So, October is almost over, can you believe that? It’s been quite the month for me.
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been around this place much lately. That’s because October 8th, my mom was admitted to the ICU with a massive blood clot, a saddle pulmonary embolism. It was there the doctor looked me in the eye and told me that the mortality rate for this condition was incredibly high, he compared it to a heart attack and stroke, and that I should prepare myself for the worst.
My mom spent over a week in the hospital, and I stayed with her the entire time. It was incredibly hard, the worst thing I’ve ever been through, but also a really joyful time. I watched my amazing, strong mother laugh and smile in the midst of facing her mortality, I watched her pull through, I heard the doctor tell her that she was so blessed, a miracle, that most people don’t make it. I experienced the worst day of my life and the best day of my life, when the doctor walked in and told her she was being discharged.
Needless to say, it’s been a tough month. I didn’t think I was going to watch the leaves change color through a hospital window. I think that this experience has me leaving the month of October a more grateful person though, grateful for family, for modern medicine, for my heavenly father. I’m going to spend these last days of the month soaking it all in, celebrating life.
I’m starting the best way I know, with food! This pumpkin loaf is the essence of the season. It’s gooey, pumpkiny and cinnamony. What more could you ask for?
Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Pecan Filling
Adapted from Martha Stewart, makes 2 loaves
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups canned pumpkin purée
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 chopped pecans
1/2 stick butter, melted
To make filling: Combine sugar, cinnamon, pecans and butter in small bowl, mix to combine.
For bread: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and coat your pans with butter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the pumpkin and sugars. Mix until well combined, and then add the eggs and oil. Mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. With the mixer on low, add the flour in two batches, alternating with the milk, and mix until just combined.
Fill loaf pans half way, add filling, top with remaining batter.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. A cake tester should come out clean. Cool the pans on a rack for ten minutes, remove the loaves from the pans, and cool completely.