Nutty Norman

Nutty Norman

In June, the LaGrange Art Museum (LaGrange, GA) launched an exhibit to showcase Norman Rockwell’s correspondence and photographs captured by photographer Louis Lamone.

The photographs contained an intriguing gustatory perspective into Roswell’s life. You see, contained in his correspondence are instructions he sent to a friend (selfish fellow!) so she could cook his “favorite nut bread” recipe.

And what did Rockwell’s favorite nut bread recipe contain? Sweet stuff, I assure you: a cup of raisins, one entire (peel to juice, no seeds) orange, a bunch of flour and some vanilla, in addition to the usual cake-bread culprits of flour, salt and leavening agents.

We’ve cooked it twice. The temperature-time seemed high (90 minutes!) but as the dough is fairly wet (with the orange juice, water and egg), perhaps some of you will need this extra time. We started testing at the 60 minute mark.

Recipe for Orange-Nut bread by Norman Rockwell


1 medium orange
1 cup of raisin or dates
2 tablespoons melted shortening
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 beaten egg
2 cups of flour – sifted
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of chopped nuts


Pour juice of orange in 8 ounce measuring cup; add boiling water to fill cup. Force orange rind through food chopper with raisins using coarse blade; add diluted orange juice. Stir in shortening, vanilla and egg. Add flour sifted with salt, baking powder, soda and sugar; beat well, add nuts. Place in bread loaf pan (wax papered). 350 F degrees for an 1 ½ hour

(one and one half hour).