Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 15oz can of Libby’s Pumpkin Purée
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with canola oil. Line the pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang in order to be able to lift out the bread easily.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix together the eggs, pumpkin purée, oils and grated ginger. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients together in one bowl.
  4. Transfer batter to the pan and then sprinkle the top with sugar.
  5. Bake bread for 80–90 minutes.

This recipe is inspired by (but not exactly like) the one demonstrated by Molly Baz, which you can find here.

Fair warning: this recipe will ruin Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf for you forever. There’s no going back when you realize how cheap and easy it is to make at home- and tastier too!

Cream Cheese Frosting

In honor of turning 34, I’m sharing my favorite frosting recipe. It’s excellent on cinnamon rolls, carrot cake, red velvet cupcakes, sliced fruit, hummingbird cake… or right off the spoon.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, never fat free (you might as well eat salad)
  • 1 stick Salted Butter
  • 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
  • Splash of Vanilla Extract (and/or Rum)
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • Sprinkle of Cardamom
  • Use a mixer on high speed to combine the wet ingredients above and beat well, then add the powdered sugar last and beat again- just when you think you’re done, beat it for another 2 minutes, then chill well.

Pop Quiz— Do you know the difference between frosting and icing? Frosting is thick and spreadable and made with a fatty base, often butter. Icing is thinner and usually made of powdered sugar mixed with a liquid such as water or milk.

Listening Lately

Saturn by Sleeping at Last

You taught me the courage of stars before you left
How light carries on endlessly, even after death
With shortness of breath
You explained the infinite
And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist

I couldn’t help but ask for you to say it all again
I tried to write it down, but I could never find a pen
I’d give anything to hear you say it one more time
That the universe was made just to be seen by my eyes

The Annual Kayak Day, 2022

The annual family paddle fell on a Sunday in July this year- the one day we could all manage it. The exact time of year matters less than the event itself. Cool water, melting sunscreen, the short rush of class 1 rapids, a stop at the “beach” for a float and some sugared sour candy. The tune of “hooked on a feeling” fading in and out as it drifts nearer and then further over the water from a glitchy waterproof speaker tossed in a dry bag. Somehow this paddle became part of our identify, a family tradition that is as sacred as a holiday.

the Patriarch and Matriarch
Kayaking highlight video, 2022
Carol Anne and Kendall ❤️
Olivia’s first year on the River
Twinkies!
We gave a cigar to the guy who took our photo.

Thinking questions: What traditions are worth intentionally cultivating? How do shared events shape our family identity?

Happy summer, friends! ☀️

Gratitude Lately

Lately I’ve been grateful for vented work shirts,
For edelweiss flowers,
For Dollywood rides and cinnamon bread,
For falafel and shared salad plates,
For happy memories of this blue cotton print,
And for springtime roses, as the hot summer looms.

Happy May! What are you grateful for today?

Hive Inspection

What does one do in a hive inspection? Mostly, a lot of looking and listening.

Looking for the Queen, brood, signs of disease, signs of swarming, honey production, Queen cells, drone cells, beetles, varroa mites…

Listening for their overall mood, easily reflected in their humming, often gentle and work-related, sometimes irritated and loud.

Whether or not you need to really “do” anything during the hive inspection depends entirely on what you see and hear. Often there’s nothing that needs to be done (except maybe refilling a syrup feeder), but sometimes there are interventions and adjustments to make — and usually, ones best made right away in order to prevent disaster — but you never know it until you take the time to look & listen. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

Hive Inspection, 2022

Gratitude Lately

Lately I’ve been grateful for cactus flowers and how beautiful things can grow from sticky situations…

For honeybees and the wisdom of beekeepers who’ve spent years tending them…

For the company of family and how lovely it is when you can share passions with them…

For shared Zionism, and that we’ve been in this together since day 1…

For memories of times before smartphones, and how some people are constants in our lives…

For Twinkie-cousins…

And for a new type of work-life balance. The photo above is from my second week at a NEW JOB- the face is me realizing that I’m home at 5:30p after getting gasoline and a car wash. What is this life of luxury?