It’s the Great Pumpkin Bread, Charlie Brown

By Rainy

Recently I have put an effort to admire and celebrate the seasons. I have always been a bit of a flower child, finding myself more comfortable outside in nature. This makes it easier for me to notice not only the seasonal changes but the daily changes in weather and climate.  However, now as I am older, I spend more time indoors working, reading or surfing the internet. I need to put a conscious effort into staying connected. A few weeks ago I saw that autumn was on its way. In response I brainstormed projects and foods I could create and share with you to represent the new season.

To me nothing represents fall foods more than pumpkin. It is the most popular of the gourds. Even if you are not a fan of eating pumpkin, they are still great to look at. They arrive at the farmer’s markets right about the beginning of autumn and are a quintessential part of autumn festivities.

Pioneer Pumpkin Bread

I have a Pumpkin bread recipe from my Fanny Farmer Cookbook that I always use but this time I wanted to try something new. I decided to look online and in some of my other cook books for a variety of recipes. I didn’t find much difference in base ingredients and spices.  Some recipes add things like crushed walnuts, raisins or chocolate chips. The recipe that caught my interest is one from Old Pioneer Recipes, a small cookbook given as a gift from my aunt last year. Instead of using vegetable oil, like all the other recipes, this one uses butter. After reading the book Extra Virginity and learning about how vegetable oil is made, I am trying to reduce if not eliminate it from my cooking. The new recipe ended up working very well and tasted great with my morning tea. I may change my baking preference to Pioneer Pumpkin Bread.

Pioneer Pumpkin Bread from Old Pioneer Recipes

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, pumpkin, milk, eggs, vanilla, butter and walnuts

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup sugar

1 cup cooked pumpkin

½ cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup butter, softened

Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts, raisins or chocolate chips

First, preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In one bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. In a second bowl, blend together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, vanilla and butter. Next, add the first bowl to the second taking care not to mix too much. Then fold in any optional ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. I sprinkled some raw sugar on top for a sweet  crust. Bake the bread in the oven for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Last, cool the pan until it is no longer hot then turn the pumpkin bread out.


12 thoughts on “It’s the Great Pumpkin Bread, Charlie Brown

    1. Unlike olive oil that is a fleshy fruit that naturally produces oils just by squeezing them enough, vegetable oil comes from seeds that require industrial solvents to extract oil from them. I talk about it more in my Book Recommendation: Extra Virginity post.

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am always on the look out for ones that use fats other than veg oil. I’m a big believer in butter and dare I say I love lard! 🙂

    1. I’m glad that you can use this recipe! Lard is under appreciated these days. I may have to be brave one day and try some lard recipes. The Old Pioneer cookbook has a few recipes with lard that look tasty.

  2. a mix of half lard and half butter makes the BEST pastry! I love butter too, i know it’s bad for your heart but as my dad says “i’m gonna die anyway so i’m gonna eat butter and die happy” thanks for liking my recipe.

  3. Grandma Crosetti used to use lard to make her Christmas plum pudding. Although it wasn’t my favorite dessert as a child, I did like the sweet hard sauce that went with the pudding. The pudding was put in a covered bowl with decorative sides and cooked in bowling water, I think. It turned out like a fruit cake.

  4. I think the recipe would be the the Woman’s Home Companion Cookbook because it is a tradional recipe. It might also be called English plum pudding. Now I remember that the ingredient was suet (which might be lard). The suet was in the shape of ground meat like it was put through a meat grinder. Suet was sold in the meat case during the holiday season. Now, you might have to request it from the grocery store butcher or go to a speciality butcher shop.

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