I know I’m home when I wake up with an allergy attack to my own chocolate lab curled up at the foot of my bed. While he may be the premier snuggle buddy in the Southeast, my twin bed is hardly large enough for the two of us, and not having been around dogs in two and a half months means my sinuses aren’t ready to take on all of this therapeutic puppy lovin’. Coming home for Thanksgiving means I must sharpen up my sarcasm skills to compete with my witty teenage brothers, readjust myself to the sketchy brake pads of my dad’s jeep, and trade my warm fuzzy boots for a pair of comfy flip flops.
Rolling back into the Carolinas reminds me of various reasons to give thanks. This go-round of travel, I am especially thankful for auxiliary cords and the new Taylor Swift album. I’m pleasantly surprised and thankful for the water pressure coming out of my showerhead at home, as opposed to the mediocre water pressure of the shower in my dorm. I’m grateful for a refrigerator stocked with hummus and local pimento cheese and a freezer filled with parts of a deer my dad shot yesterday morning (my stomach is more than content with the fresh venison that we ate last night). I’m thankful for a second round of orange and yellow leaves, overly competitive family Boggle nights, and the clear skies and windy back roads through the Southern Appalachians.
Every Thanksgiving, my mom makes loaves upon loaves of her famous pumpkin bread. When my brothers and I were younger, we would stand on our tiptoes to reach the top of the counter and steal pieces of it placed so nicely on the platter. When we each had a piece or two, we would dash to the living room to sneakily snack on our favorite Thanksgiving treat before the big meal. When an adult would discover us hidden under the table and covered in crumbs, we claimed that the bread needed taste-testers–to make sure it wasn’t poisonous, of course.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, pretty fall colors, yummy-delicious-ness, and food babies, here is the recipe for the pumpkin bread that has a future at all of my coming Thanksgiving dinners. Knock yourself out.
Pumpkin Tea Bread
Source: Mom’s Recipe Book (the half-ripped page adds character…)
Ingredients: 3 cups flour, 3 cups sugar, 2 cups pumpkin (1 can of Libby’s pumpkin), 3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
Directions: Add sugar to oil. Mix well. Add pumpkin and eggs. In separate bowl, mix spices and flour well. Add to liquid mixture. Pour into greased angel cake food pan (or 3 mini loaf pans). Bake at 350º for 60-75 minutes for angel cake food pan or 55-60 minutes for 3 8-inch loaf pans (or until knife comes out clean). Can add 1 cup nuts and/or 2/3 cups raisins if it suits your fancy/taste buds.