I have a confession. I am a coffee lover. Maybe it’s the fact that coffee shops are EVERYwhere. There are the plain white cups with the brown sleeves at the local shop two blocks away. When I take my kids to the library, the Brothers stare me down. Still, it could be that I shop at Target, and the topless mermaid calls my name as I walk through the door. Whatever it is, I know that it gets worse as the weather in Minnesota gets colder.
But I am a big believer in doing it myself, living with what I have at home. I can resist the pumpkin spice lattes, the salted caramel hot chocolate, the iced cremas and the like. I can make something here that will get me through the day. I know the amount of water that goes into making a latte at your favorite coffee establishment, and so I sit here with my cup, given to me by an old employer in 2002, and I fill it with the coffee that I, myself brewed in a reusable filter, and I limit my trips to the coffee shop to three times a month or less.
But this isn’t really about the coffee. While I have been able to satisfy my spiced coffee urges, my iced caramel macchiato cravings, there is still this business of the bakery items. Sure, I can make my own giant, chewy cookies. I can do muffins and scones and banana bread, but there was this one item that appears about this time every year behind the glass at Starbucks. Pumpkin bread.
Now, it’s not so much that I can’t make pumpkin bread, because I can. The issue was that it was not THEIR pumpkin bread. It was never dense enough, moist enough, spiced just right. I always came out disappointed. They weren’t bad recipes; they just were not what I was looking for. I wanted something more.
So I did it. I created my own moist, dense, spiced pumpkin bread. The one that I stare at behind the glass. The one that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee on a cold fall morning. The one that I thought I could not conquer.
And then I added a bit of streusel on top for good measure. Who doesn’t like a good crumbly topping? But if you’re opposed, want something a bit more traditional like they serve from behind the glass, you can leave it off. Just be sure to immediately wrap your loaf once it starts cooling in an airtight container, plastic wrap, a zip-top bag, whatever. You want to seal the moisture in.
Not only did I manage to conquer my pumpkin bread mountain, but I also made a step in the direction of something I’ve dreamed about since I was on the newspaper staff my freshman year of high school, when I would write and submit stories and poems and anything and everything to journals and contests and wherever else. And while it may have been completely by accident, luck, chance and a few stars aligned just at the right time, I find myself with an actual, legitimate writing job. I’ve been hired to write a few posts on a regular basis for Cascadian Farms, and I couldn’t be more excited!
The Disclosure: What I post there I am paid for as an independent contractor, and the content will be similar to what I post here, actually: recipes, thoughts on food, ideas about food, facts about food. It does not affect my blog in any way, shape or form. This blog is my baby (because we’re stopping at four, people), where everything I say, write, sing or scream about is solely my opinion, thought up and created by me, for me, for my family and, most importantly, for you. So, you can come visit me there, if you’d like, and more importantly, THE pumpkin bread recipe. It’s worth the very little effort it takes to make it. Your belly will thank you.