It only seems fitting that the first recipe should be a favorite from "Chookie Chookie" Grandma (my sister and I actually used to call her "Cookie Grandma" because she was the grandma that always had cookies at her house, but that's another story). Her recipe is for a super-moist pumpkin bread that makes your home smell like the holidays.
This is the perfect bread to make on a warm, rainy December day. I'm pretty sure it should be snowing in Cleveland, although I shouldn't be the one to ask since I've been living the Georgia the past several years. To make it feel like December, a wintery-scented candle, Christmas music, and pumpkin bread are definitely necessary on a day like today.
Tomorrow morning is our department post-final exam potluck, and I couldn't think of anything better to share with everyone. Besides good food, tomorrow brings the end of my first semester teaching at a new university. This fact is exciting in itself, but what's even better is that it means that I have a full month off waiting for me at the bottom of the pile of exams.
My husband (who has to work a lot during the holidays) is even excited for my winter break, because he knows it'll bring lots of tasty treats. Now, having started the blog, he's even more excited! Tons of delicious creations to come...
Recipe from Grandma
-1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg (I used pumpkin pie spice instead)
-1/2 cup melted shortening
-1/3 cup water
-1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg/pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a medium-sized glass bowl, melt shortening in the microwave. Allow shortening to cool slightly. Add the water and pumpkin to the shortening and whisk well. This allows the shortening to cool even more before adding the eggs (to avoid scrambled egg pumpkin bread). Add the eggs to the wet mixture, mixing well. Finally, make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Combine everything just until all of the dry ingredients are moist. Grease and flour a bread pan (mine is 4.5in x 8.5 in). Also, cut a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and grease that as well. Believe me, the greasing step is not to be skipped...my Thanksgiving pumpkin bread disaster proved it to be vital! Bake the bread for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before removing from baking pan. Cool the loaf on a cooling rack. It may be hard to wait, but let the bread cool to room temperature before cutting and enjoying!
Combine All Ingredients
(Not Overly) Greased Bread Pan