Sunday, November 22, 2009
November has been...
full of rain; 16 inches of rain so far. This is not a record but the gray and wetness and wind seem to be wearing us all down. As teacher, the inside recesses are certainly getting on my nerves. Today when the sun broke through ever so briefly, even the common kitchen towel next to the shadow of the garden window geranium became photo worthy, along with strappy Madagascar palms
and the Malabar spinach climbing up the palm stems.
The hyacinth bulbs stretch their roots downwards and look so pure and perfect in the unexpected sunlight.
This morning, when the rain fell and the sky was a sheet of gray, I baked my second batch of pumpkin bread using the pumpkins harvested from our vines. Those 5 little pumpkins contain a lot of pulp. The two recipes I used are Orange Pumpkin Loaf and from Epicurus; Spiced Pumpkin Bread.
To say I prefer one recipe over the other would not be fair . Both are tasty. The Orange Pumpkin has the adjectives in the right order, that is for sure. The pumpkin is overshadowed by the orange and it is very moist. I think I would reduce the water if I were to bake it again. Really, that is true for any recipe when you use fresh roasted pumpkin instead of canned. There is more moisture in fresh pumpkin than canned. Many of the Epicurus recipe comments said to use less sugar or substitute applesauce for half the oil but I am hesitant to do either. It is so perfectly delicious as is. Making adjustments would take away some of the calories. We just need to remember to consider these breads to be 'treats' and not regular breakfast items. In fact, it is my intention to use some of the loaves as gifts.
While we could only celebrate my daughter's birthday from a distance, we were happy to attend a party for my friend Christine who celebrated one of those notable decade birthdays; I won't say which one. Christine is my best friend and the most incredible teacher ever. She has been teaching for 34 years and continues to be admired by many of her colleagues. She 'loops'; one year first grade, and second the next. Writer's Workshop, The Daily Five, Guided Literacy; she does it all AND she is a lead teacher for the second grade Science curriculum. None of that may be impressive to you but considering the inner city kids she teaches, she truly is a notch above most of us in the teaching ranks. She is my best garden buddy too. Her thumb is at least as green as mine.
This week we have a wedding reception to attend (one of those "It's about time!" situations), Thanksgiving of course (at our house) and then December is here. Our daughter will be home on the 5th, a champagne tasting on the 12th and watching the Christmas ships, the Jingle Bell run is the 13th, tickets to a Black Nativity performance on the 20th...the season of anticipation is here!