Falling into Autumn

Well, it my favorite time of year again, Autumn! The harvest moon fills the night sky, the smell off turkey in the air, the leaves have turned colors and a sense of comfort comes about. Fall includes the months of September, October, and November and they produce one of the greatest vegetables of all time…PUMPKIN! A pumpkin is in fact a member of the squash family. once the seeds and fibers have been removed, the flesh is eaten cooked, often a soup, in a gratin or as a puree, it is also used as pie filling sometimes mixed with onion, especially in northern France. In southern France, the pumpkin or Citrouille (as the French call it) is harvested from the months of October to December and keeps through winter. The Pumpkin can be used for a variety of things like pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin gratin a la Provencal, pumpkin bread, and the list goes on. In The spirit of Fall I’m providing you guys with a treat, of Pumpkin bread. Its warm spiced flavor is perfect for this time of year. Enjoy and Happy Autumn!!!

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pumpkin purée*

1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins

* To make pumpkin purée, carve into the pumpkin removing the stalk on top, then remove the seeds and pulp, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts and raisins.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.

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