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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The King Of Fall

Ah, fall.  The season that brings about my favorite vegetable: the pumpkin.
Pumpkins are part of a family of vegetables that are breathtaking in their versatility.  Have you ever taken a moment to admire the different varieties gourds are available in?  There are butternuts, spaghetti squashes, pumpkins (of course), acorn and Hubbard, among others.  Each one holds a special place in my kitchen, but only one deserves the kind of attention that is devoted to it. 
Pumpkin is of course the king of fall.  That lovely orange squash is so adaptable.  I use it for everything: soups, side dishes, main courses, deserts, even as spreads (pumpkin butter, anyone?).  My children – and now my grandchildren – look forward to entering my kitchen on a crisp fall day; the smell of baking and cooking pumpkin with spices is intoxicating.
There is one pumpkin delicacy that I could never have enough of – pumpkin bread.  I’ve made so many loaves through the years, I’m tempted to bake it with my eyes closed.  It’s good plain, or with raisins or walnuts thrown into the batter.  My grandchildren love a slice with cream cheese spread on top.  And I am so trying that pumpkin bread French toast recipe I saw online this fall when I get this batch done!
So get a pan, pre-heat the oven.  Here is my all-time favorite pumpkin bread recipe.  Share it with your loved ones!
Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
As found on allrecipes.com
             Ingredients
                         1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
                         4 eggs
                         1 cup vegetable oil
                         2/3 cup water
                         3 cups white sugar
                         3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                         2 teaspoons baking soda
                         1 1/2 teaspoons salt
                         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                         1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                         1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
                         1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Directions
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
2.     In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  1. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Get In On It!

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