Thursday, October 22, 2015

Family Recipes and Traditions

 by Judy

On most days I do not enjoy cooking or baking.  All that meal planning, shopping, executing...ugh..  After so many years of marriage doing just that - well, I'm longing for a gourmet chef to come to my house and cook for me.  I wish I could be like the smiling cooks on the Food Network, but I am not.  When I bake, all the precise measuring, sifting and leveling necessary for a successful product makes me use every measuring spoon, bowl and pan in the house, or so it seems. 

So why in the world is this post titled Family Recipes and Traditions?  For some reason, when the cool temperatures hit, the leaves change color, and the cozy sweaters come out, well, that is the time of year I actually like to bake.  When I do, I love to bake the recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. 

Imagining my great-grandmother (Gammy), my grandmother (GG), or my Mother making the same recipe fills my heart.  I remember all the delicious breads, cookies, cakes and pies that all three of these special women have made for our family, and I am a sucker for tradition and family memories.  Choosing a few of my favorites and baking for my family makes me happy, and I am certain that Gammy, GG  and Mom felt/feel the same way. 

Since it is Fall, and all things pumpkin are found everywhere we look, I am sharing my favorite family bread recipe - Pumpkin Bread.  This is an easy recipe that produces a super moist bread that is great on a Thanksgiving table, or simply with an afternoon cup of tea.  I hope you enjoy, and if you have a favorite family recipe, please share it with us! Post photos of your finished product, and/or the messy process as you bake or cook, on the Focusing on Life flickr page, or our Instagram feed.   


Pumpkin Bread

1 and 1/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pure pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1 and 1/3 cup sifted flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger

I don't add anything to the batter, but if you'd like, 1/3 cup raisins, and/or, 1/3 cup chopped nuts can be added.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream the sugar and oil together, then add eggs, pumpkin and water and stir till combined.
Sift the flour and add baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and combine.  Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir till fully incorporated. 

Pour batter into a greased bread pan and bake for 50 minutes .


Dotti said...

Wow! That pumpkin bread is beautiful. It looks and sounds divine. Simple is the only way to go for me in the kitchen since, like you, I'd rather be doing other things. This is one recipe I'm going to keep and try, very soon. Thanks, Judy!

kelly said...

I love fall baking for all the same reasons Judy. Can't wait to try out your pumpkin bread recipe!

terriporter said...

Baking pumpkin bread is very close to my heart too. My sister used to bake it every year and would bring it at Christmas for everyone. We lost her in 2005 and I became the pumpkin bread baker. She used to bake it in pumpkin cans, both sizes, and the loaves came out in a cylinder and sliced into circles. She used walnuts and I do as well. Before she died, she gave me her recipe (very similar to yours) and all of her old pumpkin cans which are a treasure. If you want to start baking your pumpkin bread in cans, the first couple of years you can only get one or two round loaves but if you keep the cans each year, pretty soon you can make the whole batch, or batches, this way. I usually make several batches so I can give some away as hostess gifts when we go to Christmas parties. Yours looks so good and is making me want to bake some right now even though it's not Christmas yet!

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