Pumpkin Bread

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I wanted to bake this morning but nothing in my usual rotation was striking the right inspirational chord with me.  So I went looking on allrecipes.com for inspiration and the results are fantastic.  The inspiration recipe can be found here but I made serious changes to the recipe. 

Recipe

1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

4 eggs

3 cups sugar

1 cup applesauce

1/4 cup to a cup of Apple juice

4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ginger

1 teaspoon Cloves

 

1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees and prepare two loaf pans.

2.  Combine eggs, applesauce, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth.

3.  Next add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet.  Combine until batter is well combined and the reasonably tight.  Depending on your humidity and how loose you like your quick bread batter, add apple juice as required.

4.  Evenly divide the batter into the two pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Tips

 

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As usual, spices measurements are approximates.  Spice the bread based on what flavors your family prefers.  We prefer more ginger and cinnamon, but I know others prefer more cloves paired with pumpkins.  Allspice and nutmeg would also be wonderful additions, I just didn’t have any in the spice pantry.

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This is the consistency of my batter.  It fell from the paddle slowly and in large sections, rather than dripping quickly in small portions repeatedly.  I let the batter rest for a couple of minutes before dividing the batter.

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I poured half the batter into a measuring cup lined with cling film and placed it in the refrigerator to set-up before transferring it to a container to place in the freezer.  With just the two of us, we won’t eat two loaves prior to one of them going to waste.

The remaining batter I added a couple of handfuls of dried cranraisins and mixed them in well.  I didn’t pre-flour the additions but you can to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the mixture.  The mixture is incredibly receptive to additions.  Future additions will be butterscotch chips, apples, and nuts.  I am thinking grated carrots or grated zucchini will also make this bread even healthier, although adding either of those definitely means being sure to reduce the liquid in the batter because of the moistness of carrots and zucchini. 

The bread was a hit with my husband and our parrot, Pickles, couldn’t get enough of it.  I think the bread is dense enough to make wonderful French toast over the holidays, and versatile enough to make a savory stuffing.  I know it will be amazing toasted with a smear of cream cheese.  The recipe is actually pretty healthy, the applesauce is a perfect replacement for the vegetable oil called for in the inspiration recipe.  Personally, I always replace oil with applesauce whenever possible.

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Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone in all of it’s wonderful, glutinous traditions.  I didn’t cook this year, let’s be honest Mum still does the cooking and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.  I’m perfectly fine with that to be honest.  If we are all honest, nothing beats a homemade meal from Mum no matter how old we grow.

It was a small Thanksgiving table this year, just four of us (my parents and hubby and I) and for the first time it was casual.  I always request casual holiday events and Mum never listens to me.  She always wants to pull out the china and expensive stemware, even when there are a whopping four people sitting down to dinner.  This year she cook a small bird and a small number of sides.  There were hardly any leftovers which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  What leftovers there were, came home with us since they are on their way out of town to visit the Texas grandchildren.

Our holiday meal included the ever present stuffing and turkey but with a twist.  She no longer stuffs the turkey bird with stuffing but rather puts it in the crockpot.  First time she told me she was cooking stuffing in the crockpot I was convinced she was going senile early.  I was wrong.  Stuffing turns out moist and perfectly down.  It’s even possible to get crispy sides if you take off the lid about thirty minutes prior to serving.  I did have a hand in cooking dinner, minor in the extreme however.

A couple of years ago I discovered the secret to an always moist and juicy turkey no matter what the time of year … citrus.

Seriously, not kidding here, it’s citrus.  I know, sounds crazy but it works and no the bird doesn’t come out overly sweet or tangy from the fruit.  I usually stuff whatever citrus is in the refrigerator whenever I pop a turkey, or for that matter a whole chicken, in the oven.  Blood oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, tangerines, doesn’t matter to me they all work.  I also usually add an onion and depending on the time of the year a jalapeno or an apple or two.  I just half or quarter, depending on the cavity size, and shove the fruit and spices inside, cover with foil and stick in the oven for a couple of hours.  Foolproof, never fail delicious turkey is always the result.

It probably won’t be until sometime next week that I make turkey for just the two of us but when I do I will remember to take a couple of pictures to share.  I will be honest, I am looking forward to that meal since there were so few leftovers yesterday.