I baked pumpkin bread with one hand tied behind my back and a teething, nipping, "crazy-town" puppy rolling around at my feet. I wouldn't recommend this, but it was how my bread came together. Simple is what I'm about in the kitchen these days. Pumpkin is like my favorite veggie of all time. The ginormous display of pumpkins I nearly ran smack into at the grocery store the other day (as I navigated the aisles in a sleepy haze of hunger and loyal duty to keep the home stocked with food stuffs not related to canines) gave me the inspiration to run home and FOR ONCE bake. This bread turned out to be one of my best yet. (Of course I say that every year I bake pumpkin bread.) Lo the pumpkin bread gods were shining down on me. I love a spicy pumpkin bread--nothing too wimpy or too cake-y. I want to taste fall: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger and new this year: fresh ground pepper on top. We shared a slice this morning over coffee as I was
screaming at "Frankenstein" to stop it making breakfast.
Funny thing happens after several weeks of a new routine. Adaptation to the order of things, as abnormal as they may seem, kicks in. Sure, I'd love a good eight hour beauty sleep night. But those are gone for the time being. Yes, Francine is sleeping better, but her murmurings and movements during the night wake me every single time. (I'm the light sleeper in the family.)
Meantime, our growth spurts and puppy outlandishness continues. The other day she tried to leap over her sissy in an unsuccessful attempt at "play". This landed her on all fours with a bigger problem of how to explain to her counterpart that she was not intending her to be an indoor slide, just saw her as an impediment on her way to the water bowl. (We are a ways off from being polite and learning to "just go around the sleeping adult dog".)
Puppy Kindergarten begins this Thursday!
It suddenly dawned on Dr. Thyme that she was the only puppy out of her litter without a "shadow". She had her second doctor visit and puppy shot day this week. She is now nine weeks old and weighs in at a 16.7 lbs.! Whoa.
This weekend we went on yet another excursion. She met her first "Lake". Quite the big deal. Almost too much for her little brain (but large head) to take in.
Meantime, there is the problem of my having to watch for birds of prey staring down into the back yard at white fuzz ball with
appetizer longings curiosity.
Ahhh. Knitting. Where would I be without you? The world has just begun to smack of "normalcy" as I was able to pick up my knitting needles for the first time in weeks. I would sneak a stitch in here and there and be frustrated with the lack of total immersion one who knits seeks as they count off a row. I have three projects stopped cold--with middles of rows completely left idle. WHAT is happening cannot keep happening. This is crazy! My sanity depends upon that string and those sticks working in my hands.
This yarn arrived the other day from Yarnbox this month. Is it not lovely?
Delicious Yarns, Sweet Sport in Green Tea and Blueberry. I can hardly wait to begin knitting with this. I have to wait for the Yarn Project Whisperer to tell me what exactly it wants to be first.
Vegan Spicy Pumpkin Bread
*Makes one 8- by 4-inch loaf
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
fresh ground pepper *ground over the top of the bread before baking--optional
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a loaf pan with non-stick baking spray. In a medium bowl, sift together all dry ingredients--including the spices. Set aside. In another bowl, add the pumpkin, sugars, oil and water. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a spoon just until the dry ingredients are moist. Don't over mix! It will be lumpy--and that's okay. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Add a couple turns of fresh ground pepper over the top of the batter before baking (this is optional, but completely took the bread to a whole new level IMHO). Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread toward the end, test for doneness by sticking a knife in the middle of the bread--if it comes out clean with only a few crumbs sticking to it, it is ready and can removed from oven. (The key to the moist bread is to have the bread fully baked, but not over baked--I know, it's a fine line here, but you really want to have it baked through--so testing it helps.) Allow to cool completely in pan. Remove from pan when cool and wrap in plastic wrap and foil and store in the fridge. Enjoy!