The Prom Dress

Sunday, March 25, 2012
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll remember that last spring I took my youngest daughter shopping for a grad dress.  She was graduating from grade eight, and we found a dress that was both lovely and age-appropriate.

My oldest daughter is in grade twelve, and yesterday I took her shopping for her prom dress.  It seems early, doesn’t it?  Buying a dress for prom is more complicated than it used to be.  One of the girls in her grade set up a Facebook page (in November) where everyone posts a photo of their dress to avoid duplicates.  So the timing of buying a dress is tricky.  You want it to be late enough that there’s a good selection, but early enough that you’re not scrolling through 120 photos on Facebook every time you see one you like.  

My daughter and I don’t often shop together, other than when she needs shoes.  She’s very independent and enjoys buying clothes on her own. Her preference is to shop at vintage shops or Goodwill.  For one thing, she loves the unique clothes that she finds there.  But just as important, she likes supporting local small businesses, and appreciates the low carbon footprint of buying something and extending its life.  I love her sense of adventure and her individual sense of style.

A prom dress is different, though.  We spent an evening looking at dresses at the local mall, but she was concerned that she’d look like everyone else if she bought a dress there.  So yesterday morning, she and I drove down to Queen Street, the local fashion district.  We’d planned to hit a few stores, but found such an incredible selection at Fashion Crimes that we made it our one and only stop.  For about half the price of a dress at the mall, she tried on an amazing selection of dresses, and narrowing it down to one was nearly impossible.  So we bought two – one for prom, and another that she can wear to a wedding later this spring.  Needless to say, she looks divine in both.

And the best part was spending time with my sweet daughter.  Six months from now she’ll be at university and moments like that will be less common.  I want to hold onto every occasion that we spend one-on-one time together, and recognize it for how precious it is.

She and I loved this mango bread that I baked last week.  We had unseasonably warm weather until a couple of days ago – I don’t think I’ve ever worn shorts and sandals in Toronto in March before.  And that’s probably why I was inspired by the tropical fruit display in the grocery store.  I baked this wonderful mango bread and, with its hints of lime and ginger, it was absolutely wonderful.  As my daughter said, “It’s so good, you don’t even notice the raisins!


Fresh Mango Bread

3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil or other flavorless oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups diced mango
3/4 cup raisins
grated zest of half a lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or butter it to prevent sticking.  Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.  (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.)

Whisk the eggs and oil together.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.  Add the brown sugar, making sure to break up any lumps.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, switch to a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and mix until blended.  The batter will be very thick.  Stir in the mango, raisins and zest.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake the bread for 1 1/2 hours, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.  (If the bread looks like it’s getting too brown as it bakes, cover it loosely with a foil tent.)  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding.

50 comments:

Barbara Jean said...

The whole prom experience is totally changed from my prom in 1984! I shudder to remember... I'm sure your daughter enjoyed the shopping experience, and you'll have to post a mother-daughter pic on the big day!

Barbara Jean said...

And hey - look at me with the first comment for a change! :)

Pacheco Patty said...

Your daughters sound lovely and how right you are to cherish these times with them! I have to agree that the vintage stores are very interesting and fun to shop. Your mango bread looks delicious, one of my favorites;-)

Mary said...

Ooooh, I was hoping for a dress picture! This bread looks great though, so it will work. :) I really like your daughter's choices for shopping. I've never been a fan of mall shopping, so anything off the path sounds good to me!

Side note: A FB page just for the dresses?! Holy smokes, times have changed. I can't even imagine. Of course, I probably would have just laughed if I'd shown up in the same dress as another girl. :P Fashionista, I am not. I'm glad she found two great options though!

sally said...

What a great experience! Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

I'm with you, Mary. I always think a dress will look completely different depending on how it's accessorized. Still, as the mother of a teenager, it's my job to keep up to the times!

Natalie Aguirre said...

We'll be shopping for a prom dress and thinking about my daughter going to college in 3 years. It's going so fast. I hope she lets me go with her to get the dress. Like your daughter, she's very independent and likes to go shopping with her friends, not me.

Carol said...

The bread looks delicious.
Congrats on the Prom. My daughter's class did the same thing for their prom, posting the pictures. Funny, same thing here, my daughter shops with friends, but we did go together for her Prom dress, that was such a nice special time.

Valerie said...

Your daughter sounds incredibly intelligent and resourceful, well done. :-) Those attributes as well as an appreciation for baking...her future looks quite bright! Speaking of bright, this bread looks so "springy." What a great way to put mangos to use.

Rosemary said...

I just watched a little bit of Mama Mia, the movie, a little while ago (while hula hooping) and this sentimental fool cried. A daughter growing up was tough on me. But I'm grateful she is an independent soul -- who still loves her mama!

bakewithjill.com said...

I remember that bread and I know it's delicious!

It's great that your daughter has her own style. I hope we get to see the prom photos!

Kathy said...

Such wonderful times are meant to be held in your heart forever! I think it’s terrific that your daughter has her own sense of style!
Your mango bread looks delicious!
By the way, I just ordered two of your books for my granddaughter…she turns eight on the eleventh of April and devours books!

Bonnie said...

Oh your time together sounds delightful. Time flies by doesn't it? How wonderful your daughter has developed her own sense of style. Enjoy these next few months. The bread looks divine. Bonnie

LDH said...

Oh, sweet daughter time! Shopping isn't my forte but being with my daughters makes it more enjoyable. The Mango Bread sounds delightful!

My oldest grandson is graduating 8th grade in June and his mom just completed her Bachelors Degree. An exciting time for them both!

Beth said...

Shopping isn't my forte either, Lorraine, but I gladly made an exception for a prom dress!

And thank you so much for your support, Kathy! I'll be in touch to see if you'd like me to personalize the books.

Cindy said...

Nothing better than spending time with a daughter. I have 3 grown daughters and cherish every moment with them.
Hopefully we will get to see a photo of your daughter in 'the dress'!

Belinda said...

What a special time to have with each other. What a big moment!! Wow - university so soon. =) How grand to have that adventure ahead. This mango bread sure is a sweet way to spend time with each other.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

This made me tear up a little bit. I remember prom dress shopping with my Mom and I wish I had cherished those moments even more now that I Am away at college.

This bread looks great and a sweet story to boot!

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, that sounds delicious! Mangoes have just gone out of season here, but I don't think I can wait until next summer. I might have to risk the tinned variety, though I'm usually a snob about them.

I bought my formal (Aussie prom) dress with my Mum, and like you guys, we picked somewhere that wasn't the mainstream mall to buy it. I got years of use out of it, and I still remember what a great day we had hanging out together when we bought it.

Barbara said...

I've been through the prom dress experience with two generations. Must admit my daughter was the easier of the two. My granddaughter is very short and very fussy...we had a terrible time both her junior and senior year, but, with a lot of alterations, came up with something that pleased us both. Have not heard that they post photos on Facebook!! That's amazing.

Joanne said...

I definitely remember the prom dress shopping ordeal. I KNEW that the first dress I tried on was the one I wanted, but my mom insisted I try on about fifty others, just to be sure :P

So glad you and your daughter found not one, but TWO. you'll have to show us pictures when it actually happens!

This quickbread sounds so tasty...I love the idea of throwing mango in there!

Yummy said...

I'm glad you had some quality time with your daughter. Great looking bread, too!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Nice story about dress shopping. And the recipe looks quite nice. I love mango, and don't have enough recipes that use it. Although maybe I'm fooling myself - by the time I get done cutting it up, I want to eat it right away! Immediately! So I'm not sure if I'll even actually do anything more complicated than a mango chutney. But I can dream, can't I? Anyway, nice post - thanks.

Victoria said...

Ahhh, I remember prom dress shopping. Part of the joy of being as short as I am is worrying about all the alterations later, haha. The Facebook idea is useful, but then there will be less of a surprise when everyone shows up at the prom! Either way, I'm glad you guys had such a fun time shopping together.

MTeacress said...

I have a daughter the same age, and we're also keeping an eye out for a good prom dress. Fun times, aren't they?

Jemi Fraser said...

Shopping for prom dresses can be stressful for the girls. I'm so glad you 2 had such luck! And I've never tried mango bread - I'll have to give that a try! :)

cookingmisadventures.com said...

So sweet that you got to shop together and how fun that she found two great dresses (would love to see them). :) This bread looks great, too.

grace said...

oh, golly, how i loved prom, mostly because it was a rare occasion for me to get all dolled up! this is a terrific bread recipe, beth--i don't eat enough mango!

Rita said...

I have to tell you last year I was invited to go prom dress shopping for my grand daughter who was in grade 8.It was quite the adventure after raising 4 sons; not an easy task; but we did find something appropriate and very sweet.
Your mango brad would be real good with a cup of tea after a day of dress shopping.
Rita

Jill | Dulce Dough said...

How exciting! Glad that you found not one, but two dresses! And your mango bread sounds fantastic!

Jeanne said...

I had no idea that prom was so complicated! ;) This bread sounds like just the thing to combat the chilly weather.

Angie's Recipes said...

That sounds just as complicated as it could be. Great that you have finally found two for her!
The mango bread looks wonderful!

Michelle said...

Hello how wonderful to find two dresses.
I guess if we keep home schooling we won't have that stress of formal dress shopping
Bread looks yummo
X

Raina said...

Sounds like you are bringing up one special young lady. I am so happy that she found a dress she loved and also that you got to spend time with her picking it out. Great idea the girl had to put the dresses on Facebook.

The mango bread sounds wonderful:)

Lannie said...

that mango cake sounds so good! mangos have got to be my favorite fruit (if not one of my favorite foods!), so this is definitely upgrade from other more common fruit cakes.

facebook page for prom dresses???? holy cow... that's so intense... so glad she found a great dress!

Sue said...

I just ate a whole mango on Saturday~delicious! I'll have to try this bread:) That's wonderful that you're making memories with your daughter(s)!

magda said...

I love mangoes, they make the perfect cakes and breads. I love the fact that you used oil rather than butter for this one!

Katerina said...

Kids grow up so fast and before you realize it they open their own wings and leave you! It was so good for you that you got to spend sometime with her before she leaves home to face the world. The sweet bread looks beautiful and I am sure you all enjoyed it very much!

Elaine said...

It sounds like such a wonderful time shopping with your daughter. You will cherish the memories for sure. Your mango bread looks delicious!

backroadjournal said...

Congratulations on finding not one but two dresses and the special time spent with your daughter. I can see why you both loved this bread...it sounds great.

Mary said...

They grow so fast. Trite but true :-). I'm so glad the shopping expedition was successful and that you enjoyed each other company. Your bread looks delicious and I can see why you both enjoyed it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Maggie said...

Oh my gosh, it sounds like prom dress shopping has gotten a bit more complicated than when I was in high school! A FB page with everyone's prom dresses? That's crazy talk. Glad you found a couple that worked and I bet that time with your daughter was precious.
This mango bread looks AMAZING! Like your daughter, I am not a raisin fan, but if she claims you don't even notice them, maybe I'll give it a try!

Miriam said...

How sweet!! The bread AND the time with your daughter :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Simply Life said...

oh I love the idea of adding mango to a bread!

Julie said...

We were at dinner last Saturday night when several prom couples came in the restaurant. I love seeing the kids all dressed up. Those times are so special. It's been a few year since my son last went to prom but I remember it like it was yesterday.

Such special times with your daughter. Yes, cherish every moment. I hope you'll share a picture with us of her in her dress.

C&C Cakery said...

Man, prom got really complicated. I can't believe the facebook page thing - oh kids today. I'm pretty sure I picked my dress out at a vintage store. I'm pretty sure it was from the 50s.

Man, that mango looks amazingly fresh. For some reason, I'd almost want to put a hit of chili into this bread as well!

sweetandcrumby.com said...

What a splendid shopping trip Beth! I know what you mean by having fewer and fewer moments together like that. My son has one more year left at home. Time sure does fly by. I'm so glad you found the perfect dress and at a reasonable price! Win,win! The bread looks soft and tropical. So yummy!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Wow. I had no idea that dress shopping had become so involved. Sounds like your daughter has a neat sense of style. What a fun afternoon you must have had together. I must say that I cracked up reading about you "sneaking" raisins into the mango bread.

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, sounds like you and your daughter had a beautiful time together. I know how you feel...I cherish every moment I blessed to spend with my family. The bread sounds like a perfect end to your shopping adventures! It looks delicious and sounds marvelous. Blessings for a beautiful weekend my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

shaz said...

How precious Beth! Glad you are enjoying precious time with your daughter. The mango bread sounds delightful, I'd love to give it a go. Mangoes are plentiful in our new home, and butter is hideously expensive, so this recipe sounds perfect :)

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