For the love of pumpkin...
Photo credit: Charles Schiller/Country Living
One of my favorite things about autumn is the abundance of pumpkin treats. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies... you get the idea. Though I often associate pumpkin pie only with Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas), once October gets going I have a craving for pumpkin cookies and bread. Country Living has a great article on pumpkin dessert (and breakfast) recipes if you're interested. Click here for the article.
My family has a great pumpkin bread recipe that's been passed around and down, and every time I make it, my co-workers, friends, etc., go nuts for it. The only thing is you must bake it in coffee cans (3 per batch, as a matter of fact). Now I know that sounds odd and you're probably thinking, well, I can use a regular loaf pan or a bundt pan. You can, but the texture isn't as good (I know this from personal experience). Baked in the coffee cans - and yes, I know they are hard to find these days - the bread (which is really more of a dessert type item, or great with tea or coffee) is perfectly moist and absolutely addicting. In a regular baking pan, it can come out just a little dry and there's something slightly different in the texture. It's still good, mind you, but not as good. The recipe is at the bottom of this post - my gift to you this autumn.
If you're wondering what pumpkin recipes have to do with beauty, there is a relation. Or rather, there is a relation between cooking and baking and beauty, not necessarily pumpkin recipes in particular. Surrounding yourself with beauty, I believe, means more than just appealing to your eyes. Anyone who has partaken of a perfect dinner or dish or dessert will agree that enjoying delicious food is a beautiful experience because it nourishes both body and soul. When you create something wonderful in the kitchen, you are bringing a little more beauty and love into the world. And remember, that wonderful creation will taste even better served from beautiful dishes.
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
Mix starting from the top and continue down. Grease and flour three 1 lb. coffee cans. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Test with broom stick or long tester.
I've found it's best to make the bread the day before you plan to eat it. After it cools, you can remove the bread from the cans and keep it wrapped in aluminum foil. When serving, I usually cut the slices in half. Serve with cream cheese slightly softened for spreading on top, if desired. (It's bliss.) This bread makes a great dessert, or a perfect treat with your coffee or hot tea. It also freezes well.