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. Oh Susan, the thing at our house was canned date-nut bread, which I was able to find in the Vermont Store online catalog. Yummy indeed! We used to also be able to buy the date nut bread at the grocery store, but alas you can’t buy date nut bread like that anymore at the store. We served ours up warm with cream cheese. Have a wonderful day Girlfriend! 🙂

  2. janice says:

    Comfort food for sure-big pot of boston baked beans (from scratch) and brown bread. Fire in the wood stove and cardinals in the cedar trees. Wonderful memories, that I thank you for reminding me.

  3. Judy says:

    Good luck to you next week with Yankee Magazine.

  4. Diane says:

    Hi again Susan,

    It’s me again. I just got back from the store and am sitting here having some B&M brown bread with cream cheese. Please excuse the crumbs. Mmmmmmm….good!

    Diane in North Carolina

    • sbranch says:

      Just the way you like it!

    • Yvonne from NC says:

      Diane, where did you buy it in NC?
      I live outside of Raleigh and I’ve never seen or heard of it. Of course, I must now try it asap. Which grocery store and what section do you find it? Thanks!

      • sbranch says:

        Diane can probably help you more, but she may not see this as soon as I’m seeing it …look next to the baked beans in any large supermarket chain. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it.

      • Diane says:

        Hi Yvonne,

        I found it at our local Bi-Lo. It was not with the baked beans as you would expect. It was over with the speciality foods. Ask up front at the store and someone should lead you to it. It’s sooo good. Good luck finding it!


  5. Jean Hensley says:

    I absolutely love everything Susan Branch! Would love to win the mug, the wreath and the cute little pad! I love getting your newsletter. Always brightens my day!

  6. Marysol says:

    You’re serious, aren’t you?
    I have baked breads in cans before, but I had no clue one could actually buy such yummy things.
    I’ll be getting one or two…dozen. Btw, I’ve missed my dose of Jack and Girl, no pressure.

  7. Carla says:

    This post just reminded me of the Bread in a can my friend from Vermont gave me a couple of months ago, claiming “It is the BEST”. Being from the Midwest I have never heard of it and she, like you, says she always has a can in the pantry (she grew up on Cape Cod). I am going to crack open my can tomorrow morning….I have been saving it for a cozy, cold day.

    p.s. We love you no matter what!!

  8. ML says:

    Having grown up in New England, BnM canned bread was a regular part of Friday/Saturday supper (hot dogs, baked beans, brown bread). Can’t believe it took this long for the rest of the country to catch up!

    • sbranch says:

      We had it in the 50’s in California, I think people did all over the county, it the reawakening that we have been waiting for! Let the reawakening begin!

    • Julie Ball says:

      I, too , grew up with brown bread, baked beans and hot dogs on Saturday nights! Usually the beans where from B&M too! Sometimes my mom would make from scratch baked beans which were heavenly! I have such fond memories growing up in New Hampshire! I am glad that there were others that were as fortunate enough to grow up Yankee!!

  9. Edie says:

    I completely forgot about this bread!! My parents always had it when I was little (which was many moons ago – since I’m now 55). I’ll have to see if our local grocers has it. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

  10. Chris Power says:

    Hi Sue, I’ve never tried the Brown Bread. How did my mom miss that? Haha.
    Please enter me in the drawing. Reading your blog gets me in the Christmas mood. Life in Vegas is a bit different than on the Vineyard.

  11. sandy says:

    oh Susan you are too cute! I love it, the homemade queen using canned bread. How wonderful!

  12. Denise W Jose says:

    What a treat. I haven’t thought about B&M brown bread since I was a kid. My mon would serve it with hotdogs and B&M baked beans. Easy meal for a teacher to make after a busy day ag school.
    Thanks for all the great things you share with us.

  13. Anne Wood says:

    Hi Susan, my mom always served B & M Brown Bread with a big pot a baked beans. Thank you for jogging my memory! Now I know what we are have for dinner tomorrow night!

  14. Jack says:

    Backfrom the treasure hunt for brownbread in a can “quite empty handed” –cou
    dnt find the baked beans …….

    • sbranch says:

      As usual, I read the comment, I think, what is wrong with this person, I look over, and it is YOU! Laughing, my dearest Daddy, you are so funny! “Quite empty handed!” Hahahahahaha!

  15. Brenda Caldwell says:

    I’ve never heard of B&M brown bread, but I can make a fairly accurate prediction that there will be a peak in sales for the month of December, LOL!

  16. Becky says:

    Your blog and each “Willard” brighten my day! I love the way you encourage us to celebrate Christmas with lots of vintage, dare I say, old-fashioned touches.
    Merry Christmas!

  17. Sharon says:

    Yum Susan, that bread looks really, really good! I don’t think I’ve ever had it from a can, but I did try one time to make it from scratch and if I remember right it was quite a bit of work, so I’m going to be sure to try and find it at the grocery store in the can. I haven’t written much lately because I’m in the middle of moving which is a really hard thing to be doing at Christmas time. Everything is kind of upside down but it’s getting organized slowly. The wreaths Joe made are beautiful. I hope he knows that now he’s going to have to do it every year! haha! I’d love to win one. Thanks Susan for all you do for us! Hugs from Sharon in Florida.

  18. Gabi says:

    Susan, I just love your artwork and blog and I get a little thrill when I see an email from you in my inbox! Already put B&M bread IN A CAN (teehee–tickles me) on my shopping list. Vaguely, I seem to remember this from my childhood–how could I have forgotten? Teatime is already looking brighter!

    BTW, I would love to enter the drawing.

  19. Bobbie says:

    I just got my 2013 calender! So, so excited!!! ~ Bobbie

  20. Gaylene from San Jose, CA says:

    Thank YOU! I look forward to your blogs & Willard more than any movie or tv show. My best “me time” is crawling into my Susan Branch jammies (I own five pair) and listening, watching and reading everything in the world of Susan with a cup of tea. So charming. You inspire my home and season traditions and make everything “loverly”. All your time and efforts are soo appreciated by your fans!

  21. Patricia from Philly says:

    Dear Susan!
    I gotta get me some of that lusciousness in a can!
    I love molasses and look for it in any kind of food I can find!
    Thank you so much.
    Today is my dear husband’s 65th birthday, so we’ll have lots of treats
    coming our way later on! (I feel the derrier widening just writing this!)
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  22. Marla Williams says:

    Oh, dear Susan, what a good idea I have never tried. Putting it on my shopping list right now, so I don’t forget to pick up a can. My Susan Branch desk blotter is on it’s last page, but not to worry. There’s a new one for next year waiting in the wings.

  23. Judy Tracy says:

    Glad to be reminded of that treat:>)
    Loved your description of your Southern California childhood. We could always be sure that you could ride a Christmas Day new bike down the sidewalk:>)
    My son once said that he knew we loved him because we required him to be home before dark for dinner, while some of his friends played on in the dark. Times have changed so much.
    Hope your shoot is very satisfying and FUN! We’ll all look forward to that issue and having a few early peeks along the way. Merry Christmas!
    Judy Tracy, Newport Beach CA

  24. Jennie says:

    Hi Susan- Gosh, bread in a can- this is new to me! I’m in deep shock wondering where that can has been all my life! 😉
    Actually, what you shared about your mom making you little snacks while you did homework really hit me- my 13 year old son and I seem to be arguing a lot lately (go figure!)- I’m thinking he probably needs a little niceness right now… so thank you for inspiration! I know food is a one-way ticket to that boy’s heart and I need to take a little time to seal it with a kiss!

  25. Elly says:

    Happy “Sinterklaas Day” today! Celebrating this day is a wonderful yearly tradition in our house. I was raised in the Netherlands and came to the United States at the age of ten, (the youngest of four) so of course this was a tradition
    we all grew up with. The shops would be decorated at the end of November with all sorts of Sinterklaas finery, waiting for old Saint Nicholas to enter the city of Amsterdam(and all other small towns across the Netherlands) by boat, accompanied by his faithful black Pieters as well as the white horse he would ride across the rooftops once the time came for him to deliver his goodies to those of us who had been good. We left our shoes, whether they be leather or wooden, by the fireplace, containing a carrot or two for his horse. I so love the traditions of Sinterklaas and Christmas, giving equal time to both.
    I enjoy your musings about traditions and try to include some new ones each year.
    The B&M Bread in a can must be where the idea of round loaf pans came from. At first I thought you saved the “can” from something else, and now use it to bake your own bread in.
    I’ve been “following” you and your wonderful art for a long time, and hope I may be the one to enjoy receiving the “gift” you are about to share with someone special.
    Thanks so much and have a wonderful weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for that delightful story from the land of your birth .. beautiful for all of us to hear! xoxo

      • Anna, Camano Island,Wa says:

        Hello Elle, It was fun to read your comment, I was born in the town of Utrecht, am the youngest of three children and my family immigrated to the Pacific NW when I was five years old. Although I was quite young the memories of Sinterklaas and all the dutch christmas traditions are quite vivid. Thanks for the memories. My mother was English and we also did a very English celebration on Dec. 25th.

  26. CarolK (Flemington, NJ) says:

    Gosh! I’d forgotten about B&M bread in a can. That stuff truely was tasty. When hubby saw the picture of it coming out of the can he said he thought it was a can of baked beans gone bad! hahahaha I’ll have to put a can of it in his stocking this year. hehehehe You’re bird tree ~~~~made me think. I have a little tree like that in the attic. I had decorated it a few years back with little plaid bows and all the fortunes I saved from all the Chinese fortune cookies we’ve eaten. Well I took it all apart the other day, found my box of birds and whalaa, I now have a Susan Branch bird tree. Today I showed the gals in scrapbooking class your idea for ‘word garlands’ to hang in the windows and they all loved it, thought me soooo clever but I told them it was your idea, you were the inspiration for me to make my own. You’re going to get tired of me e-hugging you but I can’t help it, I’m just so happy I found your blogs.
    Triple hugs from NJ……

    • sbranch says:

      E-Hugs back to you Carol! That’s kind of how I got my bird tree, every once in a while I have to “shop” my own house, because I truly do have pretty much everything I need around here somewhere!

      • I’ve always been a “saver” and have a full basement and attic to accommodate me, but in recent years I’ve been having garage sales to divest myself of some of it so my kids don’t have to deal with it all one day! BUT, you are inspiring me SO much I’m afraid to let go of anything else because I’m finding I, too, can “shop” from my stash. I saw your Twitter photo of your tree and I’m so glad I hung onto my colored lights. My tree this year will revert back to the old days when my boys were still at home instead of the “decorator tree” I’ve had for the past 10 years. They’ll be thrilled!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Love that – “e-hugs”! E-hugs to all, have a great weekend!

  27. Margaret Fox-Tully says:

    I’ve always been tempted to buy that bread, but something about bread in a can made me hesitate. I’ll definitely give it a try now. The pictures are making me hungry!

  28. Diane from WA state says:

    B&M bread in a can??? I am so going to have to try this if/when I can find it! I always get new treat ideas from you. I had never heard of bread in a can before, so this will be so much fun to try! Merry Christmas to you !

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

    Hi Susan–in the Willard, where you gave us a new “New Moon bookmark”, did you mean that it is updated for the moons of 2013? Or did I fall asleep, like Rumplestiltskin, and miss out on the year 2013? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s 2013. Ignore what I said then, whatever that was! 🙂 The moons are for 2013.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Well, thank you for the bookmark on any accord! I love to keep one of your moon bookmarks in the book I’m reading on the nightstand–for the first time in my life I know what the moon is doing without looking up! 🙂

  30. Cindy Tuning says:

    You are such a good hostess. You just think of everything! I just read your Willard and have been trying so hard to find those precious little moments of “mood” that burns a feeling into our memories but have not been able to capture any. I don”t know if it’s age or being so busy or what but..I’m trying. I’m glad that you put it in words in the newsletter to be read over and over.

    • sbranch says:

      Just take a moment for yourself, that’s the problem, we get too busy to see the joy! A book and a bubble bath often gets me started right…something like that. xoxo Cindy.

  31. Joey says:

    Oh Susan, you forever and ever ring my bells with memories. My Mother alwys served the B&M Brown Bread when we had baked beans and guess what!! We had the SAME DISHES!! They are the ones I grew up with and now my niece has them….I felt like you sent a picture of our own kitchen table from so many years ago. You do that all the time!! I grew up in Pennsylvania along the Susquahana River next to a pine woods. You constantly bring back so many memories. And the little dog bookend you have on your shelf in the kitchen?? My sister had one just like it!! Before you know it, YOUR home will be where my heart is (or maybe a piece of it)….Hugs!!

  32. Joey says:

    P.S. I am off to Krogers to get some B&M Brown Bread of my own…..need anything while I am out??
    P.P.S. I loved the little piece of butter you dropped on the tablecloth…just like home ;0)

  33. Judy Meixner says:

    Love, love, love..hospitality in a can!!!!!

  34. I love all things Susan Branch! I have all of your books and my youngest even has your baby book… I could go on and on… I would be thrilled to win.. It would be a Christmas treat!! Now I have to go find some of the bread!!

  35. Stphanie says:

    I love your blogs. Look forward to reading them to brighten my day. I need to find the B&M brown bread in my store. It looks delicious.

  36. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I think I’ve heard of B&M Brown Bread, but have never tried it … now I will hunt some down. From all of the posting, it looks like our new “in” thing for breakfast. Sorry to be repeating myself, but your newsletters and the Willard posting give be a daily smile and a “song in my heart” … and your contests are amazing … thank you. 🙂

  37. Shanna says:

    I have seen this in the store, but have never tried it. With such a delicious description, now I must!

  38. Susan Woods says:

    Bread in a can. I remember it well. Love your stories and blogs and the give a way would be a nice treat for me. Happy Holidays

  39. Barbara Phillips-Barrett says:

    I love Charles Trenet! Thanks for adding him to my Holiday Cheer!

  40. Kelli says:

    *LOVE* your beautiful artwork and so enjoy your blog. Thank you for all of the fun recipes! Merry Christmas! Ü

  41. Hi Susan,
    I haven’t seen B & M Brown Bread forever!!!! Growing up in New England, it was pretty much a pantry staple, but I don’t think I have every had it toasted!!!! I hope I can find some here in Ohio. If not, I am emailing my sweet aunt in Rhode Island to have her send me some for Christmas 🙂 Happy Thursday!!!! xoxo Debbie

  42. HELEN says:

    Your emails and blogs are so fresh, fun, and make a day brighter! Thank you so much for posting.

  43. Dawn says:

    Oh Sue…you have so many lovely childhood memories.

  44. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just love both of your recent posts. Larry & I are visiting relatives who are also dear friends. . .or even vice versa this week. I love it when that happens!!! So I haven’t read the Comments yet but will do so eventually. You and Joe sure are great decorators! The wreath and greenery that Joe has strung together surely do look as though a professional had done it. I agree with you. . .more wreaths are needed—probably one in every window would do! Tut and Cleo sit in the sun with their noses almost touching our portable radiant heater for hours. They have never burned themselves so I guess kitties know best!



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

    Hapy St Nicholas Day everyone!! i found the brown bread, in the shop smart here in town. i know what we are having this satuday for breakfast, along with bacon and fresh eggs. yuummmy!!!!! think this may just become a staple in our household, definitely will come in handy when the guys go hunting elk next year. off to finish the tree and finish one window design. have a good day everyone. hugs…… 🙂

  46. Elaine says:

    Lovely post . I do like your tea set there all hearts so pretty . Have a good day !

  47. Susan LP says:

    The bread sounds yummy, but when I first glanced at the photo I thought you were serving a can of dog/cat food! You can imagine the laughter (and relief) when I looked closer and realized it was bread. I’ll have to seek it out in the grocery and give it a try. Love the giveaway. The kitties and I sit with bated breath until Vanna draws. I think you should adopt this quote from Prep and Landing and tell everyone it’s time to “get your jingle on.”

  48. Molly says:

    Susan I am going to look for the bread. Thank you, thank you for your Blog!!!!!! You lift my spirit!!!!!

  49. Mary Ann says:

    Such a treat Susan to see an unexpected post in my email today. Thank you for this post, I too loved that bread and it kind of went the wayside over the years. Its on my list for the next trip to store. have a great day!

  50. Toby Goode says:

    Thanks for the memory! I was thinking that treat looked familiar and then I knew exactly what it was when I saw the can. My mom made it too. We usually had it when we had baked beans. So fun to remember that. The last time I ate it was as a child.

  51. Gail Buss says:

    Dear Susan, I have never ever had that B & M Brown Bread. It looks wonderful smathered with butter. I hope our stores here have it. Another thing you posted a while back were the corn muffin toasties and I used to love those in Maryland but I have not seen them here. I do have some muffin “top” pans and make those in corn muffins which are a bit similar to the toasties. They are yummy! Also, I used to get crumpets up in Wegman’s Grocery Store but they don’t have those here either. A friend gave me the recipe the other day for English Muffin Bread which I will try soon. If they don’t sell the B & M Brown Bread here…………I found a recipe in Betty Crocker I will have to try. Wishing you a wonderful week-end and a great time on Dec. 11th! Hugs, Gail Buss, Beverly Hills, Fl XX

    • sbranch says:

      One thing Joe and I love to do when we travel is go into food stores we aren’t familiar with, chains or whatever, in different parts of the country, or even in England when we were there. So, now, you have a little list, for the next time you leave Beverly Hills! xoxo Or, I should do a brown bread giveaway!

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        When we went on vacation as a family when the boys were young, we used to go to the local grocery store for food for lunch. We did it to save money. It was cheaper than going to a restaurant–and the boys had such big appetites! We met the nicest people in grocery stores!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Trader Joes carries crumpets~ at least here in Wisconsin ~ god luck!

  52. Bonnie L says:

    Dear Susan………
    You are GOOD….so Very Good!
    What a surprise!
    Thank you for inspiring us and being there for us with just the right thing at just the right time! Merry, Merry Christmas! to you and Joe! <3

  53. Paula B. says:

    You can tell the New Englanders from reading the comments here, the B and M Co., such a tradition in these parts. As a few have written, this was a staple for Saturday night dinner along with their baked beans and hot dogs (Saugys in R.I.)) a little ketchup on the side, there you go. Then it was shampoo and bath time, to be ready for church and the week ahead. Also, my grandmother steamed her bread in the can on top of the stove. Thanks for the memory!

    • judi says:

      So “easterners” had baked beans, hot dogs (with buns?) AND brown bread? Interesting. Was the brown bread the dessert?

      • sbranch says:

        Since I wasn’t an easterner then, I don’t know the rules of it all … but I know one of the girlfriends will know!

  54. Cynthia says:

    Divine memories of this! Living in Chicago…cold, wintry afternoons….my mother would toast a few of them in the oven….(not quite sure cuz we really did have an electric toaster!) and smother them with real butter….so incredible yum! And for an extra treat, a cup of hot tea, with milk and sugar….Heavenly!! OH! Our grocery store does carry it….am going to have to get a few cans the next trip!

  55. Barb, EW ...CT says:

    Hi Sue….

    OOh… stomach is growling……I am so hungry after reading this post. I never tried this bread in the can but its on my list to get for tommorrow…..yeah!
    Thanks for sharing the virtual cup of tea….its so cold here this evening and a nice cup of hot tea to warm up with is just what I need. I have to make this short as my husband and I are going out for a nice dinner this evening. Stay warm and thanks again for sharing such a great post! Have a Happy:) Warm:) Fun Weekend!
    Hugs&Smiles:) Barb

  56. Lori from Minnesota says:

    Oh my goodness! My maternal grandmother used to give us the brown bread when we were younger (40 plus years ago). I had forgotten all about it but you have opened the memory floodgates. What a great memory…thank you!

  57. Karen V (Connecticut) says:

    I also remember the brown bread when I was growing up! It was actually date-nut bread that my mom bought in a can and we would eat it like a sandwich with cream cheese in between, so delicious! Years later, I couldn’t find the date nut bread and tried the B&M brown bread, I was so happy because I thought it was even better! I’m going to pull my can out of the cupboard and have it with my tea later, you have inspired me! Love the french musica, thanks!

  58. Gwen Barath says:

    Thanks for the December calendar page. I was one who did not get a calendar on time and I am running out to make sure I buy my 2013 before they are gone. I have forgotten about the brown bread in a can. My Mom would slice it and then cut it with a cookie cutter and toast it in the oven. The scraps were also toasted in the oven, crumbled and then put over vanilla ice cream. Such a treat! Thanks for the memory and I will be again putting it on my shelf for not only unexpected guests during the holidays but that special something with a cup of hot cocoa.

  59. Pam T. says:

    I just love when you make suggestions of yummy things we might like. And even more so when I can find it! I had to run out, so on the way home I stopped in to see if I could find the Brown Bread. I was just thinking that it was a lost cause…I had looked in the baked bean aisle, the baking aisle, the “international” aisle and had given up hope when a helpful store clerk asked “are you finding everything today?” When I said I didn’t think they had what I was looking for and told her, she said cheerfully “Oh yes! It’s on the next aisle!” TA DA!! Sure enough, there it was on the VEEEERY top shelf above the baked beans! So…this evening after I return home..again…busy running around day…I intend to treat myself to a cup of tea and some of “Susan’s Brown Bread”. Can’t wait!

    • sbranch says:

      Every time I look, it’s always there. It’s something they can’t quit carrying, they’ve done it for so long! Let me know what you think!

      • Pam T. says:

        OH–MY–GOODNESS! How did I not ever know about this before? It is fan-tab-u-lous! Comfort food in a can indeed! Thank you so much for introducing it to those of us who had not yet had the privilege. I will be going back for more…I am scheduled for some surgery (nothing too serious, but much needed) soon and this WILL be in my pantry so my guys can bring me something that will make me feel better while I recover, and they won’t even have to try very hard at all. They will thank you too I am sure. Btw…I bought the kind with raisins…they didn’t have plain…so if anyone is curious…the raisin one is FAB! :)Another btw…I live in So. California and found it at Stater Bros. 😉

  60. Molly's mom says:

    Susan, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and the island with us. I look forward to seeing the photos of your walks and how you decorate your home. Your touches are beautiful. Loved the brown bread….they serve it in a restaurant here and it is definitely yummy. Merry Christmas!

  61. Jane F. says:

    Such a great memory!! I grew up in Massachusetts — Boston suburb and we had brown bread all the time!! With Boston Baked Beans and frankfurters! Yum!! This B&M is the “real thing”!! I found it at — 2 cans for $10.90!! Item #: H2657. Thanks so much, Susan, for the reminder. I’m going to have to order some myself!

  62. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Dearest Sue and Joe, Greetings I hope u had a thankful Thanksgiving. I looked at your post today, it made me feel so much better if any thing can. My beautiful wonderful mother Passed away Fri 11-30-12 . I love her so much i am having a really hard time with this .She loves birds and fruit since she is Auzzie and I have nicknamed her Critter. I know she would have loved ur post. She is my best friend and I am attached to her . I will not talk in the past tense. I just wanted you to know since i have known u for years now. I now live in Henderson Nv. You even put me in ur newletter Willard ,which i was so thrilled that u were so kind to do so. My mothers name is Heather Mary Sherwood. She was from Brisbane Au and was a Critter. Def has alot of character. I want to make those cookies and see more of Jack n Ma ma girl thats what i call ur Girl she looks also like my MaMa Girl and my girl cat Cz. she has a marking like Jack. Your home looks so beautiful . You have done a wonderful job with the house and tell Joe hello and to keep up the great work he has sure done enough. My love to you both and to your family. I cant wait to read the recipe in your next post. I started to read this new book about Heaven and it really does exhist i knew it does. Have great weekend XXX OOO Cheyenne XXX

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so very sorry Cheyenne, I feel your heartbreak in every word. I am so very happy to have you here, especially now… one day at at time is all anyone can do. xoxo

    • Tricia B. says:

      I m so sorry to hear about your mom. You have to take it one day at a time and when you are ready, you will have lots of wonderful memories!! GOD Bless! Love n Prayers, Tricia B.

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Cheyenne, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. When you wrote about her it reminded me of a poem by Isla Paschal Richardson, TO THOSE I LOVE. “If I should ever leave you whom I love to go along the Silent Way, grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there……..And when you hear a song or see a bird I loved, please do not let the thought of me be sad….for I am loving you just as I always have….”
      Love is very strong bond and your mother will be with you forever. Sending hugs and prayers your way. Chris

    • Carol Lichwala says:

      Dearest Cheyenne, I am so sorry for your loss. I can sympathize with you. My 48 yr. old daughter passed away in August. I am lost without her, she was my only child.
      Your Mom is an angel now just like my Delores. I will say a prayer for your beloved Mother Heather Mary Sherwood.
      East Longmeadow, Ma

      • sbranch says:

        Much too young Carol … unbearable. I’m so sorry. I love hearing the comfort given in your words. xoxo

      • deezie says:

        Oh Carol, I am so sorry!!! I will be praying for you, for peace. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I have two daughters and am crying now just reading your post. So so sorry. Sending hugs!

    • deezie says:

      Cheyenne, I am so sorry for your loss. Like Susan said, one day at a time. Its hard to think of life without your Momma, I know, I lost my Sweet Momma a few years ago and my Dad last year. So so hard but you will do it. Life is wonderful and you will see her again

  63. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Merry Christmas and A prosperious New Year WElcome 2013 Goodbye 2012 . Love to you and Joe YOU CUTE LOVE BIRDS XXX

  64. Jackie P says:

    I, too, love this B & M brown bread (with raisins). I cut thin slices, spread one slice with cream cheese and then make a little sandwich with a second slice. Sooo good. Luxurious, actually! I can buy it in the grocery store in NH, in the section where they stock canned baked beans. If I were your neighbor, I would bring you a tray of goodies (healthy, of course) and a pot of tea so you wouldn’t have to fuss for yourself right now!

  65. Susan, I haven’t had that bread in more years than I can imagine! I can just taste it now! Mmmmmmmm. Yum! 🙂

  66. Jackie P says:

    P.S. Ladies, don’t let the “bread-in-a-can” thing scare you. It is moist and flavorful. You will thank Susan time and again for bringing this treat to your attention!

  67. Nancy says:

    You are the most inspiring person I “know”. I have added the bread to my list and as “friends” before me in the post, I will be checking for it tomorrow at the grocery. Keep doing what you do, You Are The Best 🙂

  68. Carly says:

    Hi Susan, my mom used to serve this with cream cheese. Oh, and I was treasure hunting today and guess what I found, TREASURE–5 Susan Branch cards! Love them all but my favorite is “Stay” with the pink lemonade, peaches and peonies. Carly

  69. Cindy says:

    Why, I have never heard of this bread. But would love to win the drawing!

  70. Tricia Wettlaufer says:

    I had forgotten about the brown bread in a tin as well! In Canada, I think it’s a little different … a Cross & Blackwell Nut Bread in a can – in any case, it brought back wonderful memories – it’s so yummy!
    Susan – I have to tell you that you add a special element to my life – I have enjoyed your work for years now and have ordered a few pieces from your online shopping now that you ship to Canada. To heck with the freight cost – it is so delightful to open a package that is done up so well by your packers!! I love my date books, calendars, recipe books, newsletters and blogs. I am 61 and can relate to everything you talk about – even though we grew up in very different places. It takes me back to a more innocent time, more ‘real’ and reminds me of the best that life has to offer. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart xo

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to hear that Tricia! I’m sorry about that freight thing, it’s gotten to be ridiculous, but at least it can be done!

  71. Lonna Berridge says:

    So happy to have found your blog- you exude happiness and friendship- and all things comforting. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  72. Ruth E. Rupp says:

    Hi Susan – – Just for fun, I went to Google – – typed in – translate Boum in English lyrics – – and got the whole song in English. It’s quite long, fun to read, and thought the girlfriends might enjoy looking it up. I, too, have been humming it to myself all day long today. Okay — back to my elf work!! Christmas is coming fast!!!
    Hugs from Minnesota. Ruthie

  73. Gail Buss says:

    Susan, I am so so so excited. One of the stores has B & M Brown Bread with raisins (the other two don’t). I called and the clerk was so nice and went and looked and told me it’s in aisle 3 on the top shelve and it’s $2.49 for 12 oz. I am going tomorrow to get it so Joe and I can try it. It’s hard when you move away and can’t get what you are used to. When my Dad moved to the U.S.A. from Ireland, there were many things he remembered as a child that he didn’t have again. When I made pumpkin bread with raisins, dates and nuts, he said it reminded him of Plum Duff! I think the Brown Bread will be great to keep on the shelf for those times you didn’t bake and just need something like it. Thanks again so much. Hugs, Gail Buss, Fl xxoo

  74. Becky Farnsworth says:

    I’m with you about the traditional Christmas decorations. All decorations are really fun but I love the one with memories the best. I was lucky enough to get a 2012 calendar and have been enjoying the December suggestions. I keep it at the office so I have something happy for the tough or too serious days. I just got my 2013 calendar today so I set for another year! Thank you for sharing your joy!


  75. Tricia B. says:

    Hi dearest Susan,

    I love your post as always!! Thank you so much for bringing such joy to my day! Forgive my ignorance but where would I find the brown bread in the can? In the bread isle or some other area? It looks delicious!!! I haven’t ever heard of it and am curious to try it!!! I hope we have it here in IN! Thanks for sharing your wonderful world with me! GOD Bless! Love and hugs!!! XOXOXO Tricia B.

  76. Debbie says:

    I wasn’t able to get the cookie recipes when I clicked on them in the email I received from you. Any suggestions?
    thanks so much

  77. Ann Beirne says:

    I had brown bread every Saturday night with the hot dogs and beans my mom made for dinner. (We always ate the same food each day of the week. I never asked why. I just thought everyone did it until I grew up and found out other wise). It was very popular in New England. When I left for college,I never had it again, maybe because I really did not like hot dogs and associated brown bread with them. I actually thought they stopped making it because I never saw it until a few years ago when I saw a can on the shelf next to the baked beans in the grocery store. Seeing the pictures on your blog made the bread look so much better than I imagined. I will have to try it again.
    Thanks again for bringing back New England childhood memories!

  78. Kathy says:

    I still use B & M bread. I spread it with cream with another piece of bread…cut into 1/4’s…instant tea sandwiches..and my” speciality” until we decided to share…I do love my friends but this makes it even easier to love them!

  79. Carin from Central California says:

    OMG! How have I lived this long and not even known about this yummy treat! I, who fancy myself all knowing when it comes to yummy things to eat. I haven’t even tried it, yet, the pictures and your description is good enough to convince me that I must stop at the grocery store after work today and buy some. Just when I was feeling sorry for myself that I didn’t have time for lunch today, I can have this for dinner now and not feel one bit guilty. It’s the little things that make life great. Yay for B & M Brown Bread for dinner!

  80. Mary Ann W says:

    Just went online to the Vermont Country Store and ordered the brown bread, the brown raisin bread, and the gingerbread in a can. I had never heard of such a thing before your post. I’m not sure if you are a good influence or bad. 🙂

  81. Josie A (Valencia, PA) says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have a question which I wanted to ask a few posts ago, but …. didn’t. Having done a wee bit of art work myself, I can’t IMAGINE doing a whole book in watercolor! What do you do when you have a perfectly painted page almost all done and then… you make a mistake. Or the watercolor runs. Or you weren’t paying attention and you dipped your paintbrush in the wrong color. Or Jack steps on some wet paint. Or… Or…. Or…???? I remember in college taking a typography course where we had to pen “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” in different fonts on poster board (before computers) and invariably the ink would smudge, or it would drip, or I would leave the ‘a’ out of ‘lazy’ or SOMETHING when I was almost done and I would have to start all over! What do you do?? (please, oh please don’t tell me it never happens and it turns out perfectly every time : ( I couldn’t bear it).

    • sbranch says:

      I’m pretty careful, as you probably would guess! But sometimes I paint something that I think looks awful, and that’s it, just have to start over — mistakes I can often fix, but if not, then, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  82. Buzz'n Bea says:

    Time to haul out the bean cans and recipes box. I haven’t made brown bread in a long time. So good!

  83. Nancy says:

    Love the french music!

  84. Corey says:

    Have always loved B&M since childhood! Has gotten very hard to find in the South. Thank goodness for!

  85. Maria M. says:

    Date nut bread in a can (with cream cheese) was always a treat as I was growing up. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the B&M bread here in NJ, but I will be sure to try it soon. Just clicked on the link and ordered some. Can’t wait, and thanks Susan!

  86. Sally says:

    I love that bread!!

  87. nina from Maryland says:

    Dear Susan,
    I would love it if you had a) a reality show with Jack,Joe and Girl Kitty,
    b) a magazine c) a book with pictures of your house (and garden) decorated for all the seasons and recipies. Cant wait for your new book to come out–can I place an order now. Good luck with Yankee magazines -Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday . Nina

  88. Love love love the brown bread in a can…haven’t had in years…thanks for reminding me…I will be looking for it this week…phyllis

  89. Patty Jane in SLO says:

    Well, Susan, this post sent my daughter and I out on a quest! I was born and grew up in roughly the same area as you (Sepulveda, CA, 1950s, Monroe HS) and have enjoyed your “rememberings” of that time and place. Those photos you posted recently could have been my cousins and me, but anyway I checked with my contemporaries here, and no memory whatsoever of Bread in a can. After reading your post my daughter and I set out today in SLO to find it…no dice. It sure looks good in the photos, so we will keep on the lookout! Maybe we’ll find it in LA (aka civilization) when we visit for Christmas…. Good luck with the photo shoot – your house looks great!

    • sbranch says:

      I used to get it in SLO…go to Von’s — or Joe said Ralphs — try the baked bean aisle, I can’t believe it’s not there — although I DO believe you, but they’ve had it for so long!

  90. Millie Ray says:

    Susan, there will be a run on B&M Brown Bread nationwide with your endorsement. I remember buying it to include in boxes to our nephews in Viet Nam , but have never had it myself. I will put that on my shopping list for sure. Thanks for the push to Kellee for my Willard, heretofore not received. I got mine on Wednesday……love, love, love it. I will look forward to receiving it like I do your blogs, very inspiring and enjoyable. Thanks for your enthusiasm in all you undertake.

  91. Kathy McKinstry says:

    Hi Susan,
    When I saw the wreaths that Joe made, I said to myself, “he’s in trouble now!” He did such a wonderful job you would think that he’d been making them for years. I can see that he will be making many, many more of them in the years to come…….he has no idea what’s in store for him, but, then again maybe he does!
    Good luck with Yankee Magazine, I’m so excited that they are coming to your house, can’t wait to see it in print next year.

    Kathy from CT
    p.s. love seeing Girl Kitty and Jack!!!

  92. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    I’m not exactly sure; but….after reading these comments, I am starting to think the “one ingredient” may not be beans?! I have never thought of eating beans with raisins, cream cheese, or ice cream? You did say it had molasses though. I am gonna try it! However, Bret and I, are on our third night of chili…. with lots and lots of beans……we need to rest a bit! Is it bean bread made with beans? It must be, because, it did sound a bit cheeky when you said things like…..”miracle in a CAN”……”too STINKIN’ busy”…… “treats on the RUN” …so, I just don’t know???
    I do make my Grandma Miller’s Cherry Nut Bread in a can every Christmas….so Good!!! And, I trust that this B&M Bread is so Good too….cuz I trust all of ya!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      No, no beans in this bread …. it’s just made by the same company that makes the B & M Baked Beans …. but this is the Brown Bread, and there are no beans in it! LOL

      • judi says:

        Dawn, you’re too funny. When you make the cherry nut bread – do you use a special kind of can (like I remember doing bread in the gold inside cans only)?

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          Well….Grandma’s recipe says to use vegetable cans…..I will have to check the insides this year…..should they be gold? Will the cans look gold on the outside too? I read you’re coming to Minnesota for the holidays…… 🙂 YAY!!! Bring your hat and mittens…..for it’s gonna be a white Christmas!!!! 🙂

          • judi says:

            Yes, have pics & video from daughter in Plymouth, MN…loving it. I ORDERED it to go east and snow at Sweet Sue’s 3:00 a.m. Tues. morn:) Re cans – I think certain vegs were processed in cans w/gold insides – can’t recall if it was corn? ….something common.

    • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

      Dawn, Sue was referring to the secret ingredient in the cookies in the earlier blog–the ones she is going to share the recipe for with us… 🙂
      Gosh–3 days in a row with chili??? 😯 (this is sideways…face with big eyes and alarmed mouth!) LOL!

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Pat…..are you kidding me?? the cookies??? All along, I kept thinking “Bean Bread!!!” …….Until, Susan set me straight!!! I went to Cub, couldn’t find it anywhere….I asked the sales clerk and you should have seen his facial expression (kinda like the one you made in your comment regarding chili… 8l ) he called the higher-ups on his walkie talkie…..”yeah, she’s looking for bread in a bean can, but there is no beans in the bread!”… “yep, she’s calling it brown bread with no beans, just in a bean can”…”nope, we don’t have it” …then he googles it on his phone and finds a picture of it….B&M Brown Bread….he then looks at me and laughs, “well, now I know you’re not crazy!” and he looks to see if Target has it ….”nope!” I thank him so much and as I am leaving he tells me it looks really good….and he would love a can too if they had it! I drove down the street to Byerly’s…..Ta-da!… 3 cans of Brown Bread in a bean can!!! Bought all 3 and I am saving one for the nice sales clerk at Cub! Ooooo Pat…..and just to let you know……Cub did have a big pile of Lutefisk!!! 🙂 ….for real !!!!! And just ONE ingredient!!!!!
        😉 I wouldn’t recommend Chili for three nights in a row……but, I’m thinking , I may be adding to my collection of FeBreeze glasses real soon!!!! UFF DA!!!!

        • judi says:

          waaaa, I want a Byerly’s in FL! Lutefisk would have to be made OUTSIDE of the house – my opinion:) Daughter has emailed and videoed me her beautiful snow covered (sorry Sue:( yard in Plymouth, MN. A wonderland ….can’t wait.

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          Dawn–we eat lutefisk out at lutefisk dinners at a couple of churches that do them for fundraising in the fall. Actually, one of us eats it. I stick with the meatballs which are usually served for the weak-hearted. I’m not totally fond of fish and don’t want the house smelling like lutefisk!!! LOL! Next fall you and Brett should join us–but not if you’ve been eating chili for 3 days in a row!!! LOL! 🙂

  93. Anna, Camano Island,Wa says:

    Dear Susan, I am ordering that yummy bread in a can as soon as I say thanks for another fun idea. I can already imagine how good it will taste and what a nice quick treat to offer with a cup of tea when someone drops in. Your post between posts was actually a very nice post. Hope you are finding time to relax in your busy schedule. You are a jewel.

  94. Conni Haden says:

    Merry Christmas…..Thanks for sharing your love and talents….much happiness to you!

  95. Nora Burdett says:

    You two are incredible. I’ll bet when one of you cries, the other tastes salt. What a blessed relationship you have. I hope we can get a copy of Yankee Magazine next year. Love all you do.

  96. lulusmimi says:

    a trip down memory lane! One of my favorite childhood treats, and it’s also delicious with cream cheese. And baked beans on the side. yum. Thanks for every single solitary one of your posts. You make every day a special one.

  97. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    Oh Susan! Your blog was so comfy and Christmasy! I remember the Brown Bread can! Seems we had it stored in the “war cabinet, just in case” Our stores carry still carry it 🙂

  98. Cathy McC. says:

    Oh I LOVED hearing about the comfort food provided by your mother — leading to other FOSB sharing their favorites, too. (Must admit, I’d not heard of the canned bread before. Canned cake? Yes. Kind of similar.) Our treat was bread, butter, and sugar sandwiches — open face, white bread. I couldn’t imagine “treating” my grandkids with that today, but oh, how we loved them!
    I’m totally taken by the verse on the kitchen towel in your post. (Lucy would say it’s the mention of French Fries.) Is that printed on anything I could shop for?
    Feel like the twelve days of Christmas have begun: multiple posts, Willard, recipes, kitty pictures, decorating ideas, give aways! My how you spoil us! (But please don’t stop:) Ethel

    • sbranch says:

      My mom made us bread and butter with sugar too, after naps especially, I remember eating it outside in the sunshine, just before strapping on my roller skates! That little poem has been on things in the past, a recipe box and cards … but nothing right now that I can think of. Maybe I’ll put it in the 2014 calendar!

  99. Priscilla says:

    OMG!! We lived on this stuff every Sat night!! Along with the B & M Baked beans! I was able to buy them at Von’s here in San Diego for years, but they stopped selling them. Booooooo! It’s so fun to see you enjoy it so much. LOVE your blog from yesterday..what a beautiful page you left us. Happy, happy holidays.

  100. Jan says:

    Hi Susan,
    That beautiful bread is so pretty sitting atop our dishes. Yes, I have the same dishes that you do and I just love them. Have had them for years and always smile when I see them pictured here. Going to go get some of that bread tomorrow and have a happy flashback of my childhood. My mom fixed it for me too. Funny, I’d forgotten about that bread. Thank you for the reminder and a great little jaunt down memory lane.

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