Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pumpkin is Not Just for Thanksgiving and Halloween

My family has a tradition of traveling from Wisconsin to Dallas, Texas to spend Christmas with my family who lives there-my Aunt Mary, Uncle Rich,and originally my two cousins Christina and David. Our family expanded when Christina married Jonathan and David married Catherine. I feel very blessed that we have kept this tradition going for 24 years; it has made Christmas special and given me the chance to know my family despite the states between us. This year, Christina and Jonathan, who now live in South Carolina, couldn't make it because it was too difficult to fly with their precious baby boy, Owen. I made the tough decision to not travel to Texas this year either. I hope to join my family in Texas a different year when the whole family can be together.
An outdated but a classic picture. From left: Catherine, David, Myself, Jonathan, Christina
Our Christmas Tree. Some years it has been even bigger.

 I spent three fantastic days celebrating Christmas with my wonderful boyfriend, Paul and his welcoming family. Although I missed my family in Texas and our little traditions like watching "A Christmas Story" repeatedly as it plays for 24 hours on TV, and all of our inside jokes we have created over the years, I had a fun, warming Christmas with Paul's family. If I had to spend Christmas anywhere besides Texas I am thankful I was able to spend it with Paul and his family. I know that our Texas Christmas tradition hasn't ended, it has just been altered; we're a close knit family who will continue the family gathering for years to come, as much as we can.
Paul and I at my friend Allisen's wedding that I was in this summer

Now on with the recipe I made to share with Paul's large family, Pumpkin Bread.


2/3 cup shortening or 3/4 cup butter
2 and 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin (without spices and sugar added)
1/2 cup water
3 and 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg (I added this because I love nutmeg)
2/3cup coarsely chopped nuts
2/3 cup raisins


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. In large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Stir in eggs. pumpkin and water. Blend flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Pour into pans. Bake about 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

I omitted the nuts because not everyone likes them and I added the nutmeg because I love the extra spicy nuttiness it adds to any recipe like this. The pumpkin bread was a big hit with Paul's family. I have to agree, it was really delicious. Similar to pumpkin pie, only you can eat it as a snack, because it's not as sweet as pie, at least that's what I tell myself.

Pumpkin Bread
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas spent with family and friends, and didn't receive any coal from Santa Claus. There will be more recipes to come using the Marinade Express very shortly, I promise.

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