I’m having a perfectly lazy weekend, one about which I’m determined to not feel guilty. Too often these days I find myself driven nearly to the point of distraction by my “to do” lists and a need to reach some continually elusive goal. As such, I’m a manic list keeper. I’d type one out here for you, but I fear it’d be a bit too embarrassing.
It is a blessing and a curse, as you well know if you too are a compulsive list complier. On one hand, I am very organized and, in theory, more efficient as I rarely find myself scratching my head and wondering what to do next. On the other hand, I am by times paralyzed by the magnitude of my self-assigned tasks. Since I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction when crossing off completed items on the list, I think I tend to add more and more to my lists to keep the good times rolling. But then I realize that my list for just one day fills an entire notebook page and I experience instant exhaustion. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there a twelve step program for my kind?
Long list, err, story short, I’ve decided I need to reign in my urge to constantly be “on task” and focus more on savoring the things I love simply because I want to, not because they fulfill some item on my to-do list. So, at least for the remainder of the winter, weekends are finally going to be the way they were meant to be: time with D, watching movies, taking walks, sleeping late, knitting, reading, eating a hot breakfast instead of a granola bar, snuggling with my cats… all those good things.
One of those things that I love is making bread. I really find my stride in the kitchen when working with both quick and yeast breads. I particularly enjoy kneading yeast doughs; so therapeutic. But this time, I decided to make a quick bread as I still haven’t completely satisfied my craving for all things pumpkin. And to add to the indulgence, both in flavor and in just enjoying myself on a lazy weekend, I actually then turned this delicious loaf into a breakfast/brunch favorite that you’ll just have to wait to discover in my next post. Trust me, it is a wonderful way to spend some relaxing time in the kitchen and making a delicious dish for those you love and want to indulge!
Meanwhile, this bread is super moist with a perfect crumb and hints of the warm spices that compliment pumpkin so very well. It’s a lovely little loaf for breakfast just the way it is, served warm and heavily buttered. But like I said, I have an extra special way to put it to good use that I’ll tell you about in the next post… stay tuned (and relaxed).
A Straight from the Farm Original
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/8 t. ground allspice
1/3 C. margarin, room temperature
2/3 C. sugar
2 eggs, room temp and beaten
1 C. pumpkin puree
*If you don’t have all the spices in the recipe on hand and don’t feel like buying them all, you can use a pumpkin pie spice blend instead. Use 1 t. of cinnamon along with 2 t. of pumpkin pie spice.
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease one large or two small loaf pans. Set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (I put all mine into a ziplock bag and shake it around).
Cream together margarin and sugar until fluffy. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add a third of the dry ingredient mix, then a third of the pumpkin. Continue to alternate these two until all is just combined in the batter. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for an hour or until golden brown and springy to the touch. To store for more than two days, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in fridge. You may also freeze it. Delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or turned into French toast.