pumpkin cranberry bread

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's almost Thanksgiving! (My very most favorite:)) Don't you just love Thanksgiving for all that it is (food, family, gratitude) and all that it's not (shopping, wrapping, hustling about)? I have so much to appreciate this year. So many blessings.

I can't believe I'm already in the home stretch of this pregnancy. At 35 weeks along, I'm seriously slowing down. And for someone who is usually on the go (and who kind of loves to be on the go), it's been strange and also surprisingly nice. It's not the kind of slowing down where you try and talk yourself into taking it easy. Physically my body is requiring it. I'll be standing there talking to someone and this one-track-mind urge hits me and I can't even focus on what they're saying because my whole body is screaming for a place to sit down. Take a load off, it says, put your feet up.

I imagine, too, it's awesome to surrender to this deceleration. Because once the baby arrives (I hear) you enter this dreamy, hazy, sleepy, sweet, intimate time where you just slow slow slow down to the baby's rhythms and take it all moment by moment. I can feel myself being lulled there. Mind if we finish this conversation lying down? My eyes are closed but I'm totally listening.

I had to run waddle to the grocery store early this morning to get a couple last items for my Thanksgiving dinner contribution and as I was enjoying slowly moving about and gathering this and that in the quiet store, I came upon one of my least favorite of the store's employees: a super swarthy and oily fellow who looks like he actually might tie someone to a railroad track while twisting his pointy mustache. This guy always seeks me out, too, despite my best efforts to avoid him. He's always switching checkout lines to bag my groceries and make awkward conversation. Let me put it this way: there is another employee there who has a hook for a hand and he's not nearly as scary as this dude. Here's how it went down today:



ME: "Hi."

SWARTHY VILLAINOUS GROCERY FELLOW: "I can't wait to see your baby."

I smile uncomfortably.


ME: "Um. Well, not now. He's still cooking. But I imagine someday you might see him."

Much to my chagrin.

SWARTHY VILLAINOUS GROCERY FELLOW: "What's wrong with your eyes?"

ME: "Uh…sorry?"

SWARTHY VILLAINOUS GROCERY FELLOW: "They look very sad today."

ME: "Oh."


ME: "Um. I don't know. Maybe because I don't have any makeup on."

He looks closer.


Awkward beat.


ME: "Well, I was. Before this conversation."

He laughs maniacally. And for the first time in a long time I wished I could make a quick getaway.


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
yields one loaf
adapted from Bobby Flay's Pumpkin Bread

Promise me you'll make this before you put all the pumpkin away this season. It's super moist and crazy delicious with those sweet-tart cranberries cutting through all the spicy spices.

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (you can sub up to half of this for whole wheat flour if you like)
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
4 T butter, softened, plus more for buttering the pan
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (unflavored)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed, sorted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9" loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar and oil together on high speed until creamy and fluffy, scraping down the sides when necessary. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, mixing in between. Mixing on low, add the flour mixture a bit at a time, alternating with the water, until everything is just mixed in. Stir in the chopped cranberries. Pour into your prepared pan, bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer tester comes out clean and let cool completely.

I'm thankful for YOU!
Hope you have the most Happy Thanksgiving:)

P.S. Still need recipes for your TG feast? Joeycake has a "Thanksgiving" section in the recipe index!

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