Thankful, Grateful, Blessed
For “Rodeo #1” – for which I was completely unprepared – I received a number of cookbooks as bridal shower gifts. Among my favorites was Frederica Fare, from church friends Mike and Lee Malone. If you ever want to know where the best recipe in a used cookbook is, look for the most stained and food – splattered page. In this one, it is page 163,
on which my lifetime “standout” recipe appears, submitted by Sue Bachrodt and Paula Clark, complete with a heads-up that says, “Warning: people always want the recipe for this!”
Perhaps that’s why I made it the first time in the mid-1980s. Since then, no one in my family can begin the holiday season without pumpkin bread. They start asking for it in October whenever they see the first yellowish leaf flitting its way to the ground and the crisp air awakens their sluggish lungs from a warm, humid slumber. I’ve always known this recipe had a magical way of drawing my family together, but never more did I realize this until the moment I received an unexpected phone call from The Bethany House in Clarksville, Tennessee. My oldest child had entered a year-long Christian-based women’s recovery facility late one summer and was allowed no contact with anyone for many weeks. By fall, we were allowed to visit her on the first weekend of each month for a few hours and made those long drives to spend just a few hours at the family pancake breakfasts, reveling in God’s answer to prayer and the miracle of her progress in recovery.
I knew I had my baby girl back when she pleaded for special permission to call home that day before we left to visit her for the first time – she wanted to be sure I didn’t forget to bring the pumpkin bread – the bread of breakfasts with slathered whipped cream cheese and the bread of late-night games of Scrabble huddled around the kitchen table in pajamas, with strong coffee. This is the bread of togetherness of a family – and a testament that food plays a powerful role in the roots of home and belonging.
3 1/2 c. white flour
2 t. soda
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cloves
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2/3 c. water
2 c. mashed pumpkin (I use one small can)
Sift together dry ingredients. Make a well in center. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide into bread pans. Bake at 350° for one hour or until done.
Today, I am grateful for God’s answer to three years of fervent prayers in bringing Mallory back from the brink of death. We continue to celebrate her recovery in prayers of thanksgiving every day.