Once again I was foiled by a power outage.
My parents came in for a visit to see the kids. But I had made plans with my mom, once the kids went to sleep, to learn how to make her chicken soup. My mom makes the absolute best chicken soup. I know, everyone probably thinks her mother makes the best soup, but mine really does. I was a vegetarian for 17 years, and my dirty secret was that I never stopped slurping my mother's chicken soup.
Then we lost power due to what Washingtonians call a snow storm. With chilly triplets, there wasn’t much of a choice in the matter. We were forced to relocate to a hotel, and my soup-making lesson got canceled.
While the kids were asleep in our (odiferous) hotel room with my parents listening in on them from the adjoining one, I was in the lobby reading Cheryl Tan's A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family.
Suddenly homesick for her grandmother's pineapple tarts, Tan realized the only way to satisfy her craving was to go home to Singapore to learn her family recipes. While there is joy in eating beloved foods, there is even greater satisfaction in cooking the foods that are so loved by others.
Her story reminded me why it matters so much to me that my kids like what I cook for them.
I desperately want my trio to feel this special connection between family and food. Granted, the little guys are only two years old and they aren't likely to remember anything I serve them tomorrow. But I know they'll have favorites. And I hope some of them are things that no one can make quite like their mom.
But enough musing for one post. I know you want a recipe. This was a tough week, recovering from the power failure. Luckily, this time I didn't lose everything from my freezer. I recovered a loaf of pumpkin bread that I froze after Thanksgiving.
And what a welcome discovery it was. Just ask Zeke. He can't get enough "pumpa."
Pumpkin Bread (makes 2 loaves)
Adapted from my sister-in-law, Rachel (in keeping with the theme of family recipes)
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans.
Beat sugar and oil in a large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.
In another bowl, mix flours, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients into wet ones and stir to combine.
Divide batter equally into pans. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing loaves.