Like to Work

Over the last couple of days, the reality of my fall schedule has come in waves, like the itching mosquito bite by my nose. Sometimes I am merrily on my way to this appointment or that activity, with little thought to what is swelling on my cheek. Other moments, when I experience seconds of quiet while reading or writing, my mind wanders to a feeling of panic–an itch demanding to be addressed.

I know I can soften the discomfort of the bite with a little calamine lotion; I can ignore it. Scratching is my least-preferred option (though doing so feels amazing, even for just a moment).

I have choices, too, when I feel discouraged about my schedule. I can embrace the now and go to work (Cha-Cha-Slide anyone?), or I can wallow, moan, complain, and sink into the despair of my current situation. Like scratching the bite, the latter option may feel amazing–but only for a moment.

So, I choose to work…to welcome the growth that will come each day, to open my heart to the feeling of accomplishment I will feel the moment I know that I can do it–that I have done it. Now, those are happy thoughts. 🙂

Let’s go to work!

Mama’s in the Kitchen…

I’m not making shortening bread…but I have been up to my ears in pots and pans and bowls and beaters over the past several days. That’s what fall does to me. I just don’t know any other way to function…so into the kitchen I go…and what comes out becomes a blessing and a curse. (Thankfully, I also exercised and ran yesterday….) 🙂

Well, over the weekend, some loving friends secretly “Boo”ed us…as in they dropped treats at our door with a cute message and instructions to “Boo” more people within a certain amount of time…which brought me back into the kitchen (after cooking and baking most of the weekend) to make something sweet to share. I had been eyeing this recipe from Lil Luna since it was posted recently…and I found my moment to make it! Hooray!!!

Let me tell you…it was divine.

I have shied away from pumpkin bread recipes in the past due to my unhappy experiences of the bread being either too dry or not fully cooked. Either way I tried to slice it, it turned out all wrong. Fast forward several years (maybe more than a decade), and–with this recipe–I have found phenomenal success. So much, in fact, that I’m glad I sent most of it out to neighbors and friends before I really tasted it (I was too full after our yummy dinner of chili and grilled cheese last night…I told you…cooking mania over here)…because after I tried it again today, I’m thinking I might have saved a little more for ourselves. (Just kidding. At least, I hope I’m kidding.)

To top off the experience, my house smelled FAB-U-LOUS yesterday. Like fall. And today, it tasted like fall, too. 🙂

Here are my notes:  I doubled the recipe, which made three large loaf pans and three smaller loaf pans.  The batter looks really wet…especially as you add the water to it.  FEAR NOT!!! It will be the most delicious thing you have tasted lately.  I promise.  Also, the batter rises–A LOT…so fill the pans about half-way, sprinkle the streusel generously (I doubled that, too…of course!), and bake on a cookie sheet in your oven.  And–one more thing–I couldn’t find cloves, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice for half of the nutmeg/ginger/cinnamon/cloves in the bread and half of the cinnamon in the streusel.  I was a little concerned the extra spices would put it over the top, but it was amazing.

Hugs and love to all of you! & happy baking!!!!