I do love summer, but around August 2nd I get this itchy, twitchy feeling. I sort of glare at the waning growth of the flowers in our window boxes, with color draining, looking a bit limp - more leaves than flower buds. I think to myself that I would much prefer to rip out the summer flowers and replace them with mums, gourds, and pumpkins. I count down the days to September 1st, as I do believe that is when I have free license to drag out all my fall decorations and plaids, pumpkins, gourds, and all things Halloween - including Halloween trees with ornaments. Yes, September 1st has been dubbed (by me) the official day of autumn decorating. Of course for one full month prior to September 1st I pull out every September and October issue of "Country Home", "Country Living", "Home Companion", and Martha Stewart "Living" I have. My eyes drink in the delightful pages of rustic decorating, the beautiful fall colors, harvest tables sitting outside with pumpkins and apples adorning their tops. Usually there are tartan plaid blankets nearby to throw over one's lap as the air turns crisp. I yearn for open windows, cool nights, corduroy and tweed jackets, jeans, turtleneck sweaters in shades of oatmeal and charcoal. I love the trips to the orchard where we pick out our apples and pumpkins. We are almost there, I can just about taste it - and speaking of taste, what says "fall" better than pumpkin pie, apple crisp, pork loin, and a big pot of chili with cornbread. Yes, it really is my favorite time of year. And so, because I just couldn't stop myself, I made two loaves of wonderful pumpkin bread today. I wanted to share the recipe and a few pictures of the process and finished product.
I wish you could have smelled it baking - so wonderful, warm, and inviting.
It was so good. Below is the recipe.
Pumpkin Bread - makes 2 loaves
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 large eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (8x5-inch) loaf pans. In a medium bowl, beat pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture, stirring to combine.
Pour into pans, and bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. YUM!
And, just a few little Halloweeny things that I picked up at Michael's the other day - waiting for September 1. Okay, so the crow is already in our family room. I can't help it. He just looks like he belongs. Hope you're all doing well!!