If you were following my blog this time last year, you’d know that I love Thanksgiving. I love it for the food, the football, the time with friends and family, but mostly I love it for the tradition it holds. One of the traditions that I always looked forward to most was the delicious pumpkin bread that my mom used to make every Thanksgiving. I can remember waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of pumpkin and spices wafting through the house, and going downstairs to find loaves upon loaves of freshly baked bread. I loved this pumpkin bread – so much that it wasn’t unusual for me to consume an entire loaf (or two) by myself.
A few years ago, my mom decided that it was time to have me help make the bread, so that one day I could impress others with this delicious Thanksgiving treat. So together, we baked dozens of loaves – and I was so happy that I was being taught the recipe to my favorite childhood treat. I couldn’t wait to continue to tradition with my own family in the future (although that time came a bit earlier than desired).
After my mom died last year, I couldn’t bring myself to attempt this holiday must-have without her (easy as it was). So, as much as I loved that pumpkin bread, the annual tradition went on a brief hiatus. But this year, I decided that it was time to bring it back. And although I was on my own this year, I was ready to try. I thought making my mom’s pumpkin bread would not only help this Thanksgiving tradition live on, but it would make it feel like my mom was still with me, even when she wasn’t.
I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread this year, and brought them as gifts to the various Thanksgiving celebrations that I attended. And you know what? They were a HUGE hit! The finished product didn’t look as perfect as the loaves my mom used to make, but they tasted just as delicious as I remembered – it was as if my mom was in that kitchen baking the bread right alongside me. And it felt really good to be able to share my family tradition with other families. I look forward to baking the bread year after year, and continuing the tradition that almost went extinct.
Because my pumpkin bread was such a hit, I thought I would share the recipe. It’s surprisingly simple – seriously, anyone could do it (even me – the non-cook). If you get the opportunity to try it out for yourself, let me know what you think!
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Bread:
- — 1 1/2 cups sugar
- — 1 2/3 cups flour
- — 1 teaspoon baking soda
- — 3/4 teaspoon salt
- — 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- — 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- — 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- — 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- — 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- — 1/2 cup cooking oil
- — 1 cup canned pumpkin
- — Nuts as desired (I use black walnuts)
Sift all dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil, pumpkin, nuts. Mix well. Fill greased loaf pans half full and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Recipe makes 1-2 loaves.
Oh, and Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all! I hope you were able to spend time with the ones you love and celebrate all that you are thankful for this year.