Archive | October, 2015

Random bulbs for spring

20 Oct

So this last weekend while out shopping the farmers markets, we dropped into Carpinito Brothers, got squash and celery… And two packages of bulbs, lol


And for once, I got them planted the very next day! Grin
A couple are in the pot on the step, a couple in with the mints and raspberry on the deck, 15 of each didn’t go too far. I just hope they mostly come up in the spring!

‘Thalia’ is an old favorite of mine, with its cheerful white fragrant flowers. The crocus ‘Spring Beauty’ is a new one for me, but I love the look of it in the pick, so we will see.
Also took the time to plant some other random bulbs we had picked up in the spring on mark down, mostly hyacinths and one I think was a ‘Tete te’ daffodil. Still need to get things cleaned up and plant some of the fuchsias lying around…

Experiment- Hubbard Squash and Apple Bread

6 Oct

Fall is here, and the pumpkin delights are starting to show up in grocery stores, coffe shops and of course, the farmer’s markets. The other day we got and incredible Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf from the bakery, and it inspired this little bit of experimentation. I’m running off the old standbys Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, which on page 81 has a nice recipe I usually use as my key for Banana Bread, but the Fruit Loaf recipe actually calls for grated Apple. This time I will be using a half and half mix of grated Apple and Hubbard squash (cause I had a heap of it that needs to be eaten soon, and an apple all bruised and already mushy). 
First, set the oven to 350 degrees to get it hot as ready. I almost always forget to do this and hen have to wait for it to warm up, so do it first, lol.

Sooo, to start with the sugar and shortening mix, I am creaming together;

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup shortening

2 eggs
Stir into the above creamed sugar-

5 Tbsp sour or butter milk (regular milk works fine too, but this is a good way to use up a little milk gone sour if you have it)

2 cups grated Apple and Squash (I am using Hubbard, but pumpkin or any similar winter squash should work the same)
Then in a separate bowl, sift together (or use a fork like I do, or dump in in the cuisinart and mix them in that to fluff them up)-

3 cups bread flour

1 cup chia seeds (or other kind of nut flour, or just another cup of flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (for this I ground my own- cardamom, cassia cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Please note- I like it spivey, you may want to reduce it by half, lol.)


Next fold the dry by thirds into the wet mix, blending thoroughly as you go.

Hmmm, the batter ended up being stiffer than I expected. Banana bread batter is usually almost runny, this holds it shape. Hopefully there is enough liquid in it to keep it moist once baked.

This was a double batch, so at this point I’m dividing it in half. One half will be named as is, the other gets some add ons 😉

For the second half, I’m adding-

1/2 cup crushed hazelnuts

1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

3 bars Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, chunked up (we keep these in the freezer to take camping for s’mores, I just crushed them in the pachage while still frozen. Works like a charm!)


Pour each half batch into a 9x5x3 standard bread pan, “well greased”. I use a spray oil, it’s easy, lol.

You did get the oven on earlier right? Lol… Now bake the little buggers at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Yeah, takes a while. Poke em with a toothpick or a knife through the thickest part of the center, to make sure the center is cooked through. If it’s still funny or doughy in the center, leave it in for another ten minutes and check it again till the toothpick comes out clean. Let it rest for at LEAST 15 minutes once you pull it out before flipping the pan over, or cutting it in the pan. 
If you have your own variation on this, please let me know! I love pumpkin bread, and squash in general.