Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Darn Cat

I kinda have a quick bread problem. I mean, I love them -- so satisfying to whip up, so non-threatening and eager to please. A nice sense of accomplishment. And it happens to be a sort of litmus test on our mom's side of the family. Grandma always asks how my banana bread skills are developing, and I certainly don't want to let her down.

But really, my audience for things edible is currently one young man, with dimples, who isn't all that inclined towards nibbling on bread-y things. And two catlings, but I'm reasonably certain that stained-glass bread isn't part of the usual feline diet. My freezer's threatening to stage a revolt if I try to stuff one more foil-wrapped loaf inside.

Did this stop me from making pumpkin bread the other night? Indeed it did not. It's October, people. I had no choice in the matter. You understand.

What's more, I forgot -- until I was midway through -- that this particular recipe makes three-count-'em-three medium loaves. Uh-oh. I have but one largish loaf pan here in the streamlined kitchen, and I could have sworn I read somewhere that quick bread batter doesn't keep well. (No idea whether that's actually true; I welcome enlightenment.) But you can make muffins out of this kind of batter, right? And I happen to have a muffin tin! Huzzah! Only one burned arm later, I have one large loaf and twenty-four pumpkin muffins. And the apartment was swaddled in a gorgeous warm cinnamony cloud.

And when I turned back to the counter to take a picture of the cute little muffins, here's what I saw:

Guess cats like pumpkin muffins after all.

I took the muffins to work, because while the boy gamely ate one, he wasn't going to make a dent in the remaining herd, and I quail at the thought of our kittens on a sugar high. But I still needed help with the mega-loaf that was sitting reproachfully on the counter. And then tonight I thought -- hey -- would slices stand up to a French toast treatment?

They would. They did. I dipped them in an egg/milk mixture spiked with cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest, then gave them a few quick moments on a hot pan until the sides and edges turned golden-brown and crisp. No need for butter or syrup -- the pumpkin with the spices and orange flavors was absolutely perfect, nearly gooey on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

Now I have to talk myself out of baking another loaf.

Pumpkin Bread

A basic recipe, nothing unusual here.

3 c. sugar
1 c. canola oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. water
15 oz. pumpkin

Grease three 8x4 pans (or one 9x5 pan and one 24-count muffin pan, or similar variation) and heat oven to 350. Beat sugar and oil until blended; add eggs and beat well. In a different bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add dry mixture and water alternately to wet mixture until everything's combined. Add pumpkin.

Pour/spoon batter into the pans. The original recipe says to bake the 8x4 pans for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked the 9x5 for 60 minutes and the muffins for 18 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Pumpkin French Toast

Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

1 egg
1/2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. nonfat milk
2 slices pumpkin bread (from 9x5 loaf)

Whisk the egg with the sugar, zest, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir in the milk. Pour the batter into a shallow pan and put in the two pieces of bread. Let stand 2 minutes, turning once, depending on how moist the bread is. Be careful not to let it soak up too much, or it will fall apart. Heat a smidge of butter in a skillet until it bubbles. Set the bread slices into the pan, and cook until both sides are browned.


  • At 11:25 PM, Blogger Joe said…

    The idea of Pumpkin bread french toast is awesome! Great idea!

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Thanks, Joe, and welcome! And I can attest that that pesky loaf is now nearly gone...

  • At 9:31 PM, Blogger farmgirl said…

    Great post. What a fun (and yummy) read. Loved that you shared with the cats. : )

  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Welcome, Farmgirl! I really enjoy your site. As for the cats, I initially thought only the brown one had gotten into the muffins -- but later on I found pumpkin crumbs on the orange one's whiskers. Argh.

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger T said…

    Mmm pumpkin french toast sounds amazing! I recently made pumpkin bread, but its all finished. I'll have to make some more to use for frenc toast. Great idea!

  • At 8:48 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Thanks Tanvi, and good to see you! Be careful, this french toast is quite addictive. The clerks at the nearest grocery store are starting to give me strange looks when I come up to the counter with yet more cans of pumpkin.


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