Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My life is crazy right now with baby and family health stuff, and I had to go out of town for work last week. Alas, I DO have a post for this week, though, and it revolves around one of the highlights of my life: BREAD! With the leaves changing and cooler weather right around the corner, it’s time for my most favorite recipe to make its appearance. It just never seems to taste as good in the spring or summer–only in the fall. Now I will share it with you. The ingredients are so aromatic, it’s almost like eating potpourri (and actually enjoying it).
Orange Pumpkin Loaf
1 large orange
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped raisins (I like to use golden raisins.)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2) Cut orange into wedges, and remove seeds. Place orange, peel and all, in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped; set aside.
3) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the pumpkin, water, and the ground orange. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir into batter just until moistened. Stir in nuts and raisins. Spoon into the prepared loaf pan.
3) Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove from pan, and cool on a wire rack.
Hope you enjoy it!
This is another pregnancy-related post. Sorry. Since that’s kind of the biggest thing going for us right now, I’m sure this won’t be the last.
This weekend, as I was lotioning up my belly (stay away stretch marks!), I had the first real WTF moment of my pregnancy. I noticed with horror that my belly button is off center! Is this normal? It’s a good half inch to the right. I guess the baby is lying mostly on my right side? Come to think of it, that may explain why I have back pain on my right side, too. It makes me laugh knowing that my body is not my own, and all these odd symptoms continue occurring. It’s still worth it!
P.S. We’re pretty set on the name Owen. Either Owen Parker or Owen Tucker. What do you think?
Well, it’s really more like a jump in the hay. Get your mind out of the gutter! This isn’t really a confession. It’s more like a statement of gratitude for my upbringing.
When I was little and my grandfather was still alive, he and my grandmother had a small farm of sorts. They had cows, some of which were a rusty red color with white, curly (almost permed-looking) hair on their foreheads. I loved feeling the texture of their soft, curly faces. Chickens roamed free and made their nests wherever they wanted. We knew where all of the nests were, and I absolutely loved going to get the eggs. It was like a treasure hunt. These chickens roosted in a cedar tree that had its lower branches cut off so that it had an actual trunk. My grandfather had taken a long plank of wood and nailed little steps on it so they’d have a ladder to get up into the tree. I was at their house one time when a solar eclipse occurred. Would you believe those chickens, one by one, marched up into the tree to roost right in the middle of the day?
One of their barns had a small enclosed section that held nothing but hay. When my cousins would come to visit, we’d climb up onto the barn loft and jump down into the huge section of loose hay. It’s a wonder we didn’t kill ourselves or at least break a bone or two.
And when it got hot in the summer and we needed to cool off, we’d walk along the edge of a field of beans to get to the creek, where we’d swim until we got too tired. If you stood really still, the minnows would muster enough courage to swim up to you and nibble on your legs!
I wish every kid could have these kinds of experiences growing up. What a full childhood I had.
Hopefully he won't mind me showing you
The angle of the picture is as if he were xeroxing his bottom on a copy machine. We were so surprised! Everyone seemed to think the baby would be a girl. We had a definite name for her, which David’s parents had started calling the baby, as in, “How’s Sadie Lynn today?” Now we’re really in for some work, because we can’t seem to agree on a boy’s name……at all. This should be fun!
Any and all suggestions will be accepted!
The other day, I sneezed, peed and got a nosebleed all at the same time. That is all.
Do any of you dear readers eat your cereal or any other foods in a particularly interesting way? Several years ago, we spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. To show you how long ago it was, it was when slot machines still dispensed coins, so it had to have been at least eight years ago. These days, they just spit out a boring old receipt. For some reason, it occurred to me that the casino cups would make an excellent container for cereal eating. You can fit a lot of cereal in the casino cups, it’s wide enough that you can easily access the cereal, and the taller-than-a-bowl sides keep it from spilling. Perfect!
The bad news is the last time we went to Las Vegas was when we discovered the change from coins to tickets, which means no more need for cups. I was really bummed out, because my original cups were getting old and rickety, and I needed to replenish my supply. Let me tell you, we decided to venture downtown to the older casinos (which is a pretty neat experience), and I hit the proverbial jackpot at Fitzgeralds.
We were there with my parents, and you should have seen the huge stack of cups my mom and I smuggled out. I think I ended up taking home six of them, and my mom brought home six cups for my brother, who hadn’t yet learned the pleasure of eating cereal out of them. Well, now he exclusively eats his cereal this way, too. If you’re ever able, you should give it a try!
Remember how I asked for beach reads a few weeks ago? Well, I checked one out from the library and finished it before we even left for the beach. Let me tell you about it!
I don’t even remember how I learned of The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews, but I’m glad I did, because it was a fun read. If you love Southern culture and interior design/home renovation (and you have lady parts and estrogen flowing through your veins) you will like it.
The Fixer Upper follows Dempsey Killebrew in her move from Washington D.C. to a tiny town in Georgia after she is involved–by accident–in a political scandal. She loses her job as a lobbyist and can’t afford the high rent, so it’s a situation she’s kind of forced into. Dempsey’s new home is actually a grand old house that her father inherited, and the plan is for her to restore it for resale. The only problem is that the house is in MUCH worse condition than they originally thought. Of course, this means that Dempsey will be forced to spend more time in this little podunk town than she wanted.
However, while she’s there, Dempsey encounters all kinds of fun characters (young and old) and learns how to perform some pretty big home improvement projects. Between the life lessons learned from her new friends and the self-confidence gained through her domestic accomplishments, Dempsey really experiences a great shift in her priorities and perception.
The book has funny parts, romantic parts, sentimental parts and dramatic, “You go, girl!” parts. It also discusses restoring hardwood floors, tiling, removing wallpaper, exterior paint colors and handcrafted kitchen islands…and it even has a few recipes at the end. What more could you want?