Thursday, October 6, 2022

Pumpkin Bread

It is now officially Fall. The calendar says it's fall, but long before September 22, 2022. the pumpkin spice products roll out. There is pumpkin spice everything. Most of them I don't like but I really like pumpkin cake, bread and pie. So this weekend I baked. First I tried a recipe I saw on Tic Tok. It involves using only two ingredients. It calls for one cake mix (preferably spice cake) and a can of pumpkin. That was easy enough. I didn't have a spice cake mix so I used a yellow cake mix, pumpkin pie spice and the pumpkin. You just mix it up and put it in a greased loaf pan. The loaf bakes at 350 degrees for a long time.  It took 70 minutes.  Test at 60 minutes just to see if a skewer comes out clean. You could put this batter into muffin tins and muffins will bake for less time.

This tasted good but for obvious reasons the texture was more like cake. I like a more bread-like texture so I made a second loaf to compare. I used this recipe. There are many pumpkin bread recipes online, and they are all basically the same. This one was good, although I didn't use the individual spices. I used pumpkin pie spice.  Click the link for details but here is the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

2 Cups of all purpose flour

1/2 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground nutmeg

(I substituted pumpkin pie spice for these three spices)

1 1/2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin 

Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside

Mix together the butter and sugar, add the eggs until fluffy and then add in the pumpkin.

Put in a greased or sprayed loaf pan.  I should have used two pans as the recipe states.  I put it in one pan and it's huge.  It took a long time to bake. The recipe says 325 degrees for 65-75 minutes.  

This bread freezes beautifully, so you can make it now for Thankgiving.

 I would have shown a photo of the slices, but I forgot to take a picture. I ate the whole loaf in less than a week. I want to make another, but I don't dare. I could make one for the freezer, but I have been know to slice off frozen bakery if I am desperate. I should wait until it's closer to the holidays.

Monday, October 3, 2022

The File System in my Head Needs Organizing

I heard on television this morning that we have a lot of memories floating around in our brain and when we die they are all gone unless we write some of them down. I don't journal as a lot of people do, but I do have this silly blog. As I was thinking about this, I realized the most vivid memories are those which were extremely hard or very happy. The hard things are usually out of our control and we can learn from them.  The happy events usually have to be created. I realize everyday can't be a party, but it doesn't have to be a big deal. Even the little things can make a memory. The sad part of this is that most people remember a harsh word or a deed before they remember the person who left a bucket of tomatoes on your doorstep. Granted, this is a lot of tomatoes to take care of, but still extremely kind. I will remember the summer of 2022 where I made more tomato sauce than I did when I had a husband and a growing family.

Thinking back to every experience you have ever had, it is so strange the parts you remember. Some people remember so many things. I don't know if families talked more or if I was so awkward I blocked a lot of stuff. Maybe that is why I remember individual situations and not the big picture. I have no idea who my kindergarten teacher was. It was only a half day but I remember wetting my pants so I could go home. Obviously I needed some socialization. I learned phonics in 1st grade and climbing the phonics ladder with A, E, I, O and U long and short vowel sounds. 2nd Grade we moved in the middle of the year. This is me with Miss Ott on my last day before we moved.

I don't remember my teacher for the rest of that year, I remember my teacher's name in third grade but nothing else. The beginning of 4th grade only has two memories. One is getting a new navy and pink wool coat with a matching scarf and we exchanged names in school for Christmas. That would never happen in today's world. I got a pair of turquoise socks. I moved to Stoughton in the middle of 4th grade. It was a very difficult time to start a new school. I thought everyone in class were life long friends, and I had no connection. It wasn't exactly true, but it seemed that everyone in my class were related. I remember very little of that time except Stoughton was way ahead in learning multiplication, we danced for Syttende Mai which I had no idea about and I brought a musty smelling book to show to the teacher. I knew it smelled like a wet basement so I sprinkled bath powder in the pages. The teacher saw the powder and I acted surprised. She said someone was probably trying to repel silverfish. I had to look that one up. In a dictionary of course, there would be no Google for almost 40 years. The interesting part is after I was married and had my first daughter, my 4th grade teacher moved across the street. I always called her by her teacher name Miss Olson.  In 5th grade I remember the  "Let's Sing" radio program and still remember some of the songs. We learned the Tonette, I learned how to spell ENCYCLOPEDIA from Jiminy Cricket and CONSTANTINOPLE just because I wanted to. I could go on and on for my entire life. Junior high has more memories than high school. I blocked almost all of that experience. I had experiences like dressing up in a new dress to go to a school dance and sitting all night by myself watching people have fun. That was a character builder for sure. I have written about some of these things over the years, but it's time to focus on the positive. 

Here is one of the blogs. I have a friend who has written down everything anyone ever said in her life. She has all of her parents and grandparents stories with photos. I wish I would have done that. My grandson asked me this past weekend about the decades. He started with the 1990's, then 1980's and 1970's. I didn't have much to say. I remember events of the 1960's but with only radio and limited television coverage, I mostly remember what I have learned since. He could hardly believe it. This generation of adults and kids are constantly plugged in. I will try to recreate some of the stories from my family, but I am afraid most of them are already gone. I am happy my dad started talking about his World War II experiences in his 80's. He was able to contribute to a book about his crew and did an interview about it. On the other hand, I guess a few little anecdotes are good enough. It's amazing what pops into our heads every now and again. I just have to write them down when that happens. Who knows when or if that thought will surface again. The future generations are more interested in where they are going than where their ancestors have been. It's history they can't even identify with, but I would be delighted to see a story written a hundred years ago by one of my ancestors.