If you look closely at the picture you’ll see a frog monster shape in the little bowl of maple butter. Sometimes fun things like this happen when shooting food. It reminds me of 1970s Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks with all the pointless figurines stuffed around plates of food.
James Lileks has deposited many scary crazy food pictures from that era into his books, “The Gallery of Regrettable Food” and “Gastroanomalies”. I tend to read them in the middle of the night when insomnia hits. I try not to wake up Jesse, but it starts with a little snort, then a few giggles, and soon I begin to laugh so loud I startle him awake.
Lileks’ books are also great to hand around the room at parties. They get people talking about all the crazy nasty food they’ve come across in their lives. That’s my kinda fun anyway!
Pumpkin Quick Bread with Orange Zest
2 cups pumpkin puree or a (15 ounce) can of 100% pure pumpkin
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup extra light olive oil
2 teaspoons orange zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Butter and flour for loaf pans
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour two 9x5 inch Pyrex loaf pans. Tap off excess flour from the pans.
2. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, oil, orange zest, and vanilla extract on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin and mix until combined. Next, add the salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and soda and mix until combined. Then add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
3. Divide the batter equally among the two pans. Smooth the surface slightly and then tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.
4. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in their pans on a cooling rack. Then jiggle to loosen and gently unmold onto parchment or wax paper. Move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Place in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until well mixed.
1. Once cooled, the extra loaf can be wrapped in foil and frozen.
2. Cooking time may need to be adjusted for metal loaf pans.
By Laura Flowers
By Laura Flowers