Every cook has at least one recipe they carry with them through the years. Mine is pumpkin bread, which I’ve been making since I was 12, when I first learned it in seventh-grade home economics. My teacher’s name was Ms. Buzzy, from Zephyrhills, Florida. She was bone-thin and full of wrinkles. I remember how she used to smoke Virginia Slims in the school parking lot while all of us watched.
Like all the recipes she taught us, the one for pumpkin bread is far from healthy. It’s full of processed sugar, flour and oil. If that bothers you, feel free to substitute the all-purpose flour for whole wheat, the white sugar for coconut sugar. I’ve experimented with both and found good results. Most times, though, I just make it like I was taught. Some habits are hard to break.
Ms. Buzzy’s Pumpkin Bread
Makes 3 Loaves
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup water
1. Grease and flour three 7 x 3 inch pans. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Measure flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir to blend. Add pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and nuts. Beat until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake for approximately 55 minutes. The bread is done when you can stick a knife into the center and it comes out clean.