Since January, we’ve made an intentional plan to savor our Saturdays by starting with coffee and dialing back the pace of life. Boo Radley and his brothers helped us do that today. All three dogs were in different chairs, in different sleeping positions, strewn across the furniture like cozy throw blankets on this cloudy, cold afternoon – inspiring us to kick back and take it easy.
We started the day at 1828 Coffee Company with a cinnamon roll, a slice of breakfast casserole, cheese grits, lemon biscotti, coffee, and lavender latte. What a feast! What a treasure! The gifts of time, togetherness, and relaxation without pressing deadlines are on my list of gratitudes for today.
“Today, make discovering those joyful simplicities that bring you personal comfort and a sense of well-being one of your highest priorities.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
At my bridal shower in 1985 given by the ladies of First Baptist Church of St. Simons Island, Georgia, I received a lot of cookbooks and tried-and-true recipe cards. The ladies in that church who had practically helped raise me were tremendous cooks, and I was over-the-moon thrilled to have a coveted collection of the recipes that gave me an inkling of hope of being like them in the kitchen.
Over the years, from the beginning of my young married life through raising children and even through divorce and remarriage, one recipe was an instant hit and remains a family favorite through it all. I make it only during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to keep it sacred and anticipated. When I visited one of our daughters who lives 6 hours away for Christmas 2022, she had already told many of her friends, “I hope my mom brings her pumpkin bread.” When she introduced me to them, I wasn’t surprised to hear that my pumpkin bread reputation had preceded me!
Times shared together when everyone has gathered during the carefree, unrushed holidays around a table or in small sitting areas with coffee and conversation, where candles flicker and the clinking of forks on tiny plates adds to the joy of togetherness against the backdrop of a football game on TV, where children play games and watch a parade, where family news is being shared and good books are being discussed and political views are not~ ~ ~ that’s pumpkin bread season. For anyone who pursues the Danish concept of hygge, pumpkin bread is at the top of the list. It works its comforting magic and hits the spot!
Today, I share the recipe for the pumpkin bread that has been our tradition for nearly 40 years. I’ll also add that it freezes well. Sometimes I split the loaf into two large loaves, but sometimes I make mini loaves so that my husband can take one to work for breakfast each day throughout the week. I fill pans about 2/3 full so that it gives room to rise, and I adjust my baking times for size. When there is one tiny bit of uncooked dough in the top of the rise, I remove it from the oven and allow it to finish cooking in its own heat during the cooling process. If freezing, I wrap in foil and place in a Ziploc bag once cooled.
Recipe for Pumpkin Bread II from the cookbook Frederica Fare: