Pumpkin Bread

The pumpkins are here! I love the festive orange dots scattered everywhere; when I see one, happiness bubbles up in me. If the pumpkins could talk, they’d say “PARTY”! And then I think of pumpkin pie, cookies, and bread. I often wonder why a person would buy a can of pumpkin when it is so easy to chop up a pie pumpkin, pop it in the oven, and then purée it. The lovely aroma of pumpkin wafts through the kitchen and you know that something good to eat is on its way. If you can find an heirloom pie pumpkin, that’s even better.

The following recipe is for my favorite quick bread. It’s an un-recipe because you can make it with pumpkin, bananas, or zucchini. I love to eat this in the morning, toasted with lots of butter. Eating something this delicious —and nourishing —makes me happy to be alive. The quality of one’s life can be measured in the number of simple little pleasures that occur throughout the day. You don’t even need a mixer to make this – just a mixing bowl, spoon, and some elbow grease. I like to use my hands cuz’ then I get to lick my fingers when I’m done. Yum!

The Very Best Quick Bread or Muffins

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ to 1 cup sugar
Spices: ½ tsp each cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger or, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie or chai spices or any other combination of warm spices
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pumpkin, bananas, or shredded zucchini
Chopped nuts and/or raisins, figs, dates

Combine the dry ingredients. Combine the moist ingredients then thoroughly mix the dry with the moist. Pour into a greased loaf or muffin pan. You can vary the size of the loaf or muffin pans– just make sure they are filled about ⅔ of the way. Bake in a 350⁰ oven for 35-40 minutes or until it starts to pull away from the edges of the pan and cracks appear on the surface. Cool in pan. This bread freezes well, too.

I like to make this via the “assembly line” method. You can make multiple batches of the dry ingredients and store each batch in one quart mason jars. Then all you have to do is round up the moist ingredients and whip a loaf together in just a matter of minutes. I did this one time with my friend Rachel.  We gave some of them away with the recipe written on a tag that was tied to the jar with a ribbon.

So there you go – another “un-recipe” recipe just in time for Halloween.