Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Great Pumpkin [Bread]

It's a cold and icy and the leaves have all fallen from the wind gusts and steady rain that Hurricane Sandy brought in. I'm over at a friend's house. She fed me with roasted acorn squash on couscous and wine. I brought the tea and the pumpkin chocolate chip bread. The day was an impromptu day off. We had all braced ourselves for a very different storm than the one we got and all my Tuesday work things were cancelled. Last night I did laundry and helped Josh cook food for our students. The Hurricane had cancelled classes so we were forced to come up with somewhere not On Campus to meet. I enjoyed a quiet morning and just didn't do much of anything. I helped teach waltz and then learned how to lead standard in prep for a dance competition with my friend Megan this weekend.

I guess I'm sitting here on this couch watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" and thinking: what a lovely day.

One of my favorite pieces of the last few days was turning an old banana bread recipe from my mother's southern cookbook into a pumpkin bread recipe. It kind of melts in your mouth. Just saying. Especially with a mug of chai tea... mmm.

All in all, the hurricane was a lovely pause in life. It stopped the pattern of rolling over and over through my days. It paused me long enough to recalibrate, to pay attention to the details because they were details I wouldn't have noticed in the routine of life. My roommates came home early from work on Monday and we toasted the storm and they fell asleep watching a chic flic. Students came over and ate dinner and I met new people and heard their voices in new ways. I watched an old movie I love and fell asleep through the night and woke and prayed from The Valley of Vision in the wake of a hurricane,

Come as beautifier, bringing order out of confusion, loveliness out of chaos. (p51)

I am not noting this day to be obnoxious or to boast in having a much lovelier day than you. I'm noting this day because it is good to note the good gifts, the wonderful gifts. To point them out to each other and share them. To read beautiful things and see how those beautiful things are in every day, regardless of our attention.

Pumpkin Bread
2 cups of sugar
1 stick of butter
1 egg
2 cups of pumpkin packed filling
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups of flour
1/4 tsps salt
1 tsp of all spice
1tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
2 tsps vanilla
As many chocolate chips as you want

Cream butter and sugar.
Add the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, beat/whisk the pumpkin and soda then add to the butter and sugar mixture.

Sift together flower with all spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Add all together and mix.

Bake at 325degrees for 45 minutes [may take longer. The top will be browned and a fork clean when you stick it in the middle of the bread]

Makes 2 loaf sized pans (grease pans).

Muffins from this are amazing too and take about 12 minutes to bake. Just wait for the edges to turn brown.

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