The San Francisco Bay Area is made up of micro climates. You could drive one hour in any direction from
and experience on average a 25+ degree difference. According to the weather authorities here, we
are in for a very warm week ahead and averaging in the low to mid 90’s. Living in the Bay Area, we are known for our
Indian Summers where despite the calendar stating it is fall; we have summer
like weather through the end of October many years.
We have been in a drought here for the last four years with this year being the most severe. We have a 25% reduction on water usage which is based on our 2013 usage. Hubby and I have cut our usage by almost 70% from the 2013 baseline. I hope and pray the newscasters are correct and that we are in for an El Nino year this winter – we certainly need it.
It is time again for Blogger C.LU.E. Society and for the month of September we were tasked to find a recipe with our assigned blog that had fall fruit. With the weather simply screaming summer, it made this month’s theme all the more challenging. I do love a challenge. I first searched for apple and pear recipes, and then moved onto pumpkin. I know you are probably asking yourself – “isn’t pumpkin a vegetable?” That is what I thought too until I did a bit more research.
A pumpkin is not a vegetable; it's a fruit! Fascinating - huh? In fact, it's a berry. Pumpkins belong to the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and gourds. Within this family is the genus Cucurbita which includes gourds, winter and summer squash, and all varieties of pumpkin. There are four species that are considered "pumpkins," but only one is the species most people would recognize as the traditional pumpkin used for carving jack-o-lanterns and baking pies.
This month I was assigned to A Spoonful of Thyme who is published by Kathy. She has early memories of feasting at her Grandmother’s house each Sunday for dinner. Her Mom is a good cook and so I believe she was destined for the same talents. Her cooking talents took off when she and her husband joined a Gourmet Club – that was 33 years ago and still going strong with the club – impressive! Kathy’s mantra is that she believes there is always “thyme” to cook and sit down as a family for an evening meal. Cooking is a wonderful way to bring family and friends together to enjoy food and each other. I could not agree more.
After searching and searching through her expansive recipe collection, I finally decided to find a pumpkin recipe, although the season is a little early, I say – why not! I found this great recipe for Pumpkin Molasses Tea Bread, which completely intrigued me. I made some deletions and additions to put my signature on this wonderful recipe. Thank you Kathy for the terrific recipe!
Pumpkin Molasses Tea Bread
2 Cups Flour
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Molasses
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Cardamom
½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Use a stand mixer and add the pumpkin puree, sugar, molasses and eggs and mix. Next add the vegetable oil, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix together. Then add the spices and mix. Last slowly add the flour until well combined.
Grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. Add the mixture and bake for about 1 hour. Use a knife to test the center. It will be done when it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Then turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Finish with dusting it with powdered sugar over the top. Slice and enjoy with your favorite cup of tea.