Pumpkin Memories

When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand cooking. Go figure. Learning how to brown meat, or boil potatoes was really not appealing or interesting. The only thing in the kitchen I did understand was baking.

My mother always baked. She didn’t do it everyday, it wasn’t the 50’s people, but when she did I remember jumping up and down on the hardwood kitchen floor full of anticipation. Baking with my mother was something magical. For me, it was a moment in time were you could be completely imaginative, dirty, and needed all at once.

Today, in honor of my mom’s birthday, I thought I would pay homage to her by making her famous pumpkin bread. And, provide a childhood memory that my mom may not even remember.

Let’s begin.

Start by creaming the butter and sugar in a large mixer or bowl.

I remember standing in the kitchen as a little girl, barely tall enough to see over the counter. Trying to cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon would be a challenge for any kid. My mom, with patience of a saint, would hold the bowl steady so I wouldn’t whip it off the counter. I could only get a couple of stirs in before my arm became sore and she would have to take over. 

After you have creamed the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, and blend until well incorporated.
My mom always let me stick my finger in the bowl before we added the eggs. There is nothing like butter and sugar mixed together to melt a kids heart.
Then come the dry ingredients. The usual suspects.
Cloves and ginger were always the spices I thought smelled particularly funky. My mom would let me measure out the ingredients, one by one. My favorite was the 1/4 teaspoon…so small, and precise.

After slowly adding the dry ingredients, a 1/3 at a time to the egg batter, mix in the star of the show. Pumpkin.

 I can still hear the sound of the pumpkin can being opened by my mom. When the can opened, she handed me a spatula and I scooped out the gooey pumpkin into the rest of the batter.

Once the pumpkin has been combined, fold in the chocolate chips and lemon juice to complete the batter.

This may have been were I get my chocolate addiction from. Snacking on these while we baked was heaven.

Scoop the batter into a baking dish of your choosing.

My mom would always hold the bowl and let me scoop out the batter. I loved scrapping down the sides of the bowl and pouring the batter into the baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, and enjoy with the people you love!

Happy Birthday Mom!! I hope you know how much I love and appreciate everything you do!

Now blow out your candle and make a wish!

Ingredients:
1 and 3/4 cup of all purpose flour (1/2 maybe whole wheat for good texture and nutrition)
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of pumpkin
2 tsp. of fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 cup of chocolate chips (1/2 package of Ghiardelli)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar well in a large bowl. Blend in the eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with the pumpkin, stirring well after each addition. Stir in lemon juice or lime, especially if you have used whole wheat flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into any size loaf pans.

Bake approximately 1 hour for a big loaf, 45 minutes for a medium, 30 minutes for a small, or 25 minutes for a regular size muffin tray. Test with a toothpick or fork in the center of bread – should come out clean.

This bread freezes expectationally well!