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.
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!
So, guess what? I’m pregnant! Most of the people who read this blog already know it, anyway.
Since I learned I was pregnant, I’ve been reading a message board of other mothers expecting the same time I am (February 2011). It’s been informative and fun on one hand, and fear-provoking on the other, when it seemed at the time like every new post was about the latest miscarriage. Thankfully, I’m past that stage and can rest pretty easy.
Something that really gets on my nerves is the fact that people on these boards use abbreviations for everything. Well, I guess it doesn’t tick me off that they USE abbreviations…it’s that I don’t KNOW what the abbreviations mean. Several times I’ve had to google it just to see what the crap they’re talking about. It’s annoying, but everything is annoying to me right now. I mean, I’m seriously the debil. PMS times 100. So don’t piss me off. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Do you have a favorite movie of all time? One that you can watch–and have watched–enough times that you can recite the whole thing from memory? That movie for me is The Color Purple. I just love everything about it, from the historical aspects to the coming-into-her-own story of Celie to Shug Avery’s repaired relationship with her preacher father (and with spirituality). It makes me laugh and cry and sing along…just a wonderful movie.
There’s one particular part that my husband loves me to recite. It’s when Sophia, played by Oprah, has been beaten by her husband, Harpo, at the behest of Harpo’s stepmother, Celie (the main character, played by Whoopie Goldberg). Sophia is not a woman to be messed with, and she really lets Celie have it for recommending this beating. Here’s a clip, and my part starts at the 1:00 mark:
If you’ve never seen this movie, it is definitely worth a watch. So what’s your favorite movie of all time?
I have no idea why this came up in conversation between my husband and me last week, but it did. We talk about random, weird things quite often, though. Anyway, have you ever tried to act like you’re chewing gum when there’s really nothing in your mouth? It’s hard, if not impossible! I mean, anyone can smack their lips together, but to look like you’re chewing gum convincingly? It’s really difficult and truly takes talent.
Now, look in the mirror (I’m looking at my reflection in my office window) and try it. If nothing else, you’ll start laughing at how idiotic you look.
As a teenager, I loved to dance. The Roger Rabbit and Running Man were my specialties. This was during the days of the show, In Living Color, and their Fly Girls dancers. I’d try to learn their dances (somewhat unsuccessfully). There are also some home videos at my parents’ house taped by me of me dancing. I had to practice my moves, you know? Maybe one day I’ll find the videos and put them on here for your viewing pleasure. Did you do anything funny like this as a teenager?
Finally – it’s out in the open. **sigh**
This may not seem like such a big deal but just sit a moment and think about how many times a year you are forced to sing that little diddy. For me? Probably about a dozen. It’s a wretched little song in the wrong key for me to be able to sing it. I either have to sing it very high (ala Michael Scott from The Office – oh joy) or very low (ala I’m trying to impersonate a man). Usually, I just sing it loud and obnoxiously bad so people think I’m just being silly but it’s only to save myself the embarrassment that I just can’t sing it. How pathetic am I really?