Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Tuesday, May 12 with the result of Cortney Anderson-Sanford’s appearance on Episode 1 of “Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart.”
Cortney Anderson-Sanford’s stay on “Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart” was short, but sweet. Just a little too sweet, according to the judges.
The Magnolia mom and etiquette coach was eliminated Monday night following the first round of the Food Network’s newest reality competition show.
After calling her chocolate cake with ganache and raspberry creme “an impressive-looking dessert” and “tasty,” Martha Stewart dropped the hammer: “But this is too much.”
Anderson-Sanford took her disappointment in an early exit in stride, reaffirming her own suspicion that she’s probably too nice for the cutthroat world of competitive reality television cooking.
The goal of the show was to win $25,000 toward a dream kitchen, but Anderson-Sanford feels like she won something more important: new friends, who she’s stayed in touch with since shooting the show more than six months ago.
“I think that I would rather see someone else win than myself, to be fair,” Anderson-Sanford said in an interview before the show’s debut. “Just because I’m the mom. You want to raise everybody else up and I just wanted everybody to be successful.”
Like her five fellow competitors, Anderson-Sanford struggled at times with the setting for the home-life magnate’s latest show. Each episode was recorded on an outdoor soundstage and contestants were confronted with heat, humidity, rain, bees and the many variables you deal with when cooking under an open sky.
Monday’s initial challenge was elevated s’mores, the traditional campfire dessert made from chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. Sounds easy, right? Not so much.
“I think cooking on a soundstage versus your home kitchen is way different,” Anderson-Sanford said. “I think that is something that surprised me and is challenging. Also, I have a Seattle-sized kitchen, not a huge, stage-sized kitchen, which is a little different.”
For the record, the judges said her creation made them feel like they were “glamping.”
As she continued to cook, Anderson-Sanford found herself making sure she wasn’t undercutting fellow competitors: “And then, because we became such friends on the show, just navigating [became difficult], not competing necessarily against the other contestants, but just navigating physically, making sure that you’re not taking something that someone else sees, because I live by the mantra of being kind and loving to others and really helping other people out.”
That mantra began in childhood and defines Anderson-Sanford’s life: “I pretty much teach people how to be polite and kind,” she said. Her parents, Ron and Sandra Ravenscroft, disconnected from modern life and raised her on a self-sufficient farm in New Hampshire for part of her childhood. They grew their own crops, raised livestock and chopped wood for heat and cooking.
She learned to cook in a little Airstream trailer her parents used as a kitchen.
“We grew, smoked, pickled and cured everything,” Anderson-Sanford said. “My parents were really kind of original foodies in the ’70s.”
She’s carried that forward into her adult life. One of her sons just started his own vegetable garden, and she finds herself compelled to spread good cheer around the neighborhood in these dark times.
“We have a sourdough starter on the kitchen counter just like everybody else right now, I think,” she said.
“Have you heard of friendship bread? It’s from Pennsylvania Dutch country, and it’s a sourdough starter that you make into a sweet cinnamon loaf, and then you give your friends the bread and a bit of starter. And then it becomes this chain letter of friendship bread that goes around the neighborhood. So I started that.”
Anderson-Sanford was kind enough to share her friendship bread recipe, which you can find below.
Even though Anderson-Sanford is no longer on the show, “Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart” airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on the Food Network. Extra content can be found at FoodNetwork.com/BakeawayCamp.
Cortney Anderson-Sanford’s Not-So-Distant Friendship Bread
Friendship bread is the sweet cinnamon chain letter of baking. With the stay-home order currently in place, this is a nice way to safely share a connection with friends and family. This is a simple, starter-free recipe that makes two loaves, so bake away — then print out the recipe and give the gift of a loaf of friendship bread.
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1½ cups buttermilk
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups unbleached white flour
One 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup nuts chopped (or use walnuts)
1 cup raisins or currants
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine ¾ of a cup of the sugar with 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon.
3. Grease 2 large 8-by-4-by-2½-inch loaf pans and dust each pan with a quarter of the sugar mixture and set both aside. I put parchment in the bottom of my loaf pans before I grease and sugar them. The other half of the sugar mixture will be used to dust the top of both loaves.
4. Whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract; set aside.
5. In a large bowl mix together flour, 1 cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, pudding and nuts, if desired.
6. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then divide batter equally between 2 pans. This will be similar in consistency to thick pancake batter.
7. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.
8. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
9. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around edges before turning out onto cooling rack. Beware of cinnamon showers from each loaf.
*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk; you can also water down Greek yogurt or sour cream with a bit of milk.