Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Bread and a Revisit to Last Years Dark Date Nut Bread

Delicious Pumpkin Bread...just right for Thanksgiving
My first memories of Thanksgiving are of huge family gatherings! They were always at my Aunt Emma's house. She, my mother, my Aunt Louise and my Aunt Lillian would rotate holidays. My grandmother always had Christmas Eve. Back then, we would always go to the big Thanksgiving Day football game at my high school.  It was a huge rivalry, with a neighboring high school, that had started in the early 1900's. It was always so cold, you would be chilled to your bones, but would never think of not going to the game. Sometimes there was snow and we would be bundled up in our hats, scarves and mittens! There would always be a bonfire the night before the game. After the game we would be off to my aunts house for dinner, where she had been slaving away creating a delicious, memorable meal.
All the women would be in the kitchen helping to get dinner on the table. Strays were always welcome! The house was full of wonderful smells and delicious food. My aunt always served a marvelous Italian chicken soup with orzo. A table in the kitchen was full of sliced quick breads served with cream cheese, bowls filled with fresh fruit and platters of sliced veggies and cheese. Nibbling was allowed! The dining room table was set for all the adults. All the young people got to sit in the kitchen. I would so covet the dining room table...always wanting to sit with the adults. I was the oldest and considered myself to be way too grown up to be sitting with my younger cousins! The first time I was allowed to sit at the dining room table, I think I was 16, you would think I was awarded the Emmy or something equally as wonderful! Ok, I was a geeky kid!

This week all those wonderful memories came flooding through my head. My wonderful aunt is in a rehab center and not doing well. My memories of all these wonderful women, my mom, my aunts and my grandmother, cooking and working together in the kitchen are my inspiration! My love of cooking has definitely been passed down from all of them, but most importantly, my love of family and the chaos that comes with those big gatherings also has been passed down.

Thanksgiving week is a very busy week for me. That's why it's great to have a few nice quick breads on hand to serve for breakfast or snack. I always keep a few in my freezer. My all time favorite quick bread is my Aunt Emma's Dark Date Nut Bread which I posted last year. However, I also make a wonderful pumpkin bread. Make sure you have cream cheese on hand. Dark date nut bread is the best with cream cheese spread all over it! This pumpkin bread is scrumptious! In my quest to make a perfect bread using my new harvest mold I made three batches. Each batch makes two loaves. My husband and I have already eaten a loaf...yum! Several will be given to family and friends. These breads bring back so many great memories of Thanksgivings past.

Pumpkin Bread

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

In a mixing bowl, dream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Stir in pumpkin. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until bread tests done.

Just out of the oven
After three tries...Perfect!
Delicious and Pretty, too!

So nice to have for a quick breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea

This was my first stuck to the stoneware mold...Bakers Joy saved the day! By the way, it still tasted great!


  1. Kathy-I got myself so wrapped up in your Thanksgiving memories from the past, I got "goosebumps" just imagining how wonderful those time were with your mom, grandmother, and your aunts. Really so nice to have great memories from past holidays. I can't even "go" there with mine, or I would start crying for hours...missing everyone who has passed on!

    I love your beautiful pumpkin bread made in the stoneware. Sorry about the first one sticking to the pan. Your pumpkin bread looks so festive, and delicious, perfect for Thanksgiving...for us, I would have to cut down from the 3 cups of sugar, to 1 !/2 cups...otherwise I love the addition of the butter, instead of using oil!
    Wishing you, and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Hooray for Bakers Joy! What a cool pan...but I would have given up after the second try :) And I love date nut bread, too...I haven't had it in years and now I'm craving it. Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving, Kathy...

  3. You are so lucky to have these wonderful Thanksgiving memories! The breads look terrific too and now I am itching to make some!

  4. Pumpkin bread is so comforting and I think it's ideal for conjuring up some of those awesome memories!

  5. I felt exactly the same way when I was finally considered 'of age' to sit at the grown-ups' table! Thank you for sharing your family memories with us. That's what's so great about the holidays are the memories that we have shared with our loved ones. I am sorry to hear about your aunt, Kathy, but what a loving tribute to her. I know she would love that harvest mold of yours. It makes a lovely pumpkin quick bread! Thank you for the tip of eating it with cream cheese. It just sounds so delicious. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!