I like to keep it real. That’s why I’m willing to admit that I have no idea when the seasons technically change. I couldn’t tell you the first official day of Fall to save my life. I literally had to google it to be sure it actually was still Fall. Seriously. If you ask me when Fall Break begins and ends, though, you can bet I’ve got that date memorized, even though it changes every year. The fact is that I just have so much space for remembering things and keeping up with the calendar isn’t something I deem worthy of memory. What is worthy of my cerebral cortex, you ask? Cookies. Cakes. Breads. Pies. Occasionally I’ll make room for knowledge on political candidates but given the choice, I’ll choose carbs every. single. time.
So, since it’s cool outside and and I love an excuse to bake, I’ve pulled out one of my favorite memories to share with you today: my Momma’s pumpkin bread. Now, I don’t know your mothers (I’m sure they’re completely lovely.) but I can tell you that my Mother is an expert baker. She is something of a celebrity come holiday time. I have seen people crowd around her like paparazzi when she’s carrying a basket of baked goods. I have actually heard people cry when they didn’t receive a loaf of their favorite breads. It’s amazing.. and a little scary. What I’m trying to tell you is this: Don’t make this bread if you aren’t prepared for the life that follows it. You WILL be making it again. And again. And again. You may lose friends when it comes time to choose who gets a precious loaf of goodness. Just be prepared. This bread is life changing and shouldn’t be baked lightly.
In case you’ve got what it takes, here’s the recipe:
- ⅔ c. shortening
- 2 ⅔ c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 can pumpkin (Libby’s is best)
- ⅔ c. water
- 3 ⅓ c. flour
- 2 t. baking soda
- 1 ½ t. salt
- ½ t. baking powder
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. cloves
1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
2. Take a moment to reconsider whether you’re ready for this or not. If you are, cream the shortening and sugar together until fluffy, then add eggs, pumpkin and water.
3. Sift the dry ingredients together and stir them into the pumpkin mixture.
4. Mix until combined, then divide between three greased loaf pans.
5. Bake for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Immediately cut off the end and try it with a bit of butter. Then hide the rest. Your family doesn’t need to know about this stuff.
Originally published December 14, 2014