I have a friend – Amanda – who has expressed an interest in living like the Amish. She wants a simpler life.
Her wise husband said to her, “You know, you’d have to make your own clothes.”
She said, “I know…I could learn to sew!”
He said, “No….from the SHEEP!”
Alas, this is often how I feel about baking…like I could LEARN this stuff, but seriously, when it comes in a box, who wants to do more scratch than that?
Turns out…I do!
I started a few years ago, making cakes, cupcakes, frostings, and banana breads from scratch. My mom makes magnificent Banana bread, but I don’t user her recipe…I use a recipe from Art Smith.
Art, as a matter of fact, has inspired me a LOT. I got his cook book, Back to the Table a couple of years ago…it is DEVINE. And it sort of lit a fire under me to provide meals for my family…ok…not that BRIGHT a spark, but it lit something in me that wanted to cook and have a family dinner each day, to cook with my son and to try cooking in a way where I knew EVERY ingredient in the things I was cooking.
Its driven me to make my own taco mix (super easy, it turns out!), bake waffles from scratch, and to branch into previously uncharted territory for me…baking from scratch.
Lets not fool ourselves...I'm still the master of a 30 minute (or less) meal. But I love those creative moments in the kitchen, where I make something that didn't require me opening a box to get started.
So…in Walmart the other day, Jay noticed these bright orange sugar pie pumpkins…he wanted one. He said he wanted to make pumpkin pie. Being the purist that I am about holidays, there shall be no pumpkin pie in September - however Pumpkin Bread is not out of the question.
I’ve never roasted a pumpkin to make Pumpkin Bread from scratch before…but it seemed like something that could occupy both Jayden and I during the day on Saturday…so…we did it.
So…the pictures that follow aren’t mine. SHAME on me, I didn’t take ANY! I just enjoyed the moment with my boy. Those of you who know me as a scrapper, please don't ban me from the club. Think of the BREAD as my art!
First, you find a good pumpkin or two…One was enough to yield us two huge loaves of bread.
Then you quarter it (or half it, like I did) and clean out all the ooey gooey guts…Jayden LOVED that part.
Then you wrap it in foil and roast it for about an hour in a 350 degree oven.
When it comes out, scoop out the mushy flesh and Voila! Pumpkin for pumpkin bread with NO CAN…100% biodegradable waste. Go, me!
Turns out, pumpkin puree may not always be orange like out of the can. HMMMMMM...
I scoured the internet for a good recipe that would taste like Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf…I ended up using this one from SparkRecipes.
1 cup margarine
3 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup nuts (optional-not included in nutritional information)
1. Cream together margarine, sugar, and eggs.
2. Combine all dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with water and pumpkin.
3. Beat well.
4. Pour into 2 well greased loaf pans or
makes 24 muffins.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minute (for loaves)or until toothpick comes out clean.
Number of Servings: 24
(Ok...I know the 3 cups of sugar are not that great for the kid...but it was SO GOOD!)
It looked like this…
Before we ate it.
I feel so like I’m channeling Martha…