My mother loved Christmas traditions and had many that I now uphold in her memory. Her most fruitful outpour of holiday cheer was the ritual of her cinnamon-kissed strawberry bread. She baked a bounty of these cakey loaves for all she knew: First Baptist Greenville congregants, coworkers, family, friends, her children’s friends, and neighbors. When my brother and I were young, she sent us down the street every Christmas Eve—with our wagon full— to personally deliver loaves to all of the neighbors. She’d always cut the most artful covers from cards received the previous Christmas; pen her own good tidings on the backs; and then tie them snuggly against the loaves’ tops with red ribbon.


2 or 3 loaves


3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 10-ounce packages of frozen sliced strawberries, thawed butter (for greasing)


Preheat oven to 350 ̊F. Combine dry ingredients. Mix well in large mixing bowl. Beat eggs slightly, and combine oil & strawberries with them in medium bowl. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix well. Pour evenly into greased & floured loaf pans—your choice of two sizes: two 9” x 5” x 3” pans (bake for one hour); or three 81⁄2” x 41⁄2” x 21⁄2” pans (bake for 45 minutes).