Pumpkins and Spice and Everything Nice
It’s that time of year again where it seems you can’t turn around without bumping into a pumpkin or a spice or something combining the two. Let me just be clear on this, I have NO problem with that. I love the fall and pumpkin spice drinks-cookies-candles-leg warmers have become one surefire sign that fall is here, sometimes a more predictable one than the weather outside. (Think I’m making up that part about the leg warmers? I’ve got two words for you: Google it.)
When I think of pumpkin spice, my mind goes only one place: Sue Bolter’s Pumpkin Bread. Do you know Sue Bolter? Consider yourself among the lucky ones if you do. Sue is kind, warm, wise beyond her years, generous to a fault, tender-hearted, funny, insightful, creative, thoughtful, intelligent and just plain wonderful. Suffice it to say, I want to be like Sue Bolter when I grow up. I love making any recipe that Sue has passed on to me because in some small way it helps to maintain the bond of friendship that was formed 20 years ago over cups of tea and shared meals and conversation that fed the very soul.
I think it’s pretty clear from this blog that I’m a foodie at heart partially because I love to eat good food but mostly because I really like to cook. And tied in with both the cooking and the eating are the memories I have made doing each of those things. When I pull out my recipe for Sue’s pumpkin bread the predominant memory is not of the food itself but of the woman who first made it for me. My enjoyment only increases when I see the way other folks respond to this bread because it IS delicious! I have a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old at home and I am quite certain, given the opportunity, they would eat nothing but this pumpkin bread until every last morsel was devoured. I saved and offered up the last muffin to my son today as an afterschool snack and his immediate response was, “Really?!?” As in, “Really, this one’s for me? You saved it? I get to eat it? How did you know this is exactly what I wanted?” If for some reason that I cannot fathom you find yourself unable to finish your batch, I know a place where you can unload it.
This week I’m offering up to you not just one recipe, not just TWO recipes, nay, this week I give to you – for the first time ever on The Home Grown Mom Blog – Two Recipes and a Craft! WHAT?! I think the pumpkins spice craziness has gone to my head.
This week, as you cook, eat, craft, and merely live and breathe, may you make memories that warm your heart for years to come.
Sue Bolter’s Pumpkin Bread
2 c. pumpkin (see pictures below for roasting instructions)
1 c. oil
3 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1. Mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, and sugar in bowl and set aside.
2. Mix dry ingredients in bowl and add to wet ingredients.
3. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
The Home Grown Mom’s Maple Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. maple syrup
cinnamon and salt to taste
1. Clean seeds. General consensus seems to be this is most easily accomplished by placing the seeds in a colander and rinsing with water while removing the flesh from the seeds.
2. Place the clean seeds in a medium pot filled with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Drain the water and place the boiled seeds on a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet and pat the seeds dry.
4. Place seeds in a bowl and drizzle the coconut oil and maple syrup on top, stir the seeds to ensure they’re evenly coated.
5. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and then scatter the seeds doing your best to put them in a single layer.
6. Place in 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the seeds because they can easily go from perfectly golden to charred in a matter of moments. I checked on my seeds every 4-5 minutes, stirring to ensure they toasted evenly.
7. The seeds are ready when they crunch as you bite into them. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt and cinnamon to taste, let cool and enjoy!
Rice or beans for the filler
Glue gun and glue sticks
Needle and thread
1. Using your plate as a guide, trace a circle on your fabric and then cut it out.
2. Place your beans or rice inside the circle (creating the base) and then add a little bit of pillow stuffing on top.
3. Taking your needle and thread, run the thread through the perimeter of the circle, cinching the thread tightly and tying it off.
4. Using the hot glue, attach the stem to the pumpkin, placing it on top of the portion you just sewed. Stand back and admire your handiwork. 🙂