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!!!!


Conflict 101

With November (National Novel Writing Month) approaching, I am gearing up for another month of sugar and creativity (and possibly sore wrists again from all the typing, too…). (Whoever put it in November, with all the leftover Halloween candy floating around the house, was an absolute GENIUS, in my humble opinion.)

Anyway, I’ve been studying the use of conflict in writing as of late, even to the point of watching the driving force of conflict in film, in novels and short stories I’ve been reading, and in my life.

Enter tranquility and peace…enter conflict…enter somewhat settling of conflict…enter more conflict…enter even more conflict…enter another somewhat resolution with or without tranquility.

What I discovered last year while writing for NaNoWriMo was that channeling conflict into my writing actually made me a less contentious person in life. I could give most of my frustrations, aggravations, and issues away for a month to my characters and let them figure out how to solve them. My emotional health was amazing…and not just because my diet consisted of Skittles, chocolate, rolls, turkey, pies, and varied pumpkin dishes. 🙂 I was living in creativity and loving the experience…and less personal conflict in my life!

So, all you writers (and readers) out there: Is conflict difficult or freeing to write? To read? How much is too much? And, will you WriMo this year?

PS–I’m thinking seriously about posting the novel I wrote last year in chapters on the blog. Thoughts? I could use some feedback.