Good news! We have a ton of freezer space now. Bad news! Mike unplugged it last week when he had to replace the stairs he had to tear out in order to get the new furnace in.
I’ve been digging stuff out of the upstairs freezer a lot this week, mostly in order to feed the boys before ditching them and heading to Red Deer. Tonight was my third of four classes at The Cooking Room, and I timed it just exactly so that I would be one of hundreds detoured off the main highway to the 2A so that they could clear up the 40 or so (I’m not even exaggerating) collisions and pull vehicles from the ditch. I left Calgary at 3, and arrived in Red Deer (typically an hour and a quarter away) at 7:20. At one point I didn’t make it out of first gear for 2 1/2 hours. Bored, I ate everything within reach in the car – Jelly Bellys from the console, half a peanut butter granola bar and a slab of this pumpkin loaf, made with a glob of what turned out to be pumpkin salvaged from the freezer.
It was the product of a blissful hour W and I spent in the kitchen together this week. He came up to me a few mornings ago in his Buzz Lightyear PJ bottoms and said, completely out of the blue, “Mom, I love you. And cake.” How could we not bake one?
Really, that’s what most muffin and loaf recipes are – loaf cakes and cupcakes. The biggest difference (although some may argue there are two distinct mixing methods) is quantity of sugar – cakes tend to have more – although those rules have been blurred over the years and now it seems that even double chocolate chunk cakes the size of a cat’s head can be innocently labeled a “muffin”.
So really, this pumpkin loaf, particularly since it’s studded with chocolate chips, is referred to as “cake” in our house. It’s made with canola oil and less sugar than many cakes, but you could still probably take it down a few more notches if you like.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk, thin plain yogurt or milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans, or a combination
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″x5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with a few handfuls of chocolate chips and/or nuts, if you’re so inclined, and stir just until the batter comes together. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until the top is cracked and springy to the touch.
Sorry, I completely blew past Free Stuff Friday last week. I’m still disoriented, in a (seedyish, but then again I’m spoiled by the Faimont JPL) hotel in Red Deer listening to the guy in the next room cough (I hope) from under my 100% polyester covers. And I do have a little loot bag to give away – it was the swag from The Cookbook Company’s 25th Anniversary soiree last week, and the only thing I ate from it was the Hardbite potato chips. Still in there: a copy of the Dishing cookbook and a bunch of interesting edibles from the store – to be honest I can’t even remember them all now. Suffice to say it’s a delicious little bagful of loot.
So what did you have for dinner this week that was memorable? Any turkeys?