and brown bread had been a regular item on the Saturday evening menu for more than 100 years [at the time he went there]. Talk about tradition! :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Yes I knew that, but I have never really understood why. I guess tradition is tradition and that’s all there is to it!

  9. Here in Missouri I don’t think I have ever seen it on the shelf – and believe me, I have looked. Although I do think they have it at the Commissary on base = only problem is I can only go there with my parents. Will have to stock up!! Would love,love, love some right now.

  10. What a delightful surprise to find your NEW post! I was just checking to see if there were new comments and I found your perky Self serenading us with this upbeat, early-morning, delicious-looking, color-filled missive full of delights. I love that heart cup! Is it as large as it looks, or is the mug it’s next to small? I’d love to have one of those. I didn’t see it on your Web store. Do you know if it’s still available? I’ll have to search on the Web unless you say it’s on order. I’d much rather order it from you.

    Your great mood is infectious. Thank you for spreading it around!

  11. Jeanette says:

    Good morning, Susan!!! Happy Friday Eve to you, Joe and the sweetie-pie kitties!!
    What a lovely surprise to see a sweet post from you this morning! THE perfect way to start my day!
    I must admit I’ve not heard of Brown Bread, looks delicious and hope I can find some here in central IL. Looks so good, the crispy edge is my favorite part and then a chewy center, YuM. I think my tummy is growling…
    Hope you have a day filled with blissful blessings. Sending bunches of love!

  12. Sara Finally in Georgia!!! says:

    MMMMMM…. I have not had this in a long time…. on the list it is going! My parents too, would get this when I was a child. The music today is fantastica! How could you not have a GREAT day after listening to that?? 🙂 Happy Thursday everyone!

  13. Oh my goodness. My mom used to buy that and we’d eat it with baked beans. Haven’t thought about it in years. I can’t even remember if I liked it or not. LOL!

  14. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh it looks so yummy! I’ve heard of it, but never tried it…. so “must” put it on our grocery list…it must be good if Susan says so…lol Tom just walked by with a “what is that look”…ha..ha..he will soon find!!


    • sbranch says:

      He’ll love it Gert, just toast it for a long time. xoxo

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Oh, I bet he will…can’t wait to go to the store now…lol

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Oh that’s right, isn’t it? Good point. It’s a very dense moist loaf – the regular toaster time period won’t be long enough to do anything but heat it – for crispy edges leave it in a while.

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, that’s it … and that little crunch is also what makes it slightly sticky. Gooood!

          • Gert~Iowa says:

            Oh I am just dying for a piece! While I’m at my Red Hat luncheon today, Tom is going to the store and it will be a “must” on his list, that he finds some Brown Bread in a can! smile…

          • sbranch says:

            Say hello to the Red Hat Girls for me Gert, tell Tom to look in the baked beans department — xoxo

  15. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Loved you French Muscia today. I think I will play it several more times. The B&B Bread in a can is something I have seen but have never tried. Now with your description how to toast it twice, I will try it this month for breakfast.
    Loved the teatowel, just too cute…… Read your reply. I would have had a heart attack if I had watched Joe, aka “Wild Man”….LOL

  16. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~Happy St. Nick’s Morning!~
    Brown bread in a can you can buy!? ~Never saw that before!
    I have a great old recipe from an “adopted” grandma friend of mine~ I really need to make some of that soon! ~Thanks for the reminder~
    ~ Have a Great Day!~

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Dear Lynn,
      Thanks for your explanation about St. Nick’s Day. The funny thing is–I know all about St. Nicholas–his story about giving gifts in secret, how he was an early Christian, even imprisoned I believe. But somehow I never knew about the tradition of putting out your stocking on the eve before. Do you hang yours up again on Christmas eve?

      Lynn, I am so glad you celebrate that tradition. It’s a lovely way to spread out the Christmas season! I love hearing about all the different traditions we celebrate!

      So what did you get in your stocking??

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        ~ Hi Linda~
        We leave our stockings up all season~ December through January 6th~which is the The Feast of the Epiphany ~also known as The Feast of the Three Kings~ or as it is called in Ireland ~ Little Christmas.
        The tree and the decorations stay up until then too. ~
        Other Scandinavian, Scottish, and British ( Landcaster) countries celebrate it as such but not always on the same day~
        It’s nice to make the holiday season last a little longer~ especially as it gets so busy~! by the 6th of January most of the hustle and bustle has settled down~.
        I was a good girl~ I found a clementine, apple, pistachios, chocolate candies, a candy cane and an ornament in my stocking~. I don’t care what anyone says I will never stop believing in St. Nick or Santa Claus!
        ~My mom always said as long as you believe he is real~ so 50+ years later I Believe!~
        !Merry Christmas to you Linda and all the Girlfriends!

        • Chris Wells says:

          Me too!

        • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

          Merry Christmas to you, Lynn, and I am absolutely enthralled by your descriptions and keeping of customs that are so lovely and old.

          Wonderful presents in your stocking! clementines are a favorite of mine!

          Thank you, sweet girlfriend, for letting me take a peek into your life.

  17. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    P.S. I kept looking for the chocolate chip cookie and thought I must be blind. Now I found out you are going to post it later. I should have known by now you like to give us a litle something special at special times. 🙂

  18. Maureen Waring says:

    Susan, Susan…how do you have time to write a Willard, a blog post and get ready for Yankee??? I put up 6 trees, have a collection of 70 Byer’s Carolers on the shelf above my stove that I sing with while cooking..and it takes me WEEKS to complete the decorating (love every minute!) – so much impressed that you are taking time to write us! Can’t wait to see the completed house!! Now just a tad bit of snow……

    • sbranch says:

      How do you have time to put up six trees! I think we just do what we love and time sorta opens up for us!

  19. Minette says:

    YUM! The pictures make me so hungry just looking at them. I love B&M Brown Bread and always have a can on hand for little cream cheese sandwiches for tea, but have never have toasted it before. I cannot wait to try it. And I just love Charles Trenet. BOUM was the firt song of his that I ever heard and just fell in love with the “fun” in his voice. What a jaunty song to get busy and movin’! I since have so many more favorites of his like his rendition of “Beyond the Sea.” What a great way to start the day! Just love your blog!

  20. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    OMG!!!! It is 4:42am and you have reminded me of my favorite treat as I was growing up!!!! I had TOTALLY forgotten about Brown Bread in a can!!! I am once again reminded of how you brighten my life and make me catch my breath and go “OMG!” You are AMAZING!!! And, you know – I really don’t care it I don’t win the prize, Vanna, because I have an old treat back in my life!!! BFF, you have a WONDERFUL day!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! XXXOOO

  21. Marge says:

    Good morning Susan, I’ve just added a can of bread to my shopping list. I so needed a perfect breakfast and now I’ve found one. Thanks to you, of course. Happy day, girlfriend. Hugz!

  22. Ann Y. - Adamstown, PA says:

    Good Morning Susan….just taking time to make a cuppa tea and wish I had some of that bread in my pantry. Thanks for the tip – will have to look for it in my store. Just want to say how much I love your posts all the time, but at Christmas they are magical ! SO cozy, and fun, and filled with cookies. First batch I make every year is Annie Hall’s butter ones….just drop em with red and green sugar on top…it kind of gets us in the “cookie mode” for the holidays and ready to make more. Love the giveaway….if Vanna would happen to choose me it would be a gift to a dear friend ( who I just had an hour long conversation with last night….) who lives several states away. She loves cardinals ( Santa has already wrapped a few little cardinal things for her, but no cute mug!) I always try to get her something with cardinals on because it reminds her of her mother, now gone, who used to stand at her kitchen window and say “look at those pretty red birds…amazing!” So, through the years…pins, candles, cards…anything with a cardinal. Like you said, the traditions keep us bonded. Wishing you a wonderful day as you go about “being an elf”….I try to follow that example. And…as I was pinning a tree pin to my sweater yesterday I thought….”wish Susan Branch would make some “be an elf !” pins. Ever think about it ?
    Thanks again for sharing ideas, recipes, traditions…and the gift of yourself !

    • sbranch says:

      I do, or maybe jammie tee-shirts!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Those red birds are gorgeous!!! I had a “couple” in my yard last spring. I wish they were still here.
      My sister had made me a sweatshirt years ago with an elf on it and it said #1 Elf. In those days I was Santas #1 Elf at my house. I had to be one with two young boys around. LOL

  23. Mary says:

    I remember the brown bread in a can. Also B&M makes good baked beans, sold in the cutest little brown glass jars. I think they also sell them in cans, but the jars are so pretty. Thanks for the memories. I think it’s time to put the bread and beans both on my shopping list. Our Giant supermarket carries both.
    And oh how I’d love to have Vanna pick my name. Pretty please, Vanna.

  24. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sunshine! I Just Finished Reading Your Holiday *Willard* Sweet Elf~Sue….& I am Basking in The Glow of All The Joy! Thank~You! 🙂 ahhhhhhhhh…..Every Word Every Photo & All Your Magical Art~Work…Truly Scrumptious! I Love Your Photo of You at age Sweet 16! I Had The Same Hair~Cut…so Cute! 😉 I Know You’ll Be Decking Your Halls Until The Yankee Peeps arrive….so Exciting! Thank~You for The Yummy Cookie~Jar! 🙂 I Love all The Musica too….Guess What? My Baby Sister (Jenny)& Her Husband (Bill) are Here In Flordia (from Pennsylvania) They took The Girlies Out of School (The 8 Year Old Triplets) 🙂 🙂 🙂 (Miranda Marissa & Miss Megan Pie) Beyond Adorable & Took Them to Disney~World…Oh My Goodness…They have Been there In Orlando for The Last 3 Days…Mickey Mouse & Cinderella & Tinkerbell! 😉 & All Those RIDES & All That Disney~Magic & At Christmas~Time! Then Last Night We All Gathered at My Mom’s (Irene) & Ate Drank & We All were Very Merry 😉 ….a Holiday Exravaganza!…They are Here for 3 More Days…so Off I go….Ho~Ho~Ho! With L♥ve & Christmas Joy…Lots of Holiday Pixie~Dust & Warm Hugzzz! Kitty~Kisses to Girl & Jack!….& a Jiggity~Jig around The Christmas Tree With You & Joe! Merry Christmas Everybody! Pass The Egg~Nog…. & Yes… “Mistletoe~Kisses” Too! Pure Magic Elf~Sue! xoxo Poof! Elf~Angie(Tink!) 🙂 ♥ ♥ ♥ P.S. I L♥ve That Bread in a Can I Put Cream~Cheese On it with a Drizzle of Honey…(& I do Toast it first) so Yummy! Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 😉

  25. Shelly says:

    The musica is so uplifting~ Thank you for such a sweet post. I have never heard of that bread before. I must look for it on my next visit to the store. Where would I find it….cookie isle? bread section? I love trying new things~

  26. Miss bell says:

    After a long restless night recovering from two surgeries in the past six weeks, I found your blog had a new post. I was very excited to see what you had to say this morning. It’s like having friends to say good morning to. I live in a western state, and I have a Brown Bread story with fond memories. I was living near where you live when I was 19 . I was dating the perfect young man, and we took a skiing trip to VT. We vacationed with his aunt and uncle at their cabin. One of the lovely meals we had there, she served Brown Bread along with dinner. I fell in love with it but I haven’t had it since that day. Having enjoyed it so much I’m surprised I’ve never made it. I have such wonderful memories from that time in my life, thank you for the warm yummy Brown Bread story. It has filled me with such happiness and warmth. Such a simple story in the midst of your busy morning has filled me with feelings of happiness I will carry with me for weeks to come. Just wishing you were downstairs in my house making me some……yummmm!

    Thank you and Merry Christmas <3

  27. Pattie says:

    Good morning, Thanks for the reminder about Bbb. Will try it soon. Sounds deelish. Did Willard go out? Did not receive yet? Maybe still coming. OK. Have lovely day!

  28. Robin Murray says:

    Good Morning Susan, Love that bread, haven’t had it in years.Thank for the inspiration and really all your cheer and beauty!
    I’m happy got my new calendar in the mail the other day : )
    Have a lovely weekend, xoRobin❤

  29. maddie says:

    the last time i won anything was many, many a year ago in our church cake walk! enjoy your site so much. thanks for all the inspiration and sweet stories about your home.

  30. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    To paraphrase Blood Sweat & Tears, You make me so very happy! I’m so glad you came into my life! Loved the post with the sweet Jack and the wonderful give away, was so tickled to see Willard in my inbox yesterday, and now today another delightful post–my joy meter’s running on high today 🙂

  31. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your posts always end up making me hungry….but that isn’t always a bad thing. I will try to find BBB at the grocery store. It looks perfect for breakfast or anytime.
    Received my new calandar and love looking at it. I am ready for the new year!
    xoxo Pam

  32. Diane Byrum says:

    Good morning (or do you stay awake all night because you cannot turn your creative ‘juices’ off :)) Love B&B bread. My mother and grandmother would warm it, maybe steam it a little?, and serve it with ice cream with a dash of cinnamon sugar and a couple of red-hots. So good. Such a memory~thank you for recalling it for me. You bring such pleasure every day, Miss Susan. BTW, I have your calendar up in my little work space where I work. It’s such a cozy little space that I have made as comfortable as possible (since I’m there eight hours a day) and you brighten my day each and every day. I should send you a picture, I think you’d be pleased. Love you lots!

    • sbranch says:

      No, I sleep like the dead for 6 solid hours, then my eyes pop open and the creative thing starts to happen, and I pretty much leap into my clothes and down the stairs! Yes, I forgot, it’s great with ice cream! Thank you Diane!

  33. Carrie aka, friend of Darlene "Dart" Mohler says:

    You have outdone yourself again with merriment! Willard was so fab that “Dart” and I got on the phone and reviewed it, pretty much inch by inch! She’s a cookie/baking wizard so I know she’ll be whippin’ up some yummy things in that Indiana kitchen. Brown bread in a can, that’s a new one and I simply won’t rest until I find it and do my own quality control check on this obscure little wonder :).

    Love the Happy New Year’ Song – have already played it about 50 times!

    Cheers to you and Joe in the next days ahead…Carrie

  34. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Merci beaucoup, Susan!

  35. Julie Marie says:

    Good morning Susan… how fun to wake up to another mini~post from you!… and tea and molasses toast!… I took two actually… hope you don’t mind!… I have never heard of that, but now I am on the lookout for it!… I also love the saying on your pretty page about the tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches… every Sunday evening when I was a little girl, my mama would fix that for all of our family to eat as we sat around the old tv and watched Bonanza!… you are right… some special things from our childhood just never fade away!… I love that your mama would slip that under your nose to surprise you!… and… my Willard arrived!… and my hubby ordered me my Piggy cutting board for Christmas!… happy day!… much love to you… hello kitties wherever you are!… xoxo Julie Marie

    • sbranch says:

      Nothing like grilled cheese, it is the perfect food.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Amen to that! I literally cannot have [hot] tomato soup without grilled cheese to go along with it! Cold tomato soup/gazpacho – no problem. But if it’s hot, there WILL be a “sam-mitch.”

  36. Cathye says:

    Thanks, again, Susan for showing off your home & the island. Always inspiration to get started here… on may fronts. Hope you’ll blog about your painting sometime soon.

  37. jeannine leonard says:

    We will always love you. What would we do without you? Cannot wait for the cookie recipe. By the way, the Williard was wonderful.

  38. Karen P. - Green Bay, WI says:

    Boum! Fun, little French ditty! I have that towel hanging on my stove that you have painted here! I love it so much!

    So in what department of the grocery store does one find that brown bread in a can? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it but would LOVE to try it!

    • sbranch says:

      Oddly, I think it’s in the Baked bean department — the same company makes baked beans and I’ve always found it there.

    • Karen P. - Green Bay, WI says:

      Read a comment above and I see that it may be in the baked bean aisle! Thanks! xo

  39. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    thanks for the calendar page. My neighbor came over the other day and asked if I was cutting back on Christmas lights this year because her bedroom window looks over our back yard and she loves to sit and look out at our Christmas lights. So being the good neighbor that I am; I put some extra Christmas lights on a tree that she would be sure to see. She was very happy! So like the calendar page says, it’s a giving thing!! Hugs,

  40. Cecelia says:

    Oh, Susan,
    What a nice memory. My mother used to buy this brown bread in a can. Then she found a recipe and made her own and baked it in a can. B&M also makes the best baked beans. I’m goin’ huntin’ for some tasty treats…

  41. Rosanna says:

    Is this serendipity or what? You won’t believe it – but brown bread has been ‘on my mind’ – for all the delicious reasons you mention. ( For those from New England – it wouldn’t be a baked bean supper without brown bread!)
    Just thought I’d mention that Trader Joe’s offers something they call “Hobo Bread” – I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Not in a can (though they say it is baked in one) and it is located in the bread section. The cashier suggested that it was wonderful toasted and topped with a bit of mascarpone — I tried it – and she was right about that!

  42. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Happy St. Nicolas Day to Susan & the rest of FOSB!
    I remember the brown bread from my childhood too! Can’t remember if Mom toasted it or not! What a nice surprise to find that it’s still around!!
    Happy, happy, happy memories! 😉

  43. Mardell Lamb says:

    Hi Susan,
    I think after this blog post, B&M bread-in-a-can sales will skyrocket! Ha. I’ve never heard of it either ~ will be on the lookout now. Thank you.

    I read “Willard” a few min. ago. Loved it AND the illustrations (of course.) What a cute pic of you & your siblings decorating the tree! Oh, and love the name of the Hallmark shop! (wink)

    Have a great day!

  44. Cindy Stokes says:

    I’m going to look for that on my next grocery store outing! I have never had this before. I hope our store has it : )

    Have a great Thursday!!


  45. Wendy Louise says:

    Oh Yum, Thanks for the reminder. My Mom used to give us that too. Just for wonderful memories, I have to go get me some ! You are so DARLING, everyday is a holiday with you! I’m off for a walk along the river with Max and Abby, my two most wonderful dogs. Catch you later ! 🙂

  46. Wendi Unrein says:

    Oh so much to say but mostly thank you for blessing us with your spirit of joy!! My Fam came from the country of MI and WI but parents wanted to live in a more ‘hip’ area of the Chicago north suburbs and I had some fun memories as a child that I’m grateful for but now live blissfully in the country of Kansas! Who knew but god sure did! I get those sweet surprises of wild turkeys in my yard, my neighbors the cows walking by with an occasional ‘moo’ greeting. The locals look at me strange as I get so excited at the thought of raising my own chicken! I started to feel silly at my enthusiasm till I read your email/blog and am at peace! So much we take for granted! My deepest heart is in the east coast tho and enjoy every word!! I’ve got to find this bread!!! Merry Christmas Branch family!!!

  47. M L Carter says:

    I simply love your newsletters. It makes me smile just to look at your lovely art. I also enjoy the recipes you share. Thanks for showing your home and some of your collections. Merry Christmas!

  48. Catherine says:

    I will definitely look for that brown bread in a can.
    Have you ever printed your painted tea towel on real tea towels?

  49. Peggy Cooper - Pueblo, CO says:

    Now Susan, you know we are all still going to love you even if we don’t win. But I have to admit, I’d like to win this one!

    B&M Brown Bread – thanks for the reminder. My mother was from New Hampshire, so it’s something I grew up with, and still have maybe twice a year. Always with traditional New England Saturday night supper of hot dogs and baked beans (at least the beans are traditional). I can usually find it at the grocery store, sometimes near the baked beans, sometimes near the bread crumbs. Go figure. Now I wish they would sell the good New England hot dog buns here. The ones with the outsides that can be toasted. Since I live in the west and can find the brown bread, I’m sure most people can in other parts of the country also.

  50. Rae Ann from northern in Minnesota... says:

    Borrowing from Sally Field…”YOU LIKE US…YOU REALLY LIKE US”…Oh my goodness Susan…more goodness from you…thank you again for gifting us so often with your delicious~ness in words, beautiful art and yummy food of all kinds…xoxo…

  51. gail says:

    Have never heard of this bread- certainly going to be looking for it to try! : )
    Oh the heart cup is darling! I KNOW tea and hot chocolate will taste even better from that adorable cup! Is it available to purchase?

  52. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I just knew that was my brown bread!!! Great with cream cheese too! Yum! Thanks so much for copying the Dec. calendar page!!!

  53. Jacquelyn Wirthlin - Las Vegas, NV says:

    What a fun post! Got both of my calendars so am all set for the New Year! I had not thought of the B&M brown bread for years. My mom (an Iowa farm gal) served it to us kids … growing up in the 50s in the Seattle area. Yumm. For the Girlfriends who cannot locate it, it is listed on the website. Thanks for the music and the great way to start the day.


  54. Linda Riggs says:

    Hi Susan,

    What a wonderful giveaway this is….. who wouldn’t want a wreath made by Joe!!!!! I really love your blog, it always makes me smile and reading Willard is always such a treat!

  55. Christine Anderson says:

    Thanks again for the morning smiles!!!!!

  56. Diane says:

    Oh, I am going to pick up a several cans of brown bread in a can this afternoon. I have not had it in years!! When I was growing up, my mother never used cream cheese for anything except cheesecake. I didn’t know you could eat it any other way until I was married! Once I found out about cream cheese and Dromedary date nut bread in a can, I used to feel so sophisticated having a slice of bread spread with cream cheese. I’d have it with orange juice poured into a fancy glass. So hoity-toity, LOL!

    I think I’ll put a can of the bread in each of my daughter’s and daughter-in-law’s stockings and label the can with the little quote you gave us about one ingredient cooking. They can buy their own cream cheese! My kids and grandkids are used to getting un-Christmasy stuff in their stockings. The younger grandkids get gummy rats sometimes.

    I love how you bring back such wonderful memories to me of my childhood. I just know we’d have been great childhood friends if either I lived on the west coast or you lived on the east coast!

    Diane in North Carolina

  57. Michaelene says:

    I can’t wait to get to the store and see if I can find the brown bread in a can. I wish I had a slice with the coffee I am drinking right now. Thank you again for opening my eyes to something that I KNOW will be wonderful. You are a blessing Susan. You and Joe and your magical cats.
    blessings to you,

  58. Anne says:

    Susan, I remember when my church used bread-in-a-can to make delightful finger sandwiches for a special occasion. I think we used flavored cream cheese to make the sandwiches and that made them “fancy.”
    Loved, loved, Willard and I’ll be into the cookie jar soon! Thanks for bringing us your own Christmas cheer!

  59. Peggy H. says:

    I love your blogs. I have all your books and can’t wait for the one you are doing on England.

  60. Peggy H. says:

    I love your blogs – art and books. Can’t wait for the one you are doing on England

  61. “Boum” really helped me get rejuvenated, loved it! And it was in the movie “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe (remember, when they were on date night and it rained?) Fun movie, I’ve seen it several times. OK, we all can’t WAIT for that chocolate cookie recipe – hurry Susan, we need those cookies ! : )
    Thank You, Thank You, for taking time to blog special Christmas Cheer into my day! and Willard was adorable, loved it. Merci !!! (from Louisiana, where we also don’t get bread in a can, but sometimes make pumpkin bread “baked” in a round coffee can). Have fun sprucing up for Yankee. We all love you!

  62. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am picturing many grocery managers across the country scratching their heads, wondering why all of sudden this canned brown bread is sold out. 🙂 LOL. Have a great day!

  63. Pam K says:

    Bread in a can? Oh I have to find that! I just checked my local stores in Texas and I guess I’ll have to order it. But I really want to try it. How wonderful to have such a treat with no work? And when you mentioned how your mom used to give it to you, well it made me miss my mom a little. I’ll be visiting her at Christmas so I wonder if they have B&M Brown Bread there???

  64. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Good morning Susan,
    I just love all the things you teach us westerners about New England! I have never, ever heard of this bread in a can! Before I saw the picture of the can, I thought it was a dark grain english muffin. Who doesn’t love toasty bread drowning in butter. I will be surprised if it exists out west, but I’ll be looking!

  65. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Oh my gosh you made my mouth water! I’m going to the store today and get a can of B&M Brown Bread! Can’t wait to toast it and eat it up! Thanks for this wonderful post… love the anticipation of Christmas and the drawing! ♥

  66. Oh my goodness, memories! Nostalgia! Now I’m longing for the days when my grandmother used to serve this…

    I forgot all about it, and haven’t had since I was a child. My Nana used to remove both ends, steam it in the tin, then slice it and serve it with a vanilla custard sauce. The trick was to eat the steaming hot cake and cool custard without burning your tongue or the roof of your mouth. You brought tears to my eyes, remembering my afternoon teas with my grandmother. Thank you. xoxo Pam, in Montreal (Is there also one with figs??)

  67. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Oh, I have not thought of Brown Bread in years!! So delicious. My Mom always grated some orange zest into some cream cheese and spread that on hot toasted brown bread. Total Yum!!

    By the way, thank-you, thank-you a million for our latest Willard!!!! It was waiting for me this morning in my in box. With fresh coffee in hand, St. Nicholas Day brought me a treat to enjoy as well! Sooooo wonderful!

  68. Regina Brown says:

    My husband had an aunt that made Brown Bread in a can! She lived in Wis. He would bring some back when he visited her. Always good! Ymm!

  69. Shanon says:

    A few months ago, I was looking through another blog I follow and I found a recipe called Boston Brown Bread. I was so confused. BROWN bread? Baked in a COFFEE CAN?? WHAT?! Here in Illinois we don’t do things like this. We make deep dish pizza, put way too many things on our hot dogs, and that’s about it. While scrolling through your new post I saw your picture and resisted the urge to shout “Boston Brown Bread!” I was so proud of myself for knowing what it was 🙂

  70. PatriciaD. says:

    Oh, delicious. That B&M Brown Bread has been a staple for our camping trips ever since I was a kid. I’m a grandma now! Thanks for the reminder to put this on the grocery list. We haven’t been camping in a long time (sigh) but I do love this bread. It’s time to introduce it to a couple of favorite grandchildren. Take care.

  71. tamartime says:

    sounds great

  72. Donna in Virginia says:

    Oh how I love brown bread. I just got two more cans last week and it is a must have in the pantry! My grandchildren have fallen in love with it too. I can remember my grandfather fixing me a piece after school with a class of milk. He would also fix me milk crackers. I miss those so much! It was a New England company and we could get them for awhile here in Virginia but no longer. I think they went out of business. It was a box covered in purple paper, I believe. A milk cracker with butter, jam, and a cup of tea was perfection…probably because they reminded me of my dear grandpa. XO

  73. Ann says:

    We used to have brown bread from a can on Saturday nights with our franks and beans. (Have to admit that was NOT my favorite meal!) But toasted with butter and a cup of tea looks delightful.

  74. I had to go back and read this post three times to make sure I’d got it right . . Bread in a tin can? I have never heard or seen such a thing! It must be good, or you, Sweet Susan, would not show it to us . . incredulous, eyes wide open, jaw dropping at the thought . .
    I have just treated myself to two new Emma mugs, in the snowflake design, although I do confess my real favourite Christmas mugs are two, big, very round Mason Cash (same folks make them beauteous mixing bowls) with a red and white snowflake pattern, but the pot belliedness of them keeps your pint of tea hotter than hot on these chilly winter days when the wind howls from the north . .
    Nadolig Llawen! C♥

  75. Dear Susan, Thank you for the joy that you send out to each of us, every day. I love my “Willard”knowthat it arrived yesterday. I also received my 2013 Susan Branch Calendar and am trying to save it until Christmas Day. The purchases always come so nicely wrapped with little stickers on the tissue paper inside. It makes you feel special!! Hope that you and Joe have a Blessed Christmas & a fun-filled New Year with the big and little cats. We have Midnight and we love him more than words can say. Thank you, Susan, for everything.
    Theresa H. Wessman

  76. grace thorne says:

    the big brown bread oven is right here in my neighborhood, portland maine! this time of year it has a beautiful multi-colored lighted tree on top of the building, a longstanding tradition. and if it’s a baking day when you drive by, you can actually smellll it baking….mmmmmm!

  77. Belinda says:

    I feel like Shirley Temple…”OH MY GOODNESS” I have never heard of this but will be on the hunt near the bean section in my grocery store here in FLorida. Thank you for the extra link in case some of us can’t find it! LOVE the musica…have played it over and over. Oh so needed…feeling like the allergies are getting out of control right now!! SUSAN…I know you are very busy but if you get a moment can you tell me how you do your paperwhites. I have some rocks and would need to get the globes but have never seen them done the way you pictured. I have never done them but saw some at Home Depot and would love to do them this year! THANK YOU for all the prettiness you bring into our lives!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Belinda . . . Just put your rocks into the bottom of your container, which can be everything from a bucket, to a vase to a big egg cup! Put the bulbs on top as close together as possible, add a few more rocks to anchor the bulbs, then just water up to the bottom of the bulb. Put it in a light place (not sun) and watch it grow. Always keep water just up to the bottom, the roots will reach down into the rocks …

  78. Heartsdesire says:

    The canned brown bread sounds delish. Not something I’ve ever had, and am not sure if it is available in Canada, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout for it in the baked beans isle. As I write, I’m looking at the December page of your 2012 calendar. Especially like the grilled cheese and tomato soup suggestion. Nothing better except perhaps, egg salad sandwiches and tomato soup. So glad to find the 2013 calendar at my local book store again this year (it’s really a Christmas present from my husband. I just buy it and hand it over to him).

  79. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    We usually have a can of that on hand, too, in case someone drops in and there is nothing else “sweetie” to serve with tea! I hadn’t heard of toasting it before so will try it! Cooks Country magazine had a recipe in it several years ago that really tastes like the Boston Brown Bread in a can (can I write that or is it considered advertising?) But having it in the can is so handy. Thanks for the tip on toasting it! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think it’s counts as “advertising” unless someone is paying you to say something about something you might not really know anything about!

  80. Georgette from New Jersey says:

    Hi. I am of the belief that “You can learn something new every day.” Bread in a can? I can’t wait to go to the supermarket and look for it! Thanks for everything you do.

  81. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    Have a “Duh question”: Do you toast it in a toaster or under the broiler? Oh, stores here have it, also, in with the baked beans…

  82. Alice says:

    I haven’t thought about Brown Bread in a can in a long time. Thanks for the wonderful memory and a new way to enjoy it with a cup of tea. I served it with cream cheese spread and made sandwiches that were so yummy. I will look for it again. Your blog is always a very bright spot in my day.
    Merry Christmas to you and Joe!

  83. Mary says:

    OOOH the memories are flooding back now… my Mom would fix B&M Brown Bread for me toooo! She would spread cream cheese on top!!! 🙂 Thank you, Susan….that’s a fun memory!!

  84. Rosanne (Oregon) says:

    Something tells me that grocery stores all over the U.S are going to have a run on B&M Brown Bread! It’s the SB effect – sort of like Oprah, only better.;) I know it’s on my shopping list for tomorrow’s breakfast. Haven’t had it in years. How did I forget??

  85. Marcia says:

    I haven’t had B&M Brown Bread in years! Was a staple in our house growing up, served with baked beans, of course. I know my grocery store carries it; I will have to get some and try it toasted 🙂

  86. Ruth E. Rupp says:

    Hi Susan – I had forgotten about date bread in a can. what a great thing to keep in the pantry. Must go find some. Guess what! As per your instructions in your Autumn book, I have assembled bowls, apples, wooden spoons, terry cloth kitchen towels with apple designs, ingredients and copies of your recipe tied to the spoons for my 4 children’s families to hand out Christmas Eve. I’ve had so much fun getting it together. Will buy red and green apples right before Christmas. Thank you so much for so many super ideas. Must get back to my elf work now. Hugs, from Minnesota, Ruthie

  87. Deborah Norling says:

    Oh My Goodness ! I think my 6th sense was kicking in this morning…up at 0420 California time..taking shower for work…and..I starting singing..”C’est Si Bon” …thinking of the Diane Keaton/Jack Nicholson film “Something’s got to Give” . I can’t turn up the audio on my computer here at work…(.in fact I have to keep you “hidden” behind my real work..but I take a peek now and then through out the day to help keep me..sane ! ) any rate…I see you signed off your posting today with “boum”….which of course was in the film ! (one of my fav songs ever.. ) interestingly, it was n o t on the soundtrack…so I purchased it separately on a Charles Trenet CD which opened up a whole new realm of music for me….and now…”Boum” is stuck in my head for the rest of the day…!….Thank you a s a l w a y s for all you do for us…including making me want to try some bread in a can !

  88. Susan Martin says:

    I haven’t thought about B & M Brown Bread in eons! I’m going to the store right after work to see if I can find it!
    Thanks for your blog, Susan…it makes me so happy to read and savor your drawing and painting. I can’t wait until “our” book is done!
    Happy Thursday,

  89. Susan, I was born and raised in So Cal also, and my Mom used to serve us this B&M bread for a treat with butter or cream cheese. Is this a So Cal thing? I haven’t thought of this bread in years, so you have brought back wonderful memories. Thanks for that! I’m going to buy some! Also, Williard was the best one ever! I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw it was in my mail box I shut off the tv, went to get a cup of coffee, and sat down to savor the goodness. I was not disappointed! Thanks for being you! Judy

    • sbranch says:

      I just found out they make it in Maine, so I think it’s sort of everywhere! So happy you enjoyed WILLARD!

  90. Deborah Norling says:

    …forgot to mention earlier….for those who weren’t able to purchase your calendar, just last night I saw quite a few on a rack with other calendars for sale at my, “Safeway” hopefully that helps someone !

  91. I don’t think my comment went through! I wanted to let you know that I mentioned your blog on my post this morning! I love all of the wonderful holiday things you share! Sweet hugs, Diane from Lavender Dreams

  92. Gwen says:

    I remember eating this as a child, but I don’t remember seeing it in the grocery store recently. If I find it, I’ll buy it and toast & butter it like you did. We toast and butter pound cake, too.

  93. zinnia patch says:

    OH Susan, you always put a big smile on my face….I had never heard of that bread, but i will get some now, and can’t wait to try it… Thank you for sharing, and i so enjoyed our little tea today! you are such a sweetheart!!!!!! and Boum to you too……..xoxoxo

  94. Joyce Dupont says:

    Hi Susan…Again enjoyed reading Willard, viewing your artwork, and bits of Jack. I myself do not have kitties but my sister does and I get to enjoy Morgan, Luke & Lei, when I visit. I love the idea of maybe printing your Tea Towels…love them. The wreaths are great…atta boy for Joe! I have gotten Yankee on & off over the years and will have to be sure to be on their list of subscribers for next year’s Christmas issue. Merry Christmas.

  95. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    hello everyone, good morning susan and hello to the kitties. Happy St Nicholas Day everyone. were we all good??? did we get gold coins of chocolate, apples, oranges and nuts in our shoes last night??? or did Black Peter visit and leave a lump of coal??? my husband is still laughing at what he got in his shoes….gold coins and a little toy to play with the cats. and yes the cats got something in their stockings…. kitty treats. off to do the laundry and take care of the birds. plus have some yard clean up to do after over a week of heavy rains. have a Happy St Nicholas’ Day everyone, hugs….. 🙂

  96. Mary Ann in Mexico says:

    Yummy. Thank you for the delicious treats! But one is not enough. Now I have to have a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream and another slice of the brown bread. Thank you, Susan!

  97. Cyndi in NC says:

    Not much sounds good to eat now but the bread has got my mouth watering. I haven’t thought of it in a long time. *L* I really have to order the heart cup or mug, it makes me smile whenever I see it in one of your pictures. Ok head aching right now so I’ll go. It always makes me happy to see your blog as I know there will be special things every time. Blessings to all.

  98. Nicki Anderson says:

    OMG ! I am already a WINNER ! I have thought of this bread so many times over the years. My mother, too, would give it to me as a treat. I have wanted to give it to my own grand daughter but had forgotten what it was called. I’m not sure where to find it in the grocery store — but now that I have the name I’m sure I will be able to. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post today ! YEs, I would love the cup — but I’m already a winner today and so is my beautiful little grand daughter !


  99. Nancy Brigham says:

    Just received my annual 2013 calendar on Saturday, my annual pre-Christmas gift to myself! You never disappoint . . .Your friend, Nancy

  100. Traci Bowser says:

    The next time I see this at the store ……..I’m buying it! I love you blogs and look forward to coming in my email :).

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