I had a great day yesterday! My daughter is out of school this week, so I’m just loving having her home. On top of that, we got to hang out at my mom’s house and do a little cooking. I love days like that.
My mom has an extensive recipe collection that includes many many old recipe cards. They are so fun to look at. Some are from my Grandma or my great aunts. Some are from old friends of my mom or of my Grandma. And some are recipes my mom cut out of newspapers over the years. Looking through this is not unlike looking through a photo album for me. I’ve always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. Seeing the recipe names evokes such an emotional response from me. They are written in handwriting I recognize from people who aren’t with us anymore.
Growing up, my family tried to eat dinner together as often as possible. I’m one of three kids and we were all pretty active. Sometimes one of us was missing from the table because of a sports practice, a game, a Girl Scout meeting, choir, alter serving meeting and who knows what else. My mom would put together a meal and put it in the fridge for whoever was missing. 95% of the time my mom prepared a home-made meal, I was really lucky that way.
On many Sundays we would have dinner at my grandparents house. Roasted lamb with mint jelly and peas was common in the spring and one of my favorites. My Grandma would set a beautiful table and make a delicious meal followed by a more delicious dessert. I really enjoyed to formality and the fancy dishes and table cloth. I loved smelling dinner cooking in the oven. I always like to see my Grandpa get out the electric knife to cut the roast or whatever delicious thing we were having. Those are really special memories to me.
My mom is a fabulous cook and is never afraid to try new things! In that spirit, my mom tried a new pumpkin bread recipe yesterday and we had a taste test!
This is what her usual recipe looks like. It’s dense and has a good amount of spice, mainly coming from cloves and cinnamon.
We decided to try a recipe from my brother that included buttermilk as one of its ingredients. The recipe on the left is the one we made and the additions to the right is the difference between my mom’s usual recipe.
- 2 cups pure pumpkin puree (VS 4 cups)
- 4 eggs (VS no eggs)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (VS 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup water (VS no water)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk (VS no buttermilk)
- 1 2/3 cups sugar (VS 4 cups)
- 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar (VS no brown sugar)
- 3 1/4 cups flour (VS 5 cups)
- 1/4 cup cinnamon (VS 1TBL)
- 1 TBL nutmeg (VS no nutmeg)
- 1TBL cloves (VS 1 TBL)
- 2 TBL ginger (VS no ginger)
- 1TBL allspice (VS no allspice)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (VS 4 tsp)
- 1 tsp salt (VS no salt)
- 1 cup raisins (mom likes golden raisins so we used them in each recipe)
My mom likes to store her sugar in these old tins. She calls them old I call them vintage and nostalgic.
OK, add all your wet ingredients (except the eggs) together. We used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you can use whatever you like. Beat your eggs in a separate bowl.
After your wet ingredients are incorporated, slowly add in the eggs.
In a separate bowl, get all your dry ingredients together. The slowly add, in batches, to the stand mixer.
Mom Tip: put a towel over your mixer when adding the dry ingredients. This will stop all that flower from flying all over your kitchen.
Put that mixture into greased loaf pans and pop into the 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes rotating every 20.
And voila! These loafs look beautiful. They are much taller than her normal recipe. After a taste test that included me, my niece, the neighbor, my uncle, my dad, and my mom, everyone thought both recipes were delicious, but that my mom’s normal recipe had a stronger spice level. You could taste the buttermilk slightly. So, if you like a good amount of spice go with her original recipe. If you like it a bit more mild, try this one. I personally will stick to her original recipe.
And don’t forget yet another pumpkin bread option from Erica. So many to choose from. Can you tell I like pumpkin bread??? Well, at least you have options to satisfy your personal taste!
Next we made a staple at our holiday table. Cranberry Orange Sauce. Yum! Yes, we have the canned jelly stuff too usually laying on a beautiful piece of crystal. That always makes me laugh. You can see the lines from the can contrasted against the sparkly cut crystal. Anyway, I’m partial to this sauce! I grew up on the stuff! It’s super tart and sweet all at the same time. It’s the perfect pairing with hot turkey and gravy. There’s quite a bit of sugar, but it uses whole fruit. So buy organic if you can, otherwise clean the fruit really well.
Here’s the original recipe in my Grandma’s handwriting. Love that! In case you can’t read her writing, here you go:
- 4 cups cranberries
- 2 oranges quartered
- 2 cups sugar
Mom says you have to pick through the cranberries to make sure there aren’t any bad ones. My niece, Hope, is getting it done.
Good job Hope! They look pretty!
Throw them in your cuisinart or blender or mini chopper until they are all uniformly chopped.
Now it’s time to quarter the oranges. We used navel oranges for their flavor but chopped the ends (or the navel) off.
Then hope cut them into four pieces.
Into the chopper it went! Rind and all.
Mix the oranges and cranberries together.
Then add your sugar.
Stir that all together and put it in the fridge to chill for at least one hour. I like to have this on toast too. Delicious!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about some of my family recipes! Special thanks to my mom for baking with me. Baking os not my strong suit, so I’m happy to have as many lessons as she’ll give me. We’ll do it again next month!
Have a great day everybody!!