We all have recipes for special foods that evoke memories of bygone kitchens and baking sessions with beloved family members. I kept track of our Christmas sessions for the past 20 years and I'm sharing it here. I also sprinkle in other cookie-related content and my current cookie obsession along the way.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
1995 - Mom & Dad's Pumpkin Bread
Michelle helps Dad make a giant batch
of Pumpkin Bread.
We didn't make Pumpkin Bread this year because Dad has been baking mega batches for the last few Christmases. He really enjoys it and he loves giving it away as presents to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors at this time of year (and they love getting it too!).
Even though he technically makes it, he gets lots of help in the kitchen. Of course, various children and grandchildren in the vicinity are called on as assistants to mix and measure. Mom used to combine most of the ingredients for him (probably saved her numerous trips into the kitchen to find ingredients hiding in the fridge and cupboards!). She would measure out all the spices and dry ingredients, so all he had to do was grab a few eggs and a can of pumpkin, and measure out some oil and water. But he would make so many wonderful loaves that she couldn't keep up. So, she wrote the recipe out and taped it to the inside of the spice cabinet for him.
Whenever I open my own spice cabinet, I think of Mom. Mine is just as full and unorganized as hers always was. When I was a girl at home, I would have to drag a chair over to see and reach inside to find the spice or herb I was after. She had the stalwarts and standbys — cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, thyme and dill. But there were exotic mysteries too — mace, cumin, saffron and turmeric. And what in the world was cream of tartar? Those unfamiliar titles tended to stay near the back, in smaller jars; while the giant tin of cinnamon was always up front to make cinnamon-sugar for our toast.
We used to use Grandma Baker's recipe but Mom made changes to it over the years and we now call it Mom & Dad's Pumpkin Bread. They've always baked it in coffee cans ever since I can remember (and the lines from the cans — much like the lines on tinned cranberry sauce — serve as a guide for slicing). A loaf pan will do as well but tends to result in hunks without the trusty guidelines but metal coffee cans are a rarity these days.
Lisa, like most people, eats it as is, which is delicious. Mom and Dad almost always put butter on it. I like it that way too but I sometimes have it with a smear of cream cheese. Any way you slice it or top it, it's delicious and, in our family, it's Christmas.